Master of Music (MM) in Conducting

The Master of Music in Conducting program at Boston University combines rigorous study of orchestral and choral conducting techniques and literature with related work in performance, music theory, and musicology in a vibrant and intimate setting, all within a major research university. MM candidates will join a diverse community of scholar-performers led by a renowned faculty. In addition, the School of Music has significant initiatives in early music and new music, with active centers dedicated to their pursuit. The rich intellectual and artistic environment of Boston provides many further opportunities for amateur and professional collaborations.

General Degree Requirements

The MM degree is granted upon successful completion of a program of study and terminal projects appropriate to the student’s field of specialization. Students must complete a minimum of 32 semester credits with grades no lower than B- in graduate-level coursework. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of the date of matriculation. Students may also be required to take prerequisite courses based on the result of the required proficiency examinations.

Proficiency Examinations

All entering Master of Music students are required to take proficiency examinations in music theory and music history. These examinations are given online before the start of classes. Accepted students are notified of the exam dates and contents in advance and are responsible for taking them by the specified deadline. Exam results are used for advisement and may establish prerequisite or required coursework. Material covered in these examinations is commonly presented in most undergraduate degree programs in music.

Students with insufficient background in music theory and/or music history may be required to take the appropriate review courses, which may earn elective credit.  Descriptions of these courses appear in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.

Orchestral Conducting Program Outline

Conducting Seminars:
• 4 semesters/Orchestral 8 cr
• 1 semester/Choral 2 cr
Orchestration 3 cr
Analytical Techniques 4 cr
Music Research Techniques 2 cr
Musicology 6 cr
Directed Study in Conducting 3 cr
Approved Music Electives 4 cr
Total 32 cr

Choral Conducting Program Outline

Program of Study

Conducting Seminars:
• 4 semesters/Choral 8 cr
• 1 semester/Orchestral 2 cr
Choral Literature (2 semesters) 4 cr
Analytical Techniques 6 cr
Music Research Techniques 2 cr
Musicology 6 cr
Directed Study in Conducting 3 cr
Approved Music Electives 1 cr
Total 32 cr

Terminal Projects

Each candidate in orchestral or choral conducting will present one conducting recital.

Master of Music Comprehensive Review for Orchestral and Choral Conducting

A satisfactory comprehensive review or examination is required for graduation. The faculty in each major area determines standards for this review and its format, and conducts the evaluation. In each case, the comprehensive review concentrates on the major area and other related fields. Unsatisfactory performance on this review may require remedial work and/or a repetition of the review after counseling with the student’s advisor. Descriptions of the departmental comprehensive reviews or examinations are found in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.