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. Its performing 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.

Degrees and Majors

The master of arts in music is offered with concentrations in the two areas of historical musicology and music theory.

A double master's degree with the Information School is also offered.

Each master's degree pathway varies slightly and may impose additional requirements. Details on the degrees are available through the Requirements tab. Contact the Mead Witter School of Music graduate office, gradadmissions@music.wisc.edu, for further information about the M.A. degree. 

The M.A.–music degree offers tracks in historical musicology and music theory. The appropriate faculty area appoints an advisor for each new student the first semester of enrollment. When the time comes for comprehensive examinations in the second year, an examination committee is formed. Upon completing the thesis, the student sits for an oral examination by the examination committee, consisting of members of the area faculty.

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 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.

Facilities

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.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 1
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) 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 (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency). 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.A. applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores and samples of research writing. The M.A. 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 Mead Witter 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 Graduate School 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 or business entities.

Most M.A. and Ph.D. students are eligible for teaching assistant appointments in the respective area, provided that positions are available. All M.A. and Ph.D. 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, gradadmissions.music.wisc.edu.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

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

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

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

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.25 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Grades below B cannot count toward program credit.

Mead Witter School of Music financial awards are suspended if a student is on probation for more than one semester.

A student’s satisfactory progress is also in jeopardy should a major recital be judged incomplete or deficient. Failure of one or more parts of the comprehensive examinations is also considered a lapse in satisfactory progress.
Assessments and Examinations In addition to evaluations in individual classes, Mead Witter School of Music programs examine graduate students at defined points in their career.

For the MA, comprehensive examinations measure the candidate’s range of musical knowledge in the field.
Language Requirements The Historical Musicology curricular path requires German. See details below.

Required COURSES

Direct any questions about the coursework or required proficiencies to the Mead Witter School of Music graduate admissions office, gradadmissions@music.wisc.edu

Historical Musicology Pathway1

Entering students will take a short diagnostic examination in music history during the first week of classes to be used for advising purposes only.
Coursework in Musicology9
Choose from the following courses:
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
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Historical Music Theories 1
Historical Music Theories 2
Musicology Seminars (two required)6
Seminar in Musicology
Seminar in Notation
Ethomusicology–choose from the following:3
Musical Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
Proseminar in Ethnomusicology
Ethnographic Methods for Music and Sound
Other required courses
MUSIC/​L I S  619 Music Research Methods and Materials3
Theory Proficiency3
Satisfied by completion of one graduate-level course taught by music theory faculty. Theory credits may count toward electives. 2
Thesis
The following courses may fulfill this requirement: 2
MUSIC 990 Masters Thesis (consult advisor for details)2
Electives (numbered 300 or above)4
Language Proficiency: German required
Language study may be satisfied by one of the following:
Four semesters of undergraduate study completed during the last five years, earning a grade of B or better in the last semester OR
Taking the GERMAN 391 earning a grade of B or better OR 3
Study on your own or through courses offered by the Division of Continuing Studies. After completing the online course you must pass the DCS exam at the Intermediate level. Contact the Division of Continuing studies or http://dcs.wisc.edu/lsa/languages.
Total Credits30
1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

 Other courses do not fulfill this requirement unless specifically approved by the music theory and musicology faculty.

3

Other courses do not fulfill this requirement unless specifically approved by the musicology faculty.

Music Theory Pathway1

Courses in Music Theory and Composition12
Choose from the following. The first four courses are recommended. 2
Historical Music Theories 1
Historical Music Theories 2
Schenkerian Analysis
Post-tonal Analysis
Renaissance Polyphony
Baroque Counterpoint
Form and Analysis
Form and Analysis II
Current Issues in Musical Thought 1
Topics in Music Analysis 1
Topics in Music Analysis 2
Seminar in Composition
Research Methods
MUSIC/​L I S  619 Music Research Methods and Materials3
Musicology and/or Literature Courses6
Choose from the following courses: 3
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
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Proseminar in Ethnomusicology
Ethnographic Methods for Music and Sound
Seminar in Musicology
Seminar in Ethnomusicology
Seminar in Notation
Thesis4
Masters Thesis
Electives5
Choose coursework in the School of Music numbered 300 or above. These may include MUSIC and MUS PERF courses.
Total Credits30
1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

Other courses do not fulfill this requirement unless specifically approved by the music theory faculty.

3

Other courses do not fulfill this requirement unless specifically approved by the musicology and music theory faculty.

 

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 program follows the Graduate School's policy for Satisfying Requirements with Coursework from Undergraduate Career at UW–Madison, but the Mead Witter School of Music faculty rarely approve these exceptions.

UW–Madison University Special

The program allows up to 6 credits of UW-Madison University Special Student credit to count. Details can be found at the Graduate School's policy for Transfer from UW–Madison University Special Student Career at UW–Madison.

ProbatioN

M.A. 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). For details see Satisfactory Progress for Master's Students.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

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. The principal advisor for most graduate students in the Mead Witter School of Music is generally referred to as the major professor.

In M.A. and Ph.D. programs the advisor may not be the eventual thesis or dissertation advisor. 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.

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

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Limits

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. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.

Other

n/a

Graduate School Resources

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

College of Letters and Science REsources

The College of Letters and Science's SuccessWorks program can assist with professional development and with identifying opportunities.

  1. Articulates and critiques the theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry in music-related scholarship.
  2. Identifies and employs a variety of sources and analytical approaches to inform discussion of topics in music.
  3. Demonstrates knowledge of musical study in historical and cultural contexts.
  4. Selects appropriate methodologies for research and discussion of musical topics.
  5. Rationally evaluates and synthesizes information from both primary sources and secondary scholarship, posing original questions and offering fresh insight into musical topics.
  6. Communicates clearly, both verbally and in writing, to colleagues in the field.
  7. Recognizes and applies principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty: Professors Cook (director), Calderón, Chisholm, Di Sanza, Dobbs, Doing, Dominguez, Fischer, Fulmer, Hetzler, Hyer, Johnson, Karp, Perry, Rowe, Schwendinger, Taylor, Teeple, Thimmig, Vallon, Wallmann; Associate Professors Butler, Farah, Grabois, Ronis; Assistant Professors Chana, Laurenz, Lee, Nelson, Sans; Marching Band Director Pompey; Teaching Faculty Curry, Gladstone, Gonzalez, Koester, Rottmayer, Wohn; Lecturers Patenaude, Wienholts.

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. 

Accreditation

National Association of Schools of Music

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