Skip to main content

Masters Programs


Application Process

Prospective graduate students in music are required to have completed the appropriate curriculum of undergraduate study in music at WVU or its equivalent at another institution of recognized standing.



Application deadline for the most advantageous consideration is March 1
To pursue admission to our graduate degree programs, the following steps should be completed as early as possible:

  1. Go to https://graduateadmissions.wvu.edu/how-to-apply and follow the instructions for applying to WVU according to your needs: as a first-time applicant, a second-degree applicant, a non-degree applicant, or an international applicant. Your application will include a $60 application fee. (You are considered a second-degree applicant if you have previously applied and attended West Virginia University for graduate school. You are considered a re-applying applicant if you previously applied but did not attend West Virginia University for graduate school.)
  2. Request official transcripts from all institutions previously attended to be sent directly to
    Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
    PO BOX 6510
    Morgantown WV  26506
  3. Submit the School of Music Application for Graduate Admission.  
    Please fill out our Graduate Application OnlinePre-screening is not required.
  4. Please email the professor of your instrument your repertoire list for your audition.
    1. Voice - Laura Knoop-Very
    2. Piano - Lucy Mauro
    3. Conducting
      1. Choral - Kym Scott
      2. Orchestral - Rotem Weinberg
      3. Band - Scott Tobias
    4. Woodwinds
      1. Nina Assimakopoulos, Flute

      2. Jeffrey Siegfried, Saxophone

      3. John Weigand, Clarinet

      4. Andy Sledge, Bassoon

      5. Cynthia Anderson, Oboe

    5. Strings
      1. Mary Grace Johnson, Violin

      2. Jonathan Epley, Guitar

      3. Christine Mazza, Harp

      4. Andrew Kohn, Double Bass

      5. Erin Ellis, Cello

      6. Andrea Priester Houde, Viola

    6. Percussion - George Willis
    7. Brass
      1. Robert Sears, Trumpet

      2. Carson McTeer, Tuba/Euphonium

      3. Hakeem Bilal, Trombone

      4. Albert Houde, Horn

    8. Applicants seeking admission as composition majors must submit representative compositions directly to Matthew Heap for evaluation and approval. 
  5. Please provide 3 letters of recommendation by forwarding this link to 3 recommenders.  Alternatively, recommenders can send a letter of recommendation on letterhead directly to the School of Music at the following email address: Music@mail.wvu.edu.

International students should follow the steps to apply for an international student and submit a completed WVU application with the mandatory application fee to the WVU Office of Graduate Admissions. International applicants should forward a letter of inquiry one year before they intend to begin study in the United States. The University receives a large number of applications from international students. For this reason and because of the time required for the student to make visa and financial arrangements, April 1 has been established as a deadline after which completed applications cannot be guaranteed for fall admission.

Results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS. Results from these exams must be sent directly to WVU by the Educational Testing Service. A minimum score of 79 is required for the current TOEFL exam; a minimum score of 6.5 is required for the current IELTS exam. Students who have taken the older paper-based TOEFL exam need a score of 550. Students who have taken the older computer-based TOEFL exam need a score of 213.

If you do not meet admission scores for the TOEFL you may be interested in the WVU Intensive English Program  


When your admissions file is complete, all applicants must schedule an audition and interview with the faculty in your area of specialization. Music Education students will schedule the audition/interview through the Music Education Faculty.

Students applying to graduate degree programs in Music Education must also:
  • Submit a current resume to the Office of Graduate Studies in Music.
  • Submit an essay describing and discussing your training, experiences, and present interests in the field of Music Education. Also, discuss your career aspirations five years from now as they relate to earning master’s (or doctoral) degree in Music Education to the Office of Graduate Studies in Music.
  • Submit a video recording of teaching, preferably a K-12 music class or rehearsal, and a lesson plan to accompany the recording. Please submit a detailed lesson plan for each class or rehearsal presented on your video of teaching. The video recording container should clearly indicate your name, instrument, and degree program for which you are applying. Recordings should have been made within the six months prior to the submission of the application. Video recordings must be of high quality. The preferable format is DVD, and the disc should clearly indicate that it is a DVD format. Applicants should review the video recording in its entirety to ensure audio, visual, and technical clarity before mailing. (This is not required if you are applying for the Master of Music, Music Education Certification option) to the Office of Graduate Studies in Music.

Any recordings or videos on disc submitted for your admissions file will be held for no more than one year. If you would like such materials to be returned to you, please provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope.


If you are interested in a Master of Arts degree (Music Business & Industry, Music Theory, or Musicology), please click here to learn more.

Audition Requirements

Have a complete resume and a prepared list of your completed repertoire in hand for examination by the Audition Committee. On this list, use asterisks to indicate those numbers that you have performed from memory. Auditions are approximately 60 minutes of performance. Live auditions are strongly recommended, but tapes or other recorded formats can be considered when travel distance poses a hardship. 


If you will be opting for a video audition or Zoom audition, please contact the instructor of your instrument to make arrangements by clicking here. (The piano area contact is listed below.)

The following repertoire guidelines are intended to be flexible and to encourage diversity of individual interests, but they also provide a sense of expected scope. Offering repertoire from all the categories listed below is not mandatory at your audition, but you should certainly choose a program that contains stylistic variety and that represents your own strengths. Works customarily performed from memory in public recitals should be performed from memory at your audition. Early in the application process potential students should contact the major teacher in their area and discuss audition repertoire possibilities.


Accompaniment (Voice Audition Only): You may bring an accompanist or WVU can provide one for you.  If you would like us to provide an accompanist, please contact Prof. Laura Knoop-Very as soon as possible by phone at (304) 293-5677 or via e-mail at laura.knoopvery@mail.wvu.eduOnly voice auditions require piano accompaniment; other auditions are performed without piano accompaniment.


Percussion Audition Requirements

Please provide the following information 2 weeks prior to the audition:
  • Full solo repertoire list
  • Full percussion ensemble repertoire list
Live audition:
  • Snare – One solo work from Delecluse 12 studies, Mitchell Peters Advanced Snare Drum Studies, or similar work should be performed. A rudimental snare drum solo is also required.
  • Marimba – Any medium or advanced four mallet contemporary solo should be performed. A movement from any of the J.S. Bach collections (violin, cello, or lute) is also required. Sight-reading will be required.
  • Timpani – Any medium to advanced solo for three or four drums. A few singing and tuning examples will be required at the audition.
  • Orchestra excerpts - 1 orchestral excerpt is required on snare, xylophone, and glockenspiel. The applicant may be asked to play crash cymbals (various dynamics) at the audition.
  • Drum set – If the applicant wishes they may display any styles in which they are comfortable on the drum set. Drum set is not required.
  • World music – If the applicant wishes they may display their skills on any world percussion instruments on which they are proficient. Applicants should contact Dr. Michael Vercelli before they arrive if they will need any world percussion instruments at the audition. The applicant may also bring their own instruments.

Piano Audition Requirements

  M.M. in Piano Performance

  • Solo piano audition repertoire:
          • A minimum of 60 minutes of solo piano music representing at least three contrasting works and styles.
          • The audition may be submitted as video links of performances within the past year. Video links through YouTube or other file-sharing sites are recommended (no passwords). Please send those to lucy.mauro@mail.wvu.edu.
          • To apply, students must complete 2 applications: one for the University and one for the School of Music.
  • Students who want to prioritize collaborative piano audition repertoire:
          • Two contrasting solo works, memorized.
          • One movement of an instrumental sonata from the standard repertoire and two contrasting art songs from the standard repertoire.
          • Sight reading may also be included.
          • The audition, including collaborative works, may be submitted as video links from performances within the past year. Video links through YouTube or other file-sharing sites are recommended (no passwords). Please send those to lucy.mauro@mail.wvu.edu.
          • To apply, students must complete 2 applications: one for the University and one for the School of Music.  Three letters of recommendation should be included. These letters should describe solo and collaborative performance as well as sight reading and music learning abilities.  Also, include a list of solo and collaborative repertoire studied and performed

  M.M. in Piano Pedagogy
          • A minimum of 45 minutes of solo piano music representing at least three contrasting works and styles.
          • The audition may be submitted as video links of performances within the past year. Video links through YouTube or other file-sharing sites are recommended (no passwords). Please send those to lucy.mauro@mail.wvu.edu.
          • To apply, students must complete 2 applications: one for the University and one for the School of Music.

Voice Audition Requirements

Applicants must offer a total of 5 selections that reflect varying styles, periods, and nationalities.

  • A minimum of 3 languages must be represented; at least one selection must be in English.
  • A minimum of 1 and maximum of 2 arias may be offered; the second may be from an oratorio, cantata, or masterwork.
  • A pianist will be provided. Please contact Karen Roethlisberger Verm at karen.verm@mail.wvu.edu with a list of your repertoire before your audition date.
  • Candidates will offer their first selection and the voice faculty will determine additional selections.


Strings Audition Requirements

Audition repertoire for the MM should include 45 minutes of performance, from which the committee will select about 30 minutes at the audition. Suggested repertoire could include a concerto, sonata, show piece, solo Bach, a contemporary piece, and standard orchestral excerpts. Repertoire should be representative of the applicant’s abilities and strengths, show stylistic variety, and highlight musical interests. Works customarily performed from memory in public recitals should be performed from memory at the audition. Early in the application process potential students should contact the major teacher in their area and discuss audition repertoire possibilities.


Harp

  • Three orchestral excerpts
  • Three contrasting works from the standard harp repertoire


Woodwind Audition Requirements

In progress of updating. Please email music@mail.wvu.edu for addition help.

Brass Audition Requirements

Trumpet (Performance, MM)

Candidates are encouraged to showcase their versatility and ability to play Bb, C, D/Eb and Piccolo trumpets. Please prepare the following:

  • Four contrasting pieces of choice (i.e., solos, etudes, movements from concertos or sonatas). A variety of “standard” and “non-standard” works that highlight your individual career interests and musical background are welcomed. At least one of the four contrasting pieces must be on piccolo trumpet (original or transcription).

  • Four standard orchestral and/or military excerpts if applicable to the candidate's desired career path.

  • (Optional but encouraged) - Showcase ability in jazz/commercial music. This can take the form of preparing a lead trumpet part from a swing, funk, Latin/salsa chart, and/or improvising over a bules, rhythm changes, or other standard tune(s).

Additional Components to the audition:

  • Sight-Reading

  • Transposition

  • Chromatic scale from lowest to highest notes

Horn (MM) 

Applicants are encouraged to prepare the following:

  • Two contrasting solo works. Suggested works:

    • Mozart Concertos 2 or 4, R. Strauss Concerto No. 1 or 2, Bozza En Foret, Gliere Concerto, Schumann Adagio and Allegro, or comparable selections.

  • Five orchestral excerpts. Suggested excerpts:

    • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 solo, Strauss Till Eulenspiegel opening, Beethoven Symphony No. 3 Trio (hn. 2), Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 low tutti, Wagner Gotterdammerung Short Call, or comparable excerpts.

  • Applicants may prepare additional selections from the solo, etude, and excerpt repertory that may strengthen their audition.

Tenor Trombone/Bass Trombone (MM) 

Applicants are encouraged to prepare the following:

  • Four contrasting pieces of choice (i.e., solos, etudes, movements from concertos or sonatas). A variety of “standard” and “non-standard” works that highlight your individual career interests and musical background are welcomed.

  • Five orchestral excerpts. Suggested excerpts:

    • Tenor Trombone - Mozart: Requiem (Tuba Mirum); Berlioz: Hungarian March; Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3; Ravel: Bolero; Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries, or comparable excerpts.

    • Bass Trombone - Berlioz: Hungarian March; Haydn: Creation; Schumann: Symphony No. 3; Wagner: Das Rheingold; Kodaly: Hary Janos; Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries, or comparable excerpts.

  • Applicants may prepare additional selections from the solo, etude, and excerpt repertory that may strengthen their audition.

Tuba/Euphonium (MM)      

Tuba candidates are encouraged to showcase their versatility on both large (CC & BBb) and small (F & Eb) tubas.

  • Four contrasting pieces of choice (i.e solos, etudes, movements from concertos or sonatas). A variety of “standard” and “non-standard” works that highlight your individual career interests and musical background are welcomed.

  • Four standard orchestral and/or military and excerpts if applicable to the candidates desired career path.


Conducting Audition Requirements

In progress of updating. Please email music@mail.wvu.edu for addition help.

Provisional Admission

Applicants whose GPA, audition or test scores do not meet the qualifications outlined above may be considered for acceptance as provisional or non-degree students. If the student meets the terms of provisional admission as instructed by the provisional admission letter the student's status will be changed to regular admission.