General Information

The master of arts, master of music and master of music education degree programs require a minimum of 30 semester hours; at least 18 hours must be numbered 5500 or above. No 300- or 400-level courses may be included in a master's program if required in the comparable baccalaureate degree at the Conservatory of Music and Dance. CONSVTY 5599, CONSVTY 5598 or CONSVTY 5589 is required on all degree programs except performance. With the approval of the supervisory committee and the principal graduate adviser, students can transfer hours equal to 20 percent of the planned program from an accredited institution other than UMKC, but any such transfer credit must be less than seven years old at the time the degree is awarded. The official time limit for the completion of the master's degree is seven years.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination must be taken during or after the last term of coursework. It is designed to last a total of eight hours and the content is at the discretion of the supervisory committee. The examination is offered during the fifth week of fall and spring semesters and may be scheduled during a summer session with the approval of the supervisory committee. If taken in the summer, the questions may not be graded until the Fall Semester. Students must be enrolled during the term the comprehensive examination is administered.

Project Option for Comprehensive Examination

Students wishing to opt for a Project in lieu of exam questions must inform the adviser during these sessions, and obtain a Comprehensive Examination Project Form (three copies).


  1. As soon as possible after the advising session has taken place:
    1. Student secures the agreement of a faculty member to be their Comps Project Chair
    2. Student secures the agreement of two additional faculty to be committee members
    3. Student creates a half-page Project Description and secures all three signatures on the form, one copy of which remains with the Chair, another to the advisor; the third copy is retained by the student
    4. The advisor notifies the chair when the form has been received
  2. Before the end of the Masters’ Comps week (week five) in the semester when the project is to be completed:
    1. The student completes the project and provides appropriate documentation to the committee members.  For events, students must provide video documentation for any committee members who were unable to attend.
  3. Before the deadline provided by the Comprehensive Exam Coordinator each semester:
    1. Each committee member prepares and submits a report on the project, together with a grade of high pass, pass or fail, to the Chair.
    2. The Chair submits all reports and grades to the Comprehensive Exam Coordinator.  Students must receive a grade of pass or high pass from each committee member to pass the Master’s Comprehensive Project.  Students are allowed to do further work on the project at the discretion of the Master’s Committee.