UCF Music Department

Master of Arts in Music

The curriculum is designed with the flexibility to allow each student, in consultation with an advisor, to develop a program that fits the needs and interests of individual students. The program can accommodate interests in music education, performance, composition, jazz studies, conducting, music history, and more. The course schedule is designed to accommodate the needs of working professionals, with many graduate courses scheduled in late afternoons or evenings. Students may study full-time (9 credit hours per semester) or part-time.

Students are attracted to the UCF Master of Arts in Music program for a variety of reasons, such as to increase their skills in their primary area, add training for a secondary area, and to learn more about their craft. The higher credential may allow for a pay raise, qualification for certain teaching positions, or to prepare for application to doctoral programs.

UCF Catalog Entry


For audition confirmation and application status, contact:
John Parker, Audition Coordinator

For further degree information, contact:
Dr. Keith Koons, Graduate Coordinator


The Music MA degree is 30 credit hours (34 for the Thesis option). Core courses offer a traditional foundation in music theory and music history:

  • Bibliography and Research Methods
  • Music History Seminar
  • Techniques and Concepts of Musical Analysis

Beyond these core courses, different electives may be chosen to reflect the interests of each student.

A cumulative experience is required; this can be the Graduate Project, the Graduate Recital, or a Thesis. The Thesis option increases the total credits from 30 to 34.

For more information about program requirements and university graduate policies, consult the UCF Graduate Catalog – Music M.A.

Graduate Theory Diagnostic Test

Music MA students are required to take the Graduate Theory Diagnostic Test at the beginning of their first semester. The purpose of this exam is to confirm that the student is properly prepared for music theory study at the graduate level. Please click here for further information and preparation information: UCF Graduate Theory Diagnostic Test


The Master of Arts in Music is structured to meet all accreditation standards by the National Association of Schools of Music, of which the UCF Music Department is a fully accredited member.

A complete application file contains the following:


Online application for the Music Master of Arts degree through the UCF College of Graduate Studies, please click here: UCF Graduate Application

As part of the UCF Graduate Studies application, you will be presented with one of four ways to be considered for acceptance by the Music Faculty — audition, submit a portfolio, submit a recording, or be interviewed:

  • Instrument/Voice Auditions are preferred, but audio or video recordings are also acceptable for performance candidates. For auditions, you request your preferred date on the form. Check the Admission Audition Requirements webpage for specific requirements on individual instrumental and voice types. Please click here: Admission Audition Requirements
  • Portfolios are most appropriate for composition applicants.
  • Demonstration Recordings are appropriate for conducting candidates.
  • Interviews are appropriate for other areas.


Two letters of recommendation. These may be submitted online through the Graduate Studies application, or sent directly to the Music Department.


All college level transcripts, submitted to the Graduate Admissions office.


A writing sample of 1000 words. It must be a scholarly or academic essay of at least 1,000 words (about 4-5 double-spaced pages) on some topic in music or music education written in formal prose (as if for submission in a music history or theory class for a grade). You may submit a paper that you used for a previous course, but please note this is NOT an essay about why you like music or why you want to go to graduate school. Essays on any era or style, and popular or non-Western music are acceptable. The paper should state a thesis, provide supporting evidence for the thesis and lead to a conclusion. Ideally the paper should make use of various sorts of reliable information, which you cite through some form of footnotes, endnotes, or inline citations, and which are then listed in a bibliography after the body of the text.


Achievement as shown on the audition, recording, portfolio or interview.


Graduate student funding may come in the form of fellowships, assistantships, or student loans. For the best consideration for funding, applicants are urged to apply early; the Priority Deadline for Fall semester admission is January 15. For detailed information, please see this website for the College of Graduate Studies.

Assistantships in the Music Department

A limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantship positions normally become open for the fall semester each year. Some of the positions are targeted toward specific areas of need (such as concert support and recording, marching band or class piano), and others are more general (such as assisting with large lecture classes). In return for work in the department assisting with courses, GTA students receive a waiver for the tuition portion of 9 credit hours each semester, health insurance, and a cash stipend. Normally, students will be supported for four semesters, if the work and academic achievement is satisfactory.

All prospective students are encouraged to apply using the department's Graduate Teaching Assistantship Form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you describe the Master of Arts in Music program?

    The Master of Arts in Music is a post-baccalaureate degree, consisting of 30-34 credit hours. The philosophy of this program is to provide graduate students with the advanced education, skills, and credentials to enhance their professional abilities and opportunities. Area music educators need and seek advanced study in music content areas to improve their teaching skills; area professional musicians often do not have graduate degrees and need them for career advancement; students graduating with bachelor's degree from UCF and other schools often wish to continue or begin their study in the Orlando area in order to take advantage of the many employment opportunities in music in central Florida. This program is designed to address this demand.

  • How is the Master of Arts in Music different from a Master of Music degree?

    The M.A. in Music allows more flexibility in the curriculum and in structuring specialty areas as needed than the M.M.

  • I have a job that I don’t want to quit. Can I work on the M.A part-time or in the summer?

    Yes. The course offering schedule will accommodate full-time professionals by offering evening courses during the academic year plus limited courses in the summer. Full-time study is considered to be nine credit hours per semester, but students may study part-time, taking as many courses as their schedule permits.

  • Can I major in a specific area, such as performance or music education?

    The degree does not have specific "tracks," but it has flexibility to allow students to focus on specific areas of interest, such as performance, conducting, music education, composition, and more.

  • Does the UCF Music Department ever plan to offer a Master of Music degree?

    The Music Department may consider a Master of Music in the future. However, the Master of Arts in Music has the flexibility to allow students to focus on their areas of interest.

  • What are the deadlines for admission?

    Application deadlines can be found on the UCF Graduate Catalog entry for Music M.A.

  • Where can I get more information about graduate studies at UCF?

    The UCF College of Graduate Studies website.

  • How is the curriculum structured?

    The UCF M.A. in Music is construed by our accreditation agency, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), as a general master's degree, to provide additional study and training in music to individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in music or the equivalent. The general nature of this degree will allow students to pursue a variety of interests within music, such as performance, conducting, jazz studies, music education, or composition. The curriculum consists of 30-34 credit hours in three components:

    • Required Core Music Courses: consisting of a research methods course, advanced courses in music history and music theory, a minimum number of credits in performance (ensembles or applied music lessons), and a cumulative experience (either a Graduate Recital, Graduate Project, or Thesis)(13-17 hours).
    • Other Studies in Music: course selections in this area will be in a cognate or area of emphasis with approval by program advisor; e.g., Performance, Conducting, Composition, Music History, Music Theory, Music Education, Jazz Studies, etc. (9 hours).
    • Elective Studies in Supportive Areas: Graduate level music courses or non-music courses selected by the student in consultation with the advisor (8 hours).
  • Are courses offered online?

    The department offers a limited number of online courses in the M.A. in Music.

Quartet Director

Ayako Yonetani
Violin and viola
Faculty bio

String Quartet
Graduate Assistantship

A new program at the University of Central Florida

UCF's new graduate string quartet program will launch in the fall of 2019. The string quartet graduate assistantship is a two-year program. The curriculum emphasizes intensive work with world-class faculty through lessons, coachings, and offers an array of performance opportunities in chamber music concerts and large ensemble including the Orlando Philharmonic.

String assistantship positions will be open for violin, viola and cello and include full tuition plus a stipend.

The quartet program will be led by world-renowned violinist Ayako Yonetani, a professor at UCF and a member of Japan's premier chamber ensemble, Kioi Hall Chamber Orchestra.

Application must be submitted by February 15, 2019 for domestic students. International students must apply by January 15, 2019.

Application Checklist

  1. Submit your audition on AcceptD
    1. Under Start an Application, select Degree Program and Graduate String Quartet.
    2. You will need to submit an audition video and a one page document of your music background. Click through to AcceptD for details.
    3. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019. International students must apply by January 15, 2019.
  2. Invitations for live auditions will be sent by February 15, 2019.
  3. For those invited for live auditions, submit your graduate application to the University of Central Florida.

If you do not hear back about a live audition by February 15, 2019, please contact Ayako Yonetani.

Music Department • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
Phone: 407-823-2869 Fax: 407-823-3378 • E-mail: ucfmusic@ucf.edu