MFA in Performance & Lit
Degree Requirements

Master of Fine Arts in Performance and Literature
Two-year residency requirement during which all students must complete their degree.
(12 semester course credits)

Two different specializations are possible within this degree program, each having different requirements:

Students should budget additionally for individual instrument or voice lessons that may be required for the degree (see below). The cost of these lessons per semester varies widely from instructor to instructor, in a range from $800 to $1,500. We offer scholarships every semester to help offset this extra expense. Auditions to determine the amount of these scholarships take place on the first Thursday of each semester.

Required for solo and chamber music specialization:

MUS 212 Seminar in 20th-Century Literature and Theory (1)

MUS 224 Contemporary Instrumentation and Orchestration (1)

MUS 237 Seminar in Music Literature and Criticism (1)*

MUS 250 Thesis (1), which consists of a full recital with well-researched program notes, accompanied by a a written thesis. Students meet regularly during their final semester with their faculty Thesis Director, and also consult with a faculty Thesis Reader on the development of their thesis.

And select one course from:

MUS 210 Selected Issues in Contemporary Performance and Improvisation (1)

MUS 211 Improvisation Workshop (1)

And select one course from:

MUS 248 Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis (1)

MUS 256 Tonal Analysis (1)

And two courses (1 credit total) of:

MUS 231 Performance Collective (.5)

And four courses (2 credits total) of:

MUS 225 Individual Instrumental Instruction (.5)
or
MUS 260 Practicum (.5)

And select 3 semester course credits in electives.

*MUS 237 may be taken a second time to fulfill an elective credit.

Required for specialization in improvisation:

MUS 210 Selected Issues in Contemporary Performance and Improvisation (1)

MUS 211 Improvisation Workshop (1)

MUS 212 Seminar in 20th-Century Literature and Theory (1)

MUS 224 Contemporary Instrumentation and Orchestration (1)

MUS 250 Thesis (1), which consists of the preparation and performance of a major improvisational work during the Signal Flow Graduate Thesis Festival, and a written thesis. Students meet regularly during their final semester with their faculty Thesis Director, and also consult with a faculty Thesis Reader on the development of their thesis.

And three courses (1.5 credits total) of either:

MUS 225 Individual Instrumental Instruction (.5) or
MUS 260 Practicum (.5)

And four courses (2 credits total) of:

MUS 242 Music Improvisation Ensemble II (.5)

And 3.5 semester course credits in electives.

The following undergraduate courses are open to graduate students as well:

MUS 101 20th-Century Styles and Techniques I: 1900–1945 (1)

MUS 102 20th-Century Styles and Techniques II: 1945 to the Present (1)

MUS 116 Women and Creative Music (1)

MUS 117 History of European Music to 1750 (1)

MUS 118 Classic and Romantic Music (1)

MUS 120 American Music (1)

MUS 147 Introduction to Electronic Music (.5–1)

MUS 154 Introduction to Computer Music (.5–1)

MUS 159 (259) Seminar in Musical Performance, Composition, and Improvisation (1)

MUS 163 The World of Opera (1)

MUS 170 African American Music: The Meaning and the Message (1)

MUS 180 Special Topics in Music (.5–1)

First-Year Review: All Candidates

Students in all graduate music programs must demonstrate professional standards of achievement in the chosen field. At the end of the first year of residence (two semesters of full-time enrollment or its equivalent), students must submit a portfolio representing the work accomplished during the period of enrollment. Only after completion of a successful faculty review will the student be permitted to proceed with the second year of study.

Inquiries concerning any of these requirements should be addressed to the Music Department at 510.430.2171.


 

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P: 510.430.3309
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If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact music@mills.edu or call 510.430.2171.


Last Updated: 3/17/14