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Graduate Program


Graduate Program

The City College of New York offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in the following three areas of music specialization:
  • Composition -- classical [portfolio required with application]
  • Musicology -- history or theory [writing sample required with application]
  • Performance -- instrumental jazz, classical piano, and classical voice [audition required after application]

Please see the "Degree Requirements" and "Courses" links for more specific information about these individual areas. The graduate music faculty includes Pulitzer-winning composers, Grammy-winning performers, and scholars publishing on an impressively diverse range of topics. Students can also take graduate music seminars at any of the other senior CUNY colleges, including the Graduate Center. Please visit Graduate Admissions for more information about applying to CCNY and contact the Director of Graduate Studies in Music, if you have specific questions about the graduate program in music.


For answers to the most frequently asked questions by those interested in our graduate programs please consult the ADVISING page.


Teaching Opportunities

A limited number of MA candidates will be chosen to teach a course for the department during their second year of study.  Those deemed worthy will be offered an opportunity to continue their employment for another year beyond their graduation.


Mission Statement of the Department of Music

The Master of Arts (M.A.) program provides a strong academic foundation for a professional career in music. In addition to the broad knowledge covered by the graduate core curriculum, students specialize in one of three areas: performance (jazz or classical), composition, or musicology (history or theory). Finally, students use electives to customize their program according to their individual career objectives.

Music department faculty are expected to maintain active careers in music scholarship, performance, and composition according to their areas of specialization. Additionally, music department faculty are expected to maintain high standards of teaching.

Students with an M.A. in Music will:

1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of Western music history and theory, as well as familiarity with contemporary research and analytical techniques. Comprehensive written exams in music history and theory assess the students' knowledge during their final semester.

2.Demonstrate the synthesis and practical application of the above knowledge in detailed analyses of musical works presented in an oral comprehensive exam at the completion of M.A. program.


3. Performers: Demonstrate proficiency on their instrument, both as solo artists and as ensemble players, for a career in music.  Faculty juries assess the students' performance skills each semester, and their studies culminate in a final recital displaying their abilities in various musical styles.

4. Composers: create a portfolio of original musical works.  Their studies culminate in a thesis project demonstrating their compositional creativity.

5. Musicologists (historians/theorists): demonstrate a strong foundation in Western music history and analysis.  A final thesis demonstrates their ability to conduct original research according to their areas of interest, and will be an important component of Ph.D. applications.