Graduate Studies

The Master of Music in Music Education degree is designed for the teacher who desires to continue developing musicianship skills, develop deeper into the foundations of music education, and focus on areas of teaching. In addition to foundational graduate courses, specific Music Education courses may be taken according to the student’s area of expertise and teaching. Completion of this degree program will give students the knowledge and skills necessary to become educational leaders in elementary or secondary schools or to continue study in leading doctoral programs throughout the country.

Master of Music Education Degree with emphases in • Elementary School Music Education • Secondary School Music Education (choral, instrumental, general) • Junior College Music Education (choral, instrumental, general) • Comprehensive Music Education (combined, integrated areas of study)

Admission requires a music degree and an audition. Diagnostic tests in music education, music theory, and history will help plan your first semesters of study.

For general information on the master’s degree, contact Dr. David Ware, or Dr. Ramon Jackson Graduate Coordinator in Music.

How to apply: Master in Music

  1. Apply online to the Jackson State University Graduate School. There is a $50.00 application fee.
  2. Ask your school to send official transcripts to the JSU Graduate School. JSU will not accept transcripts that you send yourself, and they will not accept them if you send them to the music department, a music department faculty member, or the Graduate Coordinator. Your institution must send them directly to the Jackson State University Graduate School.
  3. You must have at least a 3.00 GPA on your undergraduate degree for full admission.
  4. You are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The GRE tests verbal ability, quantitative knowledge, and writing ability; it is not a music exam. For full admission, the following minimum scores are required: verbal exam, 141; quantitative exam, 142; writing exam, 3.5. Be sure to have your scores sent directly to the JSU Graduate School by the GRE.
  5. If your emphasis will be music performance or choral conducting, the GRE is not required, but you must set up an audition. Please contact the degree coordinator in your area, listed above, to set up an audition. This requirement may be waived if you received your undergraduate degree from Jackson State University Department of Music.
  6. Applicants are required to submit a writing sample. You will upload this along with your application to the Graduate School. If you have specific questions about the writing sample, please contact the graduate coordinator. Specific instructions:
    1. Applicants for the MM in Music Education are required to submit a writing sample such as a term or research paper from an undergraduate music course or a newly prepared paper on a musical topic.
  7.  Incoming instrumental and vocal students from schools other than Jackson State University are required to audition for the faculty.
  8.  Once all application requirements are fulfilled, your application review begins.

Diagnostic Exams

All incoming graduate students are required to take diagnostic exams in music history/literature and music theory. The exams are offered the week before the start of school in the fall and spring semesters and during the first days of the first summer term. Students are required to take all exams at their first enrollment. Those students who neglect to take the exams at the required time will be reclassified to conditional admission status.

Students who do not pass the music theory exam will be required to take MUS 540, Theory Review, in addition to the other music theory requirements for their degree. MUS 540 will not be counted as a theory credit.

Students who do not pass the music history exam will be required to take MUS 560, General History of Music, in addition to the other music history requirements for their degree. MUS 560 will not be counted as a history credit.

Exams are graded promptly and students are informed of the outcome quickly so that they can schedule classes accordingly. A record of the exam grade and additional course requirements are kept in the student’s file.


Please contact Dr. David Ware or Dr. Ramon Jackson with any specific questions about graduate programs or requirements.

Graduate Assistantships

In addition to scholarships, the Jackson State University Department of Music offers assistantships to graduate students.

Generally, assistantships pay $ per nine-month school year, waive the out-of-state tuition portion, and waive 75% of the in-state tuition portion. Assistantship assignments are based on your interests and strengths and the needs of the department. You must apply for an assistantship to be considered.

To apply:

  1. Download and complete the application form: Jackson State University Graduate Assistantship Application form
  2. Email the completed application and three letters of recommendation to Dr. David Ware or Dr. Ramon Jackson
  3. Applications submitted by April 1st will receive priority consideration. After April 1st, assistantships will be awarded only if positions are still available.