2020-21 Catalogs

MM in Jazz Studies

Program Advisor: Christopher OberholtzerChris.Oberholtzer@maine.edu

Requires a minimum of 30 credit hoursCredits
     MUS 510 Bibliography and Research in Music3
     MUH 520 Seminar in Music History3
     MUT 530 Seminar in Music Theory3
     MUP 603 Applied Music (jazz studies)9
     MUP 690 Recital0
     MUS 506 Chamber Music (jazz)1
     MUS 507 Jazz Ensemble1
     MUS 682 Chamber Jazz Ensemble Evolution and Analysis2
     MUS 683 Large Jazz Ensemble Evolution and Analysis2
     Electives–Any MUH, MUS, MUP, MUT or MUE 500 or 600 level courses6

Nine credits of applied music in jazz studies (three 3-credit courses) will be scheduled as private lessons. These studies will be supplemented with two semesters of performance in a chamber jazz ensemble and two semesters of performance in a large jazz ensemble.


Jazz Studies majors must present one recital for completion of their degree program.  The recital will be comprised of no less than sixty (60) minutes of repertoire which features the candidate as a soloist.  The ensemble and the repertoire must be approved by the program advisor and/or the private instructor.

Information for Matriculated Students

Graduate Competency Exams

All incoming School of Music graduate students must pass a competency exam in music theory/ear training prior to enrollment in MUS 530, Seminar in Music Theory. This exam will be graded pass/fail and may be taken no more than three times. Students unable to pass after three attempts must withdraw from the program.

Special Requirements and Standards

All music graduate programs must be completed within six years from the date of matriculation.

Students must maintain a B average in all coursework and must have no grade lower than B-. Students who receive grades lower than B- will be reviewed for retention in the graduate program. Students are required to take jury examinations in each semester of applied music enrollment until the recital is successfully completed.

Each program requires that students demonstrate mastery in their primary area of study. Jazz students meet this requirement through the presentation of a recital. Consult the individual requirements below for more details.

The following conditions will apply to all recitals:

  • Required recitals must be performed after successful completion of the comprehensive exams.
  • Grading of the recital will be by a committee of at least two jurors. The jurors will be drawn from the graduate faculty and the degree candidate's private instructor.
  • The candidate must receive a grade of B or higher on the recital. If the grade of B is not achieved, the candidate must perform another recital that contains at least 50 percent new material. If the grade of B or higher is not achieved at this recital retake, the candidate must petition the faculty to remain in the degree program.
Transfer credit

Six graduate credits may be transferred to USM from another NASM-accredited college or university.

Admissions credit

Additionally no more than six graduate credits for work earned at USM in the five years prior to matriculation may be credited to the master's degree.


A one-year residency is required for jazz studies.

Exit Requirements

In addition to the required degree recital, candidates will be required to complete a written examination in which they will be prepared to discuss topics and answer questions in their field. The exit examination will be scheduled through the appropriate full-time faculty member.