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 a proficiency examination in the area of music theory. The examination is administered online before the start of classes. Incoming students are notified of the exam dates and contents in advance and are responsible for taking it by the specified deadline. Exam results are used for purposes of advisement and may establish prerequisite or required coursework. Material covered in this examination is commonly presented in most undergraduate degree programs in music.

Students with insufficient background may be required to take review courses as appropriate. 

Orchestral Conducting Program Outline

Conducting Seminars:
• MP 690 4 semesters/Orchestral 8 cr
• MP 691–94 1 semester/Choral 2 cr
MT 630–32 Orchestration 3 cr
MT 601–02, 761–62, 765, 771 Analytical Techniques 4 cr
MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
Musicology 6 cr
MP 929 Directed Study in Conducting 3 cr
Graduate Music Electives 4 cr
Total 32 cr

Choral Conducting Program Outline

Program of Study

Conducting Seminars:
• MP 691–94 4 semesters/Choral 8 cr
• MP 690 1 semester/Orchestral 2 cr
MP 791–92 Choral Repertory (2 semesters) 4 cr
MT 601–02, 761–62, 765, 771 Analytical Techniques 6 cr
MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
Musicology 6 cr
MP 929 Directed Study in Conducting 3 cr
Graduate 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.