James C. Olson Performing Arts Center
4949 Cherry Street
(816) 235-2900
conservatory@umkc.edu
http://conservatory.umkc.edu/

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Conservatory of Music and Dance
4949 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64110-2229

Dean:
Diane Helfers Petrella

Associate Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs:
Andrew Granade

Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Performance/Operations:
James Snell

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies:
Aidan Soder

Accreditation

UMKC is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (1933), the National Association of Schools of Dance (2008), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (1961), and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Scholarships or Special Awards

Scholarships are available to Conservatory students and are awarded on the basis of ability (demonstrated at the audition) and academic standing. Scholarships are awarded for one year but can be renewed annually, provided students maintain the appropriate grade level, continue satisfactory performance in the major performance area, and participate in major ensembles as prescribed.

Applicants for Conservatory scholarships must complete all regular admissions procedures in order to be considered.

In accordance with the code of ethics of the National Association of Schools of Music, the acceptance of financial aid by a candidate is considered a declaration of intent to attend the institution, and each candidate will be so informed. The code further declares that such a student may not consider any other offer from an institutional member of the NASM except with the written consent of the music executive of the first institution. Similarly, a transfer applicant cannot be considered for financial aid without the written recommendation of the head of the music department from which the transfer is being made.

Conservatory of Music and Dance

* Members of UMKC Graduate Faculty # Members of UMKC Doctoral Faculty + Located at UM-St. Louis campus

Gary Bernard Abbott; assistant professor of dance (modern).      

*Marita A. Abner; assistant teaching professor (bassoon); M.M. (Yale University); B.A. (Swarthmore College). 

Michelle Alexander; assistant teaching professor ; D.M.A. (University of Minnesota); M.M. (New England Conservatory of Music)

#*Keith Benjamin; curators' distinguished professor of music (trumpet); D.M.A. (Eastman School of Music); M.M. (University of Northern Iowa); B.M.E. (Morningside College).

Mitch Butler; associate professor (jazz studies); D.M.A. (University of Texas-Austin)

#*Jane M. Carl; professor of music (clarinet); D.M.A. (University of Michigan); M.M. (University of Michigan); B.M. (University of Michigan).

Sean Chen; Milsap artist in residence

#*Chen Yi; Lorena Searcy Cravens/Millsap/Missouri Distinguished Professor of Music (composition); D.M.A. (Columbia University); M.A. (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing); B.A. (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing).

#*JoDee Davis; associate professor of music (trombone); D.M. (Indiana University); M.M. (University of Northern Iowa); B.M. (University of Northern Iowa).

#*Steven D. Davis; Rose Ann Carr Millsap Missouri Distinguished Professor of Music (conducting, wind symphony); M.M. (University of Minnesota); B.M.E. (Florida State University).  

#*Alison DeSimone; assistant professor of music (musicology); Ph.D. (University of Michigan); B.A. (Vassar College). 

*Beth Loeber Elswick; associate teaching professor of music (music theory); D.M.A. (University of Missouri - Kansas City); M.S.Ed. (Missouri State University); B.M., B.S. (University of Arizona; Missouri State University).

#*William A. Everett; curators' distinguished professor of music (musicology); Ph.D. (University of Kansas); M.M. (Southern Methodist University); B.M., summa cum laude (Texas Tech University).

#*Raymond Scott Feener; associate professor of music (voice); D.M.A. (Florida State University); M.M. (Ohio University); B.M. (Ohio University).

*Hali Fieldman; associate professor of music (music theory); Ph.D. (University of Michigan); M.M. (Eastman School of Music); B.M. (Peabody Institute).

*Joseph Genualdi; professor of music (violin); Artist Diploma (The Curtis Institute). 

Alon Goldstein; Jack Strandberg/Missouri Endowed Chair and Distinguished Visiting Professor in Piano; M.M. (Johns Hopkins University)

#*Andrew Granade; professor of music (musicology); Ph.D. (University of Illinois); M.M.  (University of Illinois); B.M. (Ouachita Baptist University).

*Martin Hackleman; associate teaching professor of music (horn).     

#*Lani Hamilton; assistant professor of music (music education); Ph.D. (University of Texas - Austin); M.M. (University of Texas - Austin); B.M. (University of Miami)

Dee Anna Hiett; associate professor of dance (modern).      

#*Celeste Johnson; associate professor of music (oboe); M.M. (Eastman School of Music); B.M. (University of Illinois).  

David Justin; associate professor of dance (ballet); M.A. (University of Birmingham, U.K.); Certificate (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London).

*Maria Kanyova; associate professor of music (voice); D.M.A. (University of Kansas); M.M. (University of Kansas); B.M.E. (UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance).

#*Benny Kim; associate professor of music (violin); M.M. (The Juilliard School); B.M. (The Juilliard School). 

#*Scott Lee; associate professor of music (viola); M.M. (Mannes College of Music); B.M. (The Juilliard School) 

Kenneth Lidge; associate teaching professor of music (music theory); D.M.A. (University of Missouri - Kansas City); M.M. (University of Illinois-Champaign).; B.M.E. (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire).

#*Michael Mermagen; associate professor of music (cello); M.M. (The Juilliard School); B.M. (Peabody Conservatory).

#*Dale W. Morehouse; associate professor of music (voice, opera); M.M. (SUNY-Binghamton); B.A. (University of Central Florida).  

#*Joseph Parisi; professor of music (music education, instrumental music); Ph.D. (Florida State University); M.M. (Florida State University); B.M. (State University College of New York at Potsdam).

*Diane Helfers Petrella; professor of music (piano, piano pedagogy); D.M.A. (University of North Texas); M.M. (University of Wisconsin-Madison); B.M. (Eastern Illinois University).

#*Nicholas Petrella; adjunct professor of percussion; D.M.A. (University of Iowa).

*Natalia Rivera; associate teaching professor  of music (vocal coach-accompanist, foreign language for singing); D.M.A. (University of Kansas); M.M. (University of Minnesota); B.M. (New England Conservatory).

*Amy Robertson; assistant professor of music (music therapy); Ph.D. (Florida State University); M.M.T. (Florida State University); B.M.(Oklahoma City University).

#*Charles R. Robinson; professor of music (music education, choral music); Ph.D. (Florida State University); M.A. (California State University, Long Beach); B.M.E. (Florida State University).

#*Thomas Rosenkranz; associate profesor (piano); D.M.A. (Eastman School of Music).

*Paul Rudy; curators' distinguished professor of music (composition); D.M.A. (University of Texas at Austin); M.M. (University of Colorado, Boulder); B.A. (Bethel College).

#*Zachary Shemon; associate professor of music (saxophone); M.M. (University of Michigan); B.M. (University of Michigan).

#*James Snell; associate professor of music (percussion); D.M.A. (University of Missouri - Kansas City); M.M.  (Southern Methodist University); B.M. (University of Illinois).

#*Aidan Soder; associate professor of music (voice); D.M.A. (Rice University); M.M. (Rice University); B.M. (University of Nebraska at Omaha).

#*Thomas Stein; associate professor of music (tuba, euphonium); M.M. (University of Michigan); B.M. (University of Michigan).  

#*David Thurmaier; associate professor of music (music theory); Ph.D. (Indiana University); M.A. (Eastman School of Music); B.M. (University of Illinois-Champaign).

Ronald G. Tice; associate professor of dance (ballet); B.F.A. (University of Minnesota).

*Sarah Tyrrell; associate teaching professor of music (musicology); Ph.D. (University of Kansas); M.M. (New England Conservatory); B.M. (Kansas State University).

*Robert Watson, Jr.; William and Mary Grant/Missouri Endowed Professor in Jazz Studies (jazz saxophone); B.M. (University of Miami).

#*Zhou Long; distinguished professor of music (composition); D.M.A. (Columbia University); B.A. (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China).  

Emeritus Faculty

Olga Ackerly; associate professor emeritus of music (musicology); Ph.D. (University of Kansas); M.Ph., M.A., M.M. (Manhattan School of Music); B.M. (Manhattan School of Music).

Inci Bashar; professor emeritus of music (voice); Ll.B (University of Istanbul);  (Istanbul's Civic Conservatory of Music);  (Hochschule fur musick, Munich); (Ankara State Opera Studio); (Former member of the Cologne, Dortnund and Istanbul state operas).

Shirley Bean; associate professor emeritus of music (music theory); D.M.A. (University of Missouri - Kansas City) M.M. (University of Missouri - Kansas City); B.M.E. (University of Missouri - Kansas City).

Hugh Brown; associate professor emeritus of music (viola).    

Nancy Cochran; professor emeritus of music (horn); M.M. (Ball State University); B.M. (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

John Ditto; professor emeritus of music (organ); D.M.A. (Eastman School of Music); M.M. (University of Michigan); B.M. (Drake University).

Eph Ehly; professor emeritus of music (choral music, choral conducting); D.M.A. (University of Colorado); M.A. (George Peabody College for Teachers); B.A. (Kearney State College).

Gustavo R. Halley; associate professor emeritus of music (voice); D.M. (Florida State University)    

Alexander W. Hamilton; associate professor emeritus of music (music education); Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin); M.Ed. (University of Arkansas); B.S.E (University of Arkansas).

Linda Ross Happy; associate professor emeritus of music (class piano); D.M.A. (University of Colorado); M.M. (Northwestern University); B.M.E. (University of Nebraska).

Mary Pat Henry; professor emeritus of dance (ballet); M.F.A. (Florida State University); B.F.A. (University of Utah).  

Tiberius  Klausner; professor emeritus of music (violin); Diploma (National Academy of Music, Budapest); Premiere Prix (Conservatoire National de Musique, Paris); Diploma (The Juilliard School).

Wanda Lathom-Radocy; professor emeritus of music (music therapy); Ph.D. (University of Kansas); M.M.E. (University of Kansas); B.M.E. (The University of Kansas).

John R. Leisenring; professor emeritus of music (trombone/jazz studies); D.M.A. (University of Illinois); M.M. (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire); B.M. (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire).

Ruth Anne Rich; professor emeritus of music (piano); D.M.A. (Eastman School of Music); M.M. (Peabody Conservatory of Music); B.M. (Florida State University; (Diplome de Virtuosite (Schola Cantorum, Paris); License d'Enseignement (L'Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris); Licentiateship in Piano Performance (Royal Academy of Music, London).

Merton Shatzkin; professor emeritus of music (music theory); Ph.D. (Eastman School of Music); M.M. (Eastman School of Music); Diploma (The Juilliard School).

Joan Sommers; professor emeritus of music (accordion); Associate Diploma and Licentiate Diploma (Accordion Institute of America in conjunction with the British College of Accordionists)   

Timothy Timmons; associate professor emeritus of music (saxophone); M.M. (Northwestern University); B.M. (University of Tulsa).  

Undergraduate Programs

The Conservatory offers the following undergraduate programs. Please select the links below to view program specific requirements.

Dance

Music

Theatre

Admissions

New Students

New students must meet the general requirements for admission to the University. Additionally, many degrees require an audition and/or interview in the applicant's major performance field to determine they have met minimum requirements for admission to the Conservatory.  

Music Education

Music Education applicants are reviewed by both the Music Education Faculty, and appropriate applied faculty. Applicants must demonstrate facility in their applied performance area and a strong academic record in addition to well-defined attitudes and goals toward music in elementary and secondary education (see fitness-to-teach).

  • Music Education applicants must meet at least one of the following requirements:
  • Have an ACT score of at least a 21
  • Be at the 50 percentile or higher in class rank
  • Have a high school grade-point average of 2.5 or better
  • Music Education applicants will interview with the Music Education Faculty in a group setting to be scheduled on their chosen audition day.

Transfer Students

All undergraduate transfer music students must:

  1. Be admitted to the University and the Conservatory.
  2. Present complete official transcripts.
  3. Audition for applied placement.
  4. Take a theory examination for validation of theory level (Music majors only).

All undergraduate transfer dance students must:

  1. Be admitted to the University and the Conservatory.
  2. Present complete official transcripts.
  3. Audition for placement in ballet and modern.

Transfer students who are admitted into the Conservatory are expected to fulfill all requirements of their declared degree.  The University and Conservatory will recognize as many transferable credits as possible, but the curriculum and curricular standards must be fulfilled. This may result  in additional semesters of study.

Minimum Grade Requirements

  1. Music majors enrolled in Conservatory classes must receive a grade of C or better to progress to the next appropriate class level.

  2. Dance Division students must receive a grade of C or better in all technique classes to progress to the next appropriate class level.

Note: Some programs may require a higher minimum course grade.

Conservatory Policy Statements (Undergraduate)

Revised 2/11/15 (SMC)

Adopted by the faculty 4/7/15

Course Repetition Policy

  1. A Conservatory student may retake a Conservatory course only once without approval unless that course is designed to be repeatable for credit (e.g. Ensemble).
  2. If the student fails to meet minimum grade standards for a second time, a petition may be filed with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies requesting a third and final attempt.
  3. If a third attempt is granted and is unsuccessful the student may be dismissed from the program.

* (Minimum grade criteria for Conservatory courses can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog)

Late Drop Policy

UMKC policy:

  • Eligible students may withdraw from their classes during the withdraw schedule period that is provided in the Academic Calendar. After the fourth week through the eighth week students will receive an automatic W on their transcript.
  • After the eighth week, students will be assessed academically and, if they are failing at the time of withdrawal, they will be given a grade of WF (withdrawn failing) at the discretion of the faculty member. A WF is not calculated in the grade-point average.
  • After the twelfth week students must petition their home academic unit before being allowed to withdraw from a course. Students who want to withdraw from all of their classes must follow the Total (“term”) Withdraw Policy

Conservatory Policy:

  1. The Conservatory will follow the UMKC policy for late drops.
  2. Approval for dropping after the twelfth week will be given only when there are extenuating circumstances, such as illness or injury.  Approval will not be granted due to dissatisfaction with the grade.
  3. A petition must be submitted to the Associate Dean responsible for undergraduate studies no later than the 14th week of the semester.
  4. Dropping courses could adversely affect a student’s Conservatory scholarship eligibility.

Retroactive Add Policy

  1. Under normal circumstances, a student will not be allowed to add courses retroactively.
  2. If there are extenuating circumstances, a petition form requesting a retroactive add may be submitted to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Graduation Walking Policy

A student that has applied for graduation and has 6 or less credits to complete by the end of that semester may walk in the commencement ceremony under the following conditions:

  1. The student is in good academic standing.
  2. The student has successfully satisfied the Roo Writer requirement.
  3. The student has successfully satisfied the Constitution requirement.
  4. The student has made a commitment to complete the remaining credit hours by the following semester (unless courses needed are not offered until the subsequent semester)*. 
    1. Failure to enroll for that semester by two weeks prior to the commencement ceremony will result in a revoking of the walking privileges. 
    2. *Music Therapy Students - Once enrolled in CONS 410 (Internship), have a maximum of two semesters to complete the course.
 

Graduate Programs

Music

Theatre

General Information

The Conservatory offers graduate programs leading to the following degrees: master of arts in music; master of arts in music (music therapy emphasis); master of music in music composition, conducting, musicology, music theory and performance; master of music education; doctorate of musical arts in music composition, conducting and performance; master of arts in theatre; and master of fine arts in acting and directing or design and technology. The Conservatory participates in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D program for students who desire music education as their coordinating discipline and education as a co-discipline. Graduate students in the Conservatory are also subject to the regulations, listed in the General Graduate Academic Regulations and Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Conservatory of Music and Dance does not constitute an approval of major. Graduate students attending the Conservatory of Music and Dance do not have a major until divisional requirements are met and an approved planned program of study is filed.

Requirements for Admission

All students applying for admission must:

  • Complete an application for admission.
  • Submit transcripts of all prior work.
  • Possess a minimum overall grade-point average of 3.0 for all prior coursework.
  • Perform an applied audition, the purpose of which is diagnostic only, except as indicated in certain divisional standards.

Meet admission standards listed below:

  • Choral Conducting
    • Master's and doctoral degrees: live interview/choral conducting students are required to audition before enrolling in applied lessons, but may be admitted without an applied audition.
  • Orchestral/Wind Conducting
    • Master's and doctoral degrees: live interview/applied audition.
  • Master of Arts
    • Achieve the level of (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 302 at the audition or submit area of concentration approval form.
  • Music Composition
    • Master's and doctoral degrees: submit portfolio of compositions for evaluation.
  • Music Education
    • Master's degree: document completion of a bachelor's degree in music education or the equivalent/have an acceptable interview with faculty from this discipline/provide evidence of musical proficiencies applicable to music education settings.
  • Musicology
    • Master's degree:
      1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music.
      2. Possess a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in undergraduate music history courses.
      3. Submit examples of writing. (The writing sample should be either 1) a research paper on some aspect of the major field - can be an earlier term paper from the baccalaureate degree or 2) a senior project from the baccalaureate degree.)
      4. Possess reading knowledge in at least one language other than English.
  • Music Theory
    • Master's degree:
      1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music theory or the equivalent.
      2. Possess a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in undergraduate music theory courses. 
      3. Submit examples of writing.
      4. Translate a selection into English from either French or German using a dictionary.
  • Music Therapy < >Master's degree:
    1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music therapy from an NASM-accredited or the equivalent institution with a 3.0 GPA or better and have current CBMT Professional status, OR  (b) Possess a bachelor's degree in music or music education from an NASM-accredited or the equivalent institution with a 3.0 GPA or better.
    2.  Students who do not have the appropriate music therapy professional status will take coursework that covers undergraduate music therapy requirements. 
    3. An audition in the student’s applied area is required for diagnostic and prescriptive purposes for those not having current music therapy professional status.
    4.  A simulation of music therapy clinical skills is required for those entering with music therapy professional status.
    5. A successful interview with the music therapy faculty is also required for admittance.
    Performance
    • Master's degree: achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5501level on the major instrument at the audition.
    • Doctoral degree: achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5601 on the major instrument at the audition.
  • Performer's Certificate
    1. Possess a bachelor's degree in music.
    2. Achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5501 at the audition.
    3. Interview with faculty/coaches in the applied area.
    4. Submit a standard resume including performance experiences.
  • Artist's Certificate
    1. Possess a master's degree in music or the appropriate equivalent as determined by applied faculty in the area.
    2. Achieve (APPLIED INSTRUMENT) 5601 at the audition.
    3. Interview with faculty/coaches in the applied area.
    4. Submit a standard resume including performance experiences.

Matriculation Examination

The matriculation exam applies to all students whose degree program requires a 5500-level music history and/or music theory class. The matriculation examination in dictation, music theory and music history must be completed by students before enrolling for the term of admission. Students must pass all sections of the exam or complete review courses (421A/B, 422A/B/C with a grade of B- or higher) before enrolling in 5500-level theory and history courses.

Students in the MM in Performance: Vocal Emphasis must demonstrate proficiency in Italian, German, and French lyric diction.

The matriculation exam in dictation, music theory and music history must be completed by all MME students before enrolling for the term of admission.  Students must earn competency level in music theory to demonstrate readiness to enroll in CONSVTY 5591G Pedagogy of Music Theory or successfully complete the requisite theory review courses (CONSVTY 421A/B) with a grade of B- or higher prior to enrolling.  Music history exam results will be advisory only and not result in any required coursework in music history.  Students wishing to enroll in a graduate course in music history as an elective will be required to demonstrate readiness to enroll either by exam or by successful completion of requisite history review courses (CONSVTY 422A/B/C) with a grade of B- or higher.

Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships and Scholarships

Graduate assistantships are available with stipends varying for the academic year depending upon assignment. Assistantships are available in accompanying, assessment, conducting, instrumental ensembles, jazz and studio music, keyboard skills, music appreciation, music composition, music education, musicology, music theory, percussion, pep band, piano, saxophone, recording/lighting, stage management and voice. Recipients are typically expected to devote 10 hours a week (more for appointments above the .25 level) in assigned duties. Applicants for assistantships should have and maintain a minimum 3.0 (B) grade-point average.

Students who wish to apply for assistantships or fellowships should visit Conservatory Admissions for application materials and a list of current positions. Applications must be submitted by March 1. Awards will be made by April 1, and a letter of acceptance or rejection sent to the applicant by April 15. Awarding a graduate assistantship is contingent upon admission.

For information concerning assistantships, fellowships and other forms of student financial aid and scholarships, contact the

Conservatory Admissions Office
(816) 235-2932
cadmissions@umkc.edu

and the

Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5115 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
http://www.sfa.umkc.edu

Master's Degrees

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 5599CONSVTY 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).

Procedures:

  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.

Degree Requirements

Retention and Minimum Grades

Conservatory graduate students must maintain a 3.0 graduate grade-point average in order to remain in good standing. A maximum of two courses not exceeding three hours of credit in each course at the 5500 or 5600 level in which C's are received shall be acceptable for the planned program of any advanced degree. No grade lower than a 3.0 (B) is acceptable in the major field.

Ensemble Requirements

All graduate students in the master of music and doctor of musical arts performance degree programs must enroll in Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Conservatory Wind Symphony or Conservatory Orchestra for a minimum of two semesters if their major instrument is an orchestral instrument. Master of music students in vocal performance must participate in Bella Voice, Conservatory Concert Choir or Conservatory Singers for a minimum of two semesters.

All graduate students in the doctor of musical arts conducting degree program are required to participate in at least one major ensemble, as advised by the conducting faculty, during each term of enrollment as a full-time student.

Foreign Language Proficiency Requirements

Master's students in musicology and theory, as well as doctoral students in choral and orchestral conducting and keyboard and vocal performance must satisfy language requirements for the degree.

For all M.M. students in Musicology, a grade of B- (2.7) or better in a first-semester, sophomore-level foreign language course is required. Students must study French, German or Italian unless the substitution of another language is approved by the supervisory committee. A language proficiency test may be substituted for course requirements, provided it documents language capabilities equivalent to the completion of a first-semester, sophomore-level, course. This must be approved in advance by the supervisory committee. In such cases, a letter describing the process and results must be forwarded to the chair of the supervisory committee, the musicology area coordinator, and the Conservatory Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

For master's students in theory as well as doctoral students in choral and orchestral conducting and keyboard and vocal performance who speak English as their first language, a grade of B- (2.7) or better in a first-semester, sophomore-level foreign language course or C (2.0) work or better in each of two junior-level courses or in one senior-level literature or civilization course is viewed as an adequate demonstration of foreign language skills. Students must study French, German or Italian unless the substitution of another language is approved by a minimum of two-thirds of the supervisory committee. A language proficiency test, if provided by language instructors or departments, may be substituted for course requirements provided it documents language capabilities equivalent to the previously described courses. In such cases, a letter from the university language professor, describing the process and results, must be forwarded to the Conservatory Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Doctoral students in choral and orchestral conducting or keyboard and vocal performance who speak English as a second language must achieve a score of 600 on the TOEFL exam. If students have not completed a TOEFL exam with a score greater than 600 before arriving at UMKC, they must complete a language test in English provided by UMKC's Applied Language Institute. All courses recommended by ALI must be successfully completed and a score of 600 on the TOEFL, or the equivalent as determined by ALI must be achieved. This policy applies to all ESL students regardless of the number of years they have studied in the United States.

The DMA in Music Composition, DMA in Instrumental Performance and DMA in Wind Conducting programs do not have a foreign language requirement.