The mission of the Mead Witter School of Music is:

  • to provide a rich, integrated program of undergraduate and graduate education that promotes the highest levels of professional, creative, and scholarly development while challenging students to achieve their greatest potential;
  • to cultivate an environment that inspires creativity, stimulates intellectual curiosity, and fosters critical thinking; and
  • to serve the university community, the public, and the profession through performance, composition, scholarship, music education, outreach, and engagement.

The Mead Witter School of Music enriches students' educational experience by hosting guest artists and scholars for master classes, recitals, colloquia, seminars, and festivals. Mead Witter School of Music organizations and ensembles perform more than 350 recitals and concerts every year, making a significant contribution to the cultural life of the university and the wider Madison community.

the Master of Music: Education program

The master of music: education program is suited to those who wish to emphasize music content in advanced study of education. Those who wish to explore music education within the context of education at large should consider the curriculum and instruction M.S. program in the School of Education. A double master's degree with the Information School is also offered.

Applicants to the master's program in music education are strongly encouraged to contact the music education faculty to schedule an interview and visit to the school. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale, calculated on the last 60 credit hours) is necessary for full admission. Refer to the Admissions tab for details on admission requirements.

 Contact the Mead Witter School of Music graduate office,, for further details about the M.M.–music education degree.

The M.M.–music education degree offers the opportunity for advanced study in the field of musical education. Upon enrollment in the program, one of the music education faculty members acts as advisor for the student. This is usually the major professor, who the faculty determine based upon a student's particular interests. The examination committee for comprehensive examinations in the second year is composed of the major professor along with two other faculty members. 

A summary of important academic policies are available through the Policies tab. A more complete document, the Mead Witter School of Music Graduate Handbook, lists all academic policies and procedures in music graduate programs. All students need to be familiar with the Graduate School's Academic Policies and Procedures.

Mentoring of students is of prime importance to faculty members at the Mead Witter School of Music. The faculty advisor and the director of graduate studies both guide the student's course planning. While each faculty member has a unique style of mentoring, every student can be assured of abundant time working closely with more than one mentor in addition to the advisor during the course of a UW–Madison degree program. 


The Mosse Humanities Building, built in 1969, houses most of the music classrooms, rehearsal rooms, faculty studios, and 111 practice rooms. Most recitals and concerts take place in one of three performance spaces: Mills Concert Hall, Morphy Recital Hall, and Eastman Organ Recital Hall. The school's extensive collection of instruments, both common and unusual, is available to both faculty and students. Music Hall with its clock tower, built in 1879, is a campus landmark. Renovated in 1985, it is the home of the opera program. The new Hamel Music Center includes a concert hall, a recital hall, and a large ensemble rehearsal space.

Memorial Library is the home of the Mills Music Library, which offers extensive research and circulating collections, attractive study space, and personal staff assistance with research. Music materials on campus number over half a million, ranging from scores and sheet music to archival collections and historic audio recordings. Through Mills Music Library and other UW–Madison libraries students have access to a wide range of online research databases as well as millions of articles, books, and streaming media. All genres of music are represented, with notably strong collections in Americana and ethnic music. Nationally known special collections include the Tams–Witmark Collection, a treasury of early American musical theater materials, and the Wisconsin Music Archives.

The Mead Witter School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the national accreditation body for schools of music, and was reaccredited in 2014.

Fall Deadline December 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements ( Every international student from a non-English speaking country must submit a TOEFL score of 85 or higher. The Mead Witter School of Music does NOT waive the TOEFL requirement for students who have completed a degree at an American university.
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Minimum admission requirements of the Graduate School apply to all applicants for graduate study in music. The Mead Witter School of Music has additional requirements. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in music or equivalent foundational course work as required by each area of study. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale, calculated on the last 60 credit hours) is necessary for full admission. M.M. applicants in music education should have an undergraduate degree in music education and at least two years of music teaching experience—interested students are encouraged to contact the music education faculty prior to application. The M.M.–music education program involves substantial academic work and requires excellent reading, writing, and speaking skills. Therefore, all international students are required to submit a TOEFL score. See the Mead Witter School of Music graduate admissions website for information on minimum score requirements. The Mead Witter School of Music does not waive the TOEFL score requirement for students who have completed a degree at an American university. For details on specific audition requirements and additional application materials, visit the School of Music graduate admissions website.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

The Mead Witter School of Music also offers teaching and project assistantships in music history, music theory, piano, conducting, voice, and other performance areas. These positions offer tuition remission plus a salary and health care benefits. In addition, the Mead Witter School of Music selects qualified applicants for the University Fellowship and Advanced Opportunity Fellowship. The UW–Madison Office of Student Financial Services assists students in obtaining general grants and loans. All Mead Witter School of Music students who receive funding are required to maintain full-time enrollment status. Many students also take advantage of work-study opportunities on campus, and many are employed part-time in area musical organizations, education, or business entities.

M.A.–music: education students may be considered for Teaching Assistant appointments, providing positions are available. All M.M. students may be considered for a University Fellowship, and qualified applicants may be considered for the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship. Feel free to direct questions about any of these funding opportunities to the Mead Witter School of Music graduate admissions office,

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.25 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Graduate students at UW–Madison must meet expectations for satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree while enrolled. In School of Music graduate programs, a graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25. Even though grades below B do not count for graduate credit toward the degree, those grades are included in computation of the GPA.

In the first semester in which the cumulative GPA falls below 3.25 the director of graduate studies will notify the student in writing. After a second semester in which the GPA remains below 3.25 the student will be placed on probation for the next semester enrolled. This action suspends all financial aid awards through UW–Madison, though loans and work-study are not affected. Failure to raise the GPA to 3.25 or above in the probation semester results in the student’s withdrawal from the Graduate School and from the School of Music program.

To maintain satisfactory progress School of Music students on UW–Madison funding (teaching assistants, project assistants, fellows, and scholarship recipients) must maintain full-time status. A student’s satisfactory progress is also in jeopardy should a major project or recital be judged incomplete or deficient. Failure of one or more parts of the comprehensive examinations, preliminary examinations, or final defense is also considered a lapse in satisfactory progress.
Assessments and Examinations In addition to evaluations in individual classes, School of Music programs examine graduate students at defined points in their career.

For master’s students, comprehensive examinations measure the candidate’s range of musical knowledge in both fields of music history and the major.
Language Requirements All School of Music doctoral programs require proficiency at the intermediate level in at least one foreign language. Foreign language proficiency assures that the student has the tools needed to pursue comprehensive research in the major field. Details on foreign language requirements and ways to fulfill proficiency expectations are outlined in the course lists available through the Requirements tab for each degree. This information is also available in the advising worksheets for each degree major track.

Required COURSES

You may direct any questions about the coursework or required proficiencies to the Mead Witter School of Music graduate admissions office,, or directly to the faculty of the music education area.

Comprehensive Music Education
Students take the following three courses; may include other courses approved by the advisor: 9
Seminar in Music Education
Past Perspectives on Music Education
Current Issues in Music Education
Area of Specialty5
Advisor-approved courses
Musicology and Theory9
At least one course must be taken in Musicology and one in Music Theory. 9 credits must be earned at UW–Madison.
Eligible musicology courses include: 1
Musical Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
Survey of Music in the Renaissance
Survey of Music in the Baroque Era
Survey of Music in the Classic Era
Survey of Music in the Romantic Era
Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century
Special Topics in Music (approved topic only; also eligible as music theory, approved topic only)
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Seminar in Musicology
Seminar in Ethnomusicology
Seminar in Notation
Eligible music theory courses include: 2
Renaissance Polyphony
Baroque Counterpoint
Form and Analysis
Form and Analysis II
Orchestration I
Jazz Improvisation
Historical Music Theories 1 (also eligible as a musicology course)
Historical Music Theories 2 (also eligible as a musicology course)
Schenkerian Analysis
Post-tonal Analysis
Current Issues in Musical Thought 1
Topics in Music Analysis 1
Topics in Music Analysis 2
Seminar in Composition
Final Project2-4
Independent Reading
Courses approved by advisor
Total Credits30-32

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

No more than 6 credits may be approved for graduate coursework taken at other institutions.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

The Graduate School allows departments to review requests to count up to 7 credits of undergraduate work at UW–Madison toward graduate program requirements, but this is rarely approved by the Mead Witter School of Music faculty.

UW–Madison University Special

Some students may have completed coursework at 300-level or above at UW–Madison as a Special Student; with program approval coursework so taken may be considered to fulfill up to 6 credits of graduate program requirements. However, the Graduate School mandates that fees be paid in these cases.


M.M. students who fail to make satisfactory progress in any of the four following areas: grades, course load, time constraints, or exams, will be notified in writing by the DGS. At the end of the second semester of failing to make satisfactory progress the student is placed on probation effective the next semester. This action suspends financial aid (but does not affect loans or work-study). See details at the Satisfactory Progress for Masters Students.


All programs provide for faculty from several disciplines to follow the student’s progress through the degree, provide mentorship along the way, and assess the student’s success in reaching expected learning outcomes. Committee structures differ among degrees and majors.

Music education students have a committee of three or more graduate faculty, including the major professor.

The principal advisor for most graduate students in the Mead Witter School of Music is generally referred to as the major professor. In all programs the major professor is determined with the student's particular interests in mind.

The director of graduate studies is also an advisor for all graduate students in Mead Witter School of Music programs. Students are expected to consult with the director of graduate studies at least once per semester to determine appropriate course plans. Consultation is mandatory in the semester before intended graduation.


15 credits

Time Constraints

M.M. and M.A. students not receiving university funding are expected to complete requirements and pass comprehensive examinations within seven years from the time of enrollment in the program. While graduate students may enroll on a part-time basis, this time constraint still applies.

All M.M. and M.A. students holding teaching assistant, project assistant, or fellowship appointments must complete requirements for the degree within four semesters (not counting summer sessions or thesis credits). If the appointment is more than 33.4% the expectation is to complete requirements in the sixth semester.

grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Communicates clearly in multiple modes, including written and verbal, a well-developed foundational understanding, scholarly and practically, of the field of music education as it currently exists.
  2. Demonstrates understanding of music education from multiple perspectives, including but not limited to social, cultural, historical and musical perspectives.
  3. Draws upon extensive understandings of music learning and teaching as socially situated and constructed in multiple ways, honoring human difference as a rich source of information and demonstrates this in coursework and final projects.
  4. Understands and applies principles of ethical and professional conduct.
  5. Respects colleagues and values contributions of others in both individual and collaborative endeavors.

Faculty: Professors Cook (director), Blasius, Calderón, Chisholm, Crook, DiSanza, Dill, Doing, Fischer, Fulmer, Hetzler, Hyer, Johnson, Karp, Koza, Leckrone, Perry, Rowe, Schaffer, Schwendinger, Stowe, Swack, B. Taylor, C. Taylor, Teeple, Thimmig, Vardi, Vallon; Associate Professors Dobbs, Grabois, Wallmann; Assistant Professors Altino, Lee, Ronis

The faculty of the Mead Witter School of Music is a distinguished group of educators, performing musicians, and active scholars. The backgrounds of performance faculty include rich experiences as professional musicians, researchers, recording artists, and entrepreneurs. Faculty in music education have particular insight into their field as a result of their backgrounds as school educators, performers, and scholars. In areas such as music theory and musicology, the musical community has high regard for the past and current contributions to the study of musical theory, historical perspectives on music, the role of music in societies around the world, and the unique contributions of American musicians. Teaching is a priority for the faculty, who are readily accessible to students for advice and support. Faculty, staff, and students cooperate in extraordinary ways with joint ventures that reach across disciplines both in research or instruction. 


National Association of Schools of Music

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2022–2023