sheet of music paper

mAster of arts in music

This flexible graduate program with a 100% online option aims to equip musicians to practice their discipline in an increasingly digital and intersectional world. 

Building on the legacy of Wesleyan’s long-standing excellence in music education, this trail-blazing graduate music program is the only one in Georgia and the Southeast. 

Highlights of this innovative, flexible master of arts program
  • 100% online option
  • 32 credit hour program
  • Open to male and female students
  • All core seminar-style courses delivered online
  • Ensemble, applied lessons and internship options can be in-person or online (as chosen by student)
  • Concentrations in performance (voice, organ, piano, collaborative piano, choral conducting) and composition

The Master of Arts in Music features include
  • Integrated technology components throughout curriculum and assignments
  • No residency requirement 
  • No pre-requisites for course work 
  • Flexible scheduling (8-week split terms) as full-time or part-time student
  • First program of its kind in Georgia and Southeast with these concentrations 
  • Builds upon Wesleyan’s legacy in music from Wesleyan Conservatory

Now Accepting Applications for August Enrollment.

For more information contact us:

Frequently Asked Questions
Is the program still pending SACS (or other) approval, or has it been through all required approval processes?

Our program was officially approved by SACSCOC on February 26, 2021. 

How would you describe the difference(s) between a Master Art of in Music degree (M.A.) and a Master of Music (M.M.) degree?

The M.A. is a more flexible and well-rounded degree than the M.M. Courses such as the video and technology course, pedagogy course, music philosophy course, and internship/practicum course are examples of our coursework that aim to get musicians ready for a more flexible career in music (especially post-pandemic, where just being an excellent performer may not be enough). The common notion that standards for performance are not as high in the M.A. as what would be expected of an M.M. is over-generalized. In reality, the potential for a high level of performance is just as good with an M.A. - we believe that level depends more on the individual than the title of the program. (For example, Wesleyan offers the undergraduate bachelor of arts degree in music, which has a counterpart in the bachelor of music. In recent years, our graduates have gone on to graduate study at prestigious institutions including Peabody, James Madison University, U-Penn, Indiana University, UNC, UCLA, Southern Methodist University, Columbia, Berklee, among others, and have been very successful).

How will the online courses work? Will they be synchronous or asynchronous?

Our online courses follow a documented nationwide "best-practice" standard for online learning - they are mostly asynchronous with a weekly synchronous meeting that is also recorded so that those who cannot attend can still watch the video.  

How does the "eight-week split-term" work? 

Each Fall and Spring semester will be divided into two, eight-week split terms according to the yearly academic schedule set by our registrar. There is one additional eight-week split term available in the summer where students can take individualized courses such as applied lessons, ensembles, and internships. 

What would be a full-time student load for a term?

Full-time at the graduate level is defined as six or more credits per semester. If you're trying to finish in the typical two years for a master’s degree, that would mean taking about eight credits per semester (see sample schedule above) to reach 32 credits in four semesters. Theoretically one could do the whole program very intensively in as little as 12 months. One of the great advantages of Wesleyan’s program is that we have a flat per-credit tuition rate, so the cost of the overall program doesn't change, regardless of how much time you need to finish the program. 

How are courses expected to be scheduled? (Would they be primarily evening hours or daytime hours?)

Most of the online courses would be asynchronous, with the weekly one-hour synchronous schedule up to the discretion of the instructor and students. Usually the instructor will survey all the students in the class and try to find a time that fits the most people (usually a weeknight in the evening). For students who choose the in-person options on campus, the scheduling will be arranged between the applied teacher/ensemble/ internship supervisor and the student.

Is it possible to transfer graduate hours from another institution? If so, what is the limit on the number of hours that can be transferred?

We will consider transferring in credits on a case-by-case basis. The registrar and graduate program director would review your graduate transcript from another institution, carry out an equivalency analysis, and make a decision about which credits would carry over. If you have attended another graduate program in music where you would like to transfer in credits, please send us a transcript as part of the application.  

Are pieces required to be memorized for the audition?

We do not require memorization for the audition. It's generally expected for piano and vocal solo performances, but it's not mandatory. Many wonderful musicians and top performers around the world do not perform from memory, and we want to give our students the freedom to foster expressive communication with the audience without feeling restricted by memorization anxiety, if they choose. 

Is there an application deadline, or is it a rolling admissions process?

We would like to have your application at least three months before the term you would like to start.  


Goals for Student Outcomes

The MA in Music program at Wesleyan College aims to equip musicians to practice their discipline in an increasingly digital and intersectional world. In keeping with the liberal arts tradition of the MA degree, this program will teach students to adapt to a quickly changing professional landscape, think critically and creatively about music, and develop practical skills in collaboration, teaching and technology use. The program is designed to allow students maximum flexibility due to the mix of online and in-person options offered, up to 100% online.  Students may enter the program in fall, spring or summer semester and take courses full- or part-time to complete the 32 hours. Though a standard two-year plan is shown above, students may be able to complete the degree in as little as one year, or take longer as needed. Furthermore, individually scheduled courses (such as Collaborative Musicianship, Applied Lessons, Internship, and Thesis) may be completed in an 8-week Summer Term

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Music program will be equipped to:
  1. Make artistic and intellectual judgments about music and its roles in various contexts
  2. Demonstrate professional level of competence for music instruction
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the relationship of music to the liberal arts and the place of music in a larger social-historical context
  4. Collaborate effectively with other musicians
  5. Integrate technical performance skills and musical understanding in chosen area of specialization
  6. Use technology effectively as tools in learning, creating and teaching within the field of music

learn from our top educators

Program courses are taught by our experienced, seasoned faculty members with global business experience. The program's small class size allows you to form strong relations with your professors and take full advantage of their expertise and wealth of knowledge.


Complete the FREE application here.

  • Applicants must provide the following:
  • Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree in music from an institution of higher education accredited by an institutional accreditor, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4-point scale. Students from universities outside of the United States must demonstrate U.S. Bachelor’s Degree equivalency (see International section below).
  • Students who have not majored in music in their undergraduate degree must take and pass a Music Theory and Music History Entrance Exam administered by the Wesleyan College Music Department.
  • Auditions are required for candidates seeking a Performance Concentration (Voice, Organ, Piano, Collaborative Piano, Choral Conducting). The auditions may be live or via video, with a 15-minute minimum length--works presented may be in any style and should demonstrate a skill level that is comparable to an undergraduate music major for the chosen concentration. A portfolio of works is required for candidates seeking a Composition Concentration--works may be presented in any style or format.
International students:

If your college or university is outside of the United States. We require an official copy of your transcripts translated into English, along with a course-by-course evaluation from a recommended agency or comparable accreditation agency. Agencies recommended by Wesleyan College:

English Language Proficiency: International students where English is not the official language you must take one of the tests below:

  • TOEFL iBT 80 (Internet based) – no less than 20 on any single section Wesleyan's identification code for the TOEFL 5895
  • IELTS 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each section
  • Duolingo English Test and score a minimum of 100

*Students meeting a score of 5.5 on the IELTS, 75 on TOEFL or 90 on Duolingo may be provisionally accepted into the M.A. Music program and take one-credit courses offered in the program (Applied Lessons, Collaborative Musicianship, and Practicum). They will be given a three-month window from the date of initial matriculation to improve their English scores, either through independent study or available English language courses. Costs for English language courses are not included in tuition and must be borne by the applicant. Full acceptance to the program will be granted after the applicant has fulfilled minimum English requirements. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Program Curriculum
MUS 500 Research Methods (2 hours)

Students will examine the nature and relevant methodologies of research in the 21st century, as they relate to the field of music. Traditional musical reference and research materials will be covered, along with more innovative and contemporary methodologies. 

MUS 510 Analytical Techniques (3 hours)

This course covers advanced harmonic and structural analyses in various periods of Western music, from antiquity to the contemporary era. Emphasis will be placed upon analysis as a tool to lead to more insightful, informed, and effective practices in performance and/or teaching.

MUS 520: Technology and Video for Musicians (3 hours)

Literacy in video and technology is increasingly becoming a ubiquitous skill in every industry of modern society, and Music is no exception. This course teaches students to use various general and music-specific technologies and apply them to performance and teaching. Students will also learn the intricate processes involved in capturing, editing, and producing effective videos. 

MUP 541, 542, 543, 544 Collaborative Musicianship (1 hour each, 4 credits total)

Under the guidance of faculty, students will learn to collaborate with others in a musical setting and present a final product or performance of their collaborations. Students may choose an in-person or online option for this course. To that end, students will have the opportunity to design a custom project based on active musical collaboration with others. 

MUS 600 Music Pedagogy Seminar (3 hours)

Students will examine the nature and relevant methodologies of teaching and learning in the 21st century, as they relate to the field of music. Traditional teaching materials, method books and supplemental materials will be covered, along with more innovative and contemporary methodologies. Emphasis on observation and evaluation of live teaching done by students will be an important component. Content will be tailored to each student’s concentration.

MUS 610: Philosophy of Music (3 hours)

In this course, students will explore several key existential questions related to Music: What is it? Why does it exist? Why does it matter? Students will discuss how humans function and interact with music, and address the value of music as it relates to various historical contexts and stylistic genres.  

MUP 501, 502, 601, Applied Lessons in Primary Instrument, Composition or Conducting (2 hours each, 6 credits total)

In this course, students will have intensive, one-on-one meetings with faculty to explore advanced artistic and technical topics through a wide range of repertoire. Students may choose an in-person or online option for this course. In collaboration with faculty, students will have the opportunity to design custom learning goals and present a final product or performance of their efforts at the end of the course. 

MUS 620 Advanced Literature Seminar (3 hours)

In the course, students will explore and examine significant works of music literature relevant to their chosen concentration. In addition to a survey of standard repertoire, innovative styles and genres may also be covered. Students will learn to discuss and evaluate literature and repertoire for teaching and performance purposes. Content may vary according to the performance area studied. 

MUS 630: Practicum/Internship (1 hour)

This course will give students an opportunity to explore professional and real-life training in a music-related field outside of academic coursework. Under the guidance of faculty, students will be able to select appropriate experience(s) or projects to fulfill this requirement and participate in active reflection during and after the experience.  

MUP 640: Master’s Thesis/Recital- (3 hours)

This course represents the culminating, capstone project in the M.A. program. Students will prepare and present their work in a final performance or product. As part of the project, students will be expected to integrate and demonstrate advanced musical, artistic, and/or technical skills that they have learned as part of the program.  

Tuition and Fees

Program Costs:

  • $650 per credit hour. 32 credit hour program over 14 months. Textbooks included. 

Please contact us for more information about our graduate programs:

Additional specific costs may be considered as an adjacent to cost of attendance, for more information contact the Financial Aid Office at or (478) 757-5205. 


Request More Information

Nadine Cheek
Mildred Heyward Professor of Music (478) 757-5127 Profile
Chenny Q. Gan
M.A. Program Director, Associate Professor of Music (478) 757-5147 Profile
Faculty member Ellen Hanson sits at her piano in her office
Ellen Hanson '83
Instructor of Music
Michael McGhee
Associate Professor of Music, Music Dept. Chair (478) 757-2433 Profile

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