Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

How do I apply for graduation?

A: Contact the Graduate School to apply for graduation. You must apply for graduation early in the fall or spring term when you desire to graduate.

After applying, the Program Director will receive and review your graduate transcript. This is to ensure that your degree requirements have been completed and you are eligible to graduate.

When are graduate classes offered?

A: Graduate classes are scheduled during the fall and spring terms after 5:00 pm. summer workshops/courses are mostly one week, 9:00-4:00, 2 credit courses. Required courses MUED 601 “Trends” and MUED 695 “Research” are offered each year, fall term. MUED 661 “Seminar in Instrumental Music” is offered Spring term, even years, i.e. ‘2010’ with MUED 662 “Seminar in Choral (Vocal) Music” offered Spring term, odd years, i.e. ‘2009’. Courses in music theory and history are offered each fall and spring term but rarely in the summer. This is one reason why it is important to schedule an early appointment with the Graduate Program Director to plan your course of study.

Electives: what is an elective?

A: The MS degree provides for 15 elective hours of course work. These are courses, workshops, etc. which you can identify and elect as being meaningful in terms of your personal development as a professional music educator. They may be in music, music education, or any other graduate level experience for credit.

How do I find out about fall or spring courses?

A: A “Schedule of Courses” is usually available through the Towson University homepage about 4-6 weeks before registration for each term. Included is course information, day, time, location, etc., as well as registration instructions and fees. In addition, Department of Music offerings are generally posted on departmental bulletin boards.

Is financial aid available for graduate study in music education?

A: Each year the Office of Graduate Studies offers one (1) Assistantship position in Music Education. The College of Fine Arts and Communication may offer a limited number of Scholarships.

NAfME Membership: I’m currently a member of NAFME. Can I join as a student?

A: Yes! As a student, you can join the student chapter (#450) and receive the benefits of NAfME membership at a greatly reduced rate. See nafme.org to enroll.

How do I find out about summer classes and workshops?

A: Mid-April, a listing of summer courses and workshops in Music Education is made available on the Graduate Music Education homepage at www.towson.edu/music. This also provides information for enrolling. General information is also posted on the Towson University homepage.

Teacher licensing: I have a BA in music. If I complete the graduate program in music education will I earn licensing to teach p-12 music in Maryland?

A: No. Completing the MS Degree or the Certificate of Music does not license you to teach. Earning a teaching license requires completing and meeting all Towson University and state licensing requirements. These are met through completing undergraduate courses. A graduate student seeking licensing must include undergraduate courses in their program of studies. These do not apply towards earning a graduate degree. If you are seeking licensing, you must work closely with the Program Director in planning your course of studies.

Teacher licensing: how can I renew my teaching license?

A: Plan ahead! Towson offers many one week, one and two credit workshops during the summer as well as three credit classes during the fall and spring terms. Many of these are designed to help meet your licensing requirements, enrich your teaching, and set you on a path for an advanced degree or certificate.

 

Master of Science Degree Questions

Must I take advisory examinations and if so, what are they like?

A: An Advisory Essay is Music History and Culture is required for enrollment in a graduate level history and culture course. Students should submit the essay in .pdf format through email to the Music History and Culture coordinator by May 7th for Fall enrollment and by December 1st for Spring enrollment. Please contact your Program Director for more information regarding the procedures and prompts for this essay.

How many years do I have to complete the degree program?

A: All course work and examinations in the Master of Science degree must be completed within seven years. A Certificate of Music is generally completed within four years.

Comprehensive examination: what is the comprehensive examination?

A: The Comprehensive Examination provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate competence in addressing significant issues in music teaching/learning and the discipline of Professional Music Education. In an electronic and essay format, focuses primarily on content experienced in required courses in Music Education as well as asking candidates to relate additional musical information to their particular teaching setting. The duration of the examination is approximately three (3) hours.

Comprehensive examination: how do I sign up and when is it offered?

A: Before the end of the second week of the Fall or Spring term and after completing approximately 20 hours of course work, including MUED 601, MUED 695 and MUED 661 or MUED 662, mail a letter to the Program Director indicating your desire to complete the examination during that term. In the letter you must state “I am applying to complete the Comprehensive Examination in the area of (Instrumental OR Vocal) emphasis”. NO email requests will be accepted. The examination is offered on Saturday of the first week in November and April. Within the first two (2) weeks of October or March, you will be mailed instructions, a study sheet to help prepare you and questions to respond to in advance.

Graduate project: what is the graduate project, musc 880, 1 credit?

A: A Graduate Project is required as part of the concluding aspect of the Master of Science degree program if you have chosen Plan B as a course of study. This plan is designed to allow a candidate to demonstrate a high degree of personal independence and competence in pursuit of one of four general areas of interest: a scholarly paper, a creative composition, a performance recital, or curriculum development. Examples of documents illustrating satisfactory completion of a Graduate Project in each area are available by contacting the Program Director.

Graduate project: when should I plan on completing my graduate project?

A: The Graduate Project should be worked on throughout the degree program so that you can formally enroll in MUSC 880 after about 30 hours of course work. The Graduate Project may be completed before or after completing the comprehensive examination.

Graduate project: how do I start and complete a graduate project?

A: There are two important requirements for completing this part of the degree program:

1. Developing and submitting a Graduate Project Proposal. A Graduate Project Proposal must be developed, submitted to, and reviewed by the Program Director for approval before starting a Graduate Project. To accomplish this, as you move through your program of studies, work closely with the Program Director, other graduate faculty members, and fellow students and identify areas of personal interest. After identifying a possible area and/or topic for in-depth study, and after 20 hours of course work, create a GRADUATE PROJECT PROPOSAL to be submitted to and reviewed by the Program Director. This enables the Program Director to assist in clarifying the area of study and identifying a mentoring faculty member to assist you throughout the process of completing the Project.

2. Completing the Intent of the Proposal. After approval of the Project Proposal by the Program Director, you are ‘cleared’ to complete the Intent of the Proposal working closely with a mentoring faculty member. However, you may not enroll in MUSC 880 Graduate Project until the term in which you will complete your Project. After receiving permission to enroll from the Program Director, if you do not complete your project during the term enrolled to the satisfaction of the mentoring faculty and/or Program Director, no incomplete, will be given. The grade earned will be an “F”. Hence, it is important to complete over 80% of the Graduate Project by the end of the term preceding the term in which you are permitted to enroll in MUSC 880. Although the length of time required for completion of a Graduate Project varies, in general, Graduate Projects are completed in one (1) to three (3) years.

Graduate project: how do I enroll? (musc 880)

A: You will enroll in MUSC 880 at the beginning of the semester in which you intend to complete the project. The term before you anticipate enrolling, contact the Program Director to review the status of your Graduate Project. If you are completing a Graduate Project in the areas of Composition, Recital or Curriculum, consult with the Program Director earlier as these areas require additional course work and/or experiences prior to enrolling. If electing the recital option you must enroll in MUSC 880 not MUSC 797 to complete this requirement. To enroll, you must have permission from the Program Director. This information is provided to the Assistant to the Department Chairperson who issues a special permit for enrolling.

Meet with the graduate program director: when should we meet?

A: At the minimum, meet at the beginning of your studies to outline a course of study, after about 20 hours to review your progress, before you enroll in the Graduate Project or when there are any major changes impacting your studies.

Private lessons? How do I enroll? (musa)

A: Private-Applied lessons require instructor approval and a permit to enroll. This is done through Ms. MaryAnn Criss, Assistant to the Department Chairperson. As each applied area and instructor are different, contact her, , and she will provide the appropriate contact information.

DEADLINES:

      • For spring lessons, students must contact Ms. Criss by the end of November.
      • For fall lessons, students must contact Ms. Criss by the end of April.
      • Students must adhere to the posted registrations deadlines for applied lessons enrollment. The deadlines generally occur one (1) week prior to final exams. Late enrollment will include additional monetary fees.

Program of studies: how do I plan my studies?

A: After being admitted to the program, contact the Program Director to schedule an appointment to review those courses required and when courses are offered. Outlining your MS program of studies in advance will help assure you of completing your program within the seven (7) year time limit and on a schedule you can live with.

Recital: I’m interested in completing a performance recital or composition as my graduate project. Are there any special requirements? (musc 880)

A: A Performance Recital or Creative Composition are among the options for completing the Graduate Project requirement your degree program. Each provides a different emphasis. However, both the Performance Recital and the Creative Composition option require auditions with the appropriate faculty before starting your studies. Further, expect additional lessons in an area as preparation for meeting Project requirements.

May transfer courses be a part of my degree program?

A: Yes. A maximum of six (6) graduate credits may be transferred from another institution towards completing your degree requirements. Upon receipt of the appropriate information (see below) the Program Director will contact the Graduate School. The Graduate School then reviews and accepts or denies requests for transfer credits. To transfer credits, provide the Program Director with:

      • Written letter requesting permission to transfer credits;
      • Official grade transcript from the institution showing graduate credits earned; and
      • Course syllabi for each course being transferred.

Approved courses will be considered electives within your course of study.

Thesis: what is the graduate thesis? (musc 898, 6 hrs)

A: A Thesis is required in the Master of Science degree program if you have chosen Plan A as a course of study. It is designed to allow a candidate to demonstrate a high degree of independence in pursuit of a specific area of study associated with the field of music education or a related field. Candidates pursuing this option are expected to have a high degree of skill in the areas of academic and educational research and bibliography as well as written and oral expression.

Thesis: when should I plan on completing my thesis?

A: The Thesis should be completed as the final aspect of your degree program, i.e., all course work and the comprehensive examination should be completed. In this sense, a Thesis serves to provide you with an opportunity to direct your focus of study to an area or topic in music education or a related field that contributes to your own professional growth as an educator.

THESIS: WHAT PROCEDURES MUST BE FOLLOWED WHEN COMPLETING A THESIS?

A: There are two important characteristics associated with completing this part of the degree program:

1. Developing and submitting a Graduate Thesis Proposal. A Graduate Thesis Proposal must be developed, submitted to, and reviewed by the Program Director for approval before starting work on its content. To accomplish this, as you move through your program of studies, work closely with the Program Director, other graduate faculty members, and fellow students and identify areas of personal interest. After identifying a possible area and/or topic for in-depth study, and after no more than 30 hours of course work, create a Graduate Thesis Proposal to be submitted to and reviewed by the Program Director. This enables the Program Director to assist in clarifying the area of study and identifying a thesis faculty committee to assist you throughout the process of completing the thesis.

2. Completing the intent of the Proposal. After approval of the Thesis Proposal has been submitted and approved, the candidate is expected to address the intent of the proposal on an individual basis with the assistance of members of the thesis faculty committee. This process may take place over several terms or may extend over several or more years. In either extreme, the Thesis is worked on while enrolled in MUSC 898. Only after satisfactory completion and defense of the written document and its content will a grade be recorded.

THESIS: HOW DO I ENROLL IN “THESIS” (MUSC 898)?

A: The term before you anticipate enrolling, contact the Program Director. Discussions concerning the nature and status of your Thesis are held at that time including a review of your progress in terms of the Proposal submitted.