in person


MA in Music

With CGU’s Master of Arts in Music, you will develop the necessary tools, knowledge, and experience to pursue a serious career in professional music.

Our program strikes a critical balance between music performance and scholarship, examining music in its interdisciplinary, cultural, and intellectual contexts while providing a mastery of the theory and practice of performance. Faculty includes highly trained performers and musical scholars whose diverse interests range across musicology, performance, and composition. They bring their passion for music and scholarship into the classroom and serve as invaluable mentors. Under their guidance, you’ll join a long list of accomplished graduates who have gone on to careers as college and university professors, members of professional ensembles, music directors in churches, and solo performing artists.

Program Highlights
  • The Music Department puts on an array of concerts that offer ample performance opportunities.
  • Studio faculty are drawn from the Claremont Colleges and the outstanding pool of musicians in the greater Los Angeles area.
  • CGU is home to the highly respected music journal Performance Practice Review.
  • Historical performance practice programs connect you with period instruments that include three harpsichords, a fortepiano, a chamber organ, and various stringed instruments.

Program At-a-glance

  • 36 units

    required units

  • MA in Music

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Spring, Fall

    program start

  • 2 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Areas of Concentration

  • Historical Performance Practices

  • Performance

  • Musicology

Request info Apply now

Gigi Audoma

Director of Recruitment for the School of Arts & Humanities


Where You Can Find Our Alumni


  • Portrait of Robert Zappulla

    Robert Zappulla

    Professor of Music
    Fred W. Smith and Grace Hobson Smith Chair in Music
    Chair, Department of Music

    Research Interests

    Harpsichord, Historical performance practices, Baroque music

  • Portrait of Peter Boyer

    Peter Boyer

    Professor of Music
    Helen M. Smith Chair in Music

    Research Interests

    Composition, Conducting, American film music, 20th- and 21st-Century music, American composers

  • Jenny-Soonjin Kim

    Jenny Soonjin Kim

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Research Interests

    Piano, Fortepiano, 18th & 19th-century performance practices, 20th century atonal piano compositions, digital keyboard laboratory, the board of directors of Los Angeles Master Chorale: Education Committee and Gala Host Committee

Extended Faculty

  • William Alves

    Harvey Mudd College

    Research Interests

    Traditional music around the world, Indonesian gamelan; computer music; abstract animation and visual music; and alternate tuning systems

  • Holly Gardinier

    The Claremont Colleges Library

    Research Interests

    Information literacy, Research strategies

  • C. Joti Rockwell

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Music theory and analysis, 20th-century American popular music, Mathematical models of music


Program Requirements

Qualifying Examinations
All music students are required to take written and oral qualifying examinations at regularly scheduled, posted times during the academic year.

Participation and Attendance
All students are encouraged to take part in the performance groups of the Claremont Colleges.

Language and Research Tool Requirements
You can satisfy the research tools requirement by qualifying in:

  • One language – MA in musicology, composition, or instrumental performance
  • Two languages – MA in voice or choral conducting, DMA, and PhD
  • A good reading knowledge of the chosen language(s) with special regard to writings on musical subjects (German, French, or Italian if MA; German and either French, Italian, or Latin if PhD; any two of the four if DMA)

You can fulfill the language tool requirement by demonstrating competency at translating an approved language into English.

Recitals and Projects
All recitals and projects must be approved by the Music Department.

Capstone Project
For those who write music, the culmination of their CGU music education is the opportunity to present an original composition. Though there is no strictly prescribed form, in most cases, work will involve orchestra or large ensemble (soloists, choral forces, or electronics as additional components are possibilities). Whether you write and perform a symphony or concerto, it’s the best way to test and establish your musical vision.

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 3
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Other Requirements Audition, English proficiency exam

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Application Checklist

Cost & Aid

Program 34-38 units
Tuition per unit* $2,020

*Based on 2023-2024 tuition rates.


$245 Student Fee
$150 Technology Fee
International Student Services Fee*: $661 fall semester, $776 spring semester
**Applies to all international students (F-1 visa only) who are registered in coursework, doctoral study, or continuous registration. The fee is assessed each fall and spring semester for annual ISO accident and sickness plans and administrative fees. Subject to change.

For estimates of room & board, books, etc., please download CGU’s Cost of Attendance 2022-2023 .

Review General Costs

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