The Music Department at NEIU offers a Master of Arts in Music degree in Applied Pedagogy. Pedagogy is defined as the art of teaching. This degree prepares students who already have a Bachelor's degree in music for successful 1) college level teaching, 2) in-service elementary and secondary public or private school teaching, 3) or for continuing into doctoral degree work.


  • Completion of a Bachelors Degree in Music with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Audition and approval for 400-level in major applied instrument/voice
  • Letters of Recommendation about your music background
  • Completion of Entrance Placement Exams in music history and music theory, to be completed before the first semester of enrollment.


Approval for the program requires approval by the appropriate applied faculty through an audition in the student’s applied area (instrument or voice). 400-level approval is required. If a student is not approved for graduate (400) level, he/she may be asked to enroll at the 300-level as a remedial option and apply for graduate (400) level at the next audition date. This should be done only if the applied faculty believes strongly that the student has potential to attain 400-level in a reasonable amount of time (one or two semesters).


The Graduate Placement Exams in Music History and Music Theory are required of all music students entering the graduate program. They are given annually before each semester and must be taken by all incoming students. No student will be accepted into the program until these exams are taken. If deficiencies are noted, the deadline for completing remedial course work or removing deficiencies is one year or 18 credits.


A student may enroll as a “student-at-large” while awaiting completion of his/her application approval. Up to nine (9) credit hours may be taken and transferred into the program. Note: A student-at-large is not eligible for a Graduate Tuition Scholarship.

Requirements for the Degree

The following sequences require a total of 34 credit hours, all of which must be earned in 400-level courses or approved 300-level courses. Participation in large or small ensembles for a minimum of three terms is required.


Graduate music students must participate in the Music Department Virtual Community, an online forum where students and faculty share experiences, ideas, and knowledge.


Thesis Hours is the culminating course for the M.A. degree. This course is generally taken in the third semester of study after MUS 424 Bibliography has been completed. The student’s thesis advisor and faculty thesis committee acts as a mentor and guide as the student pursues his/her research. This work will result in a submission and approval of the Thesis Proposal, Thesis Paper, and Lecture Recital (an hour long recital format in which the student lectures, performs/demonstrates the thesis topic).


A comprehensive examination must be taken at the first possible exam date after the thesis paper is submitted and/or the recital is performed. The dates of the exam are concurrent with the Graduate Placement Exams and are offered on the first Friday in the month in August, December, and April. The Comprehensive Exam is a written test that evaluates what the student has learned in his/her area of specialty during graduate study. The test consists of two pedagogical/historical essay questions of which you choose one, and three score identifications. Students are expected to write intelligently about the musical content providing a thorough stylistic analysis and name a composer, probable date of composition, and title of the work. The Comprehensive Exam will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. (The completed test must reflect a working knowledge of pedagogical craft, historical and theoretical perspective, and a graduate level writing ability.

Applied Music Pedagogy

MUS-424Music Bibliography And Research3
MUS 431 (A-F) Advanced Applied Music Pedagogy I3
MUS-427Repertoire Seminar (A-G)3
MUS 432 (A-F) Advanced Applied Music Pedagogy II2
Applied Music (400-level)8
MUS 428 (A-G) Music Repertoire Seminar3
MUS 5901, 5902, 5903 Thesis Seminar (Credit hours vary. Must total 3 credits)3
Select one of the following in Music History:3
Writing Intensive Program: Beethoven
Writing Intensive Program: Seminar In Music History:Stravinsky
Seminar In Music History:Baroque
Seminar In Music History:Classic Era
Select Music Theory:3
Form and Analysis
Select the appropriate large ensemble: 13
Vocal Ensemble: Chorus
Chamber Singers
Opera Workshop
Musical Theater
Instrumental Ensemble: Accompanying
Instrumental Ensemble: Piano Ensemble
Instrumental Ensemble: Guitar
Total Hours34