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Academic Programs

Oakland University offers a comprehensive education in music for undergraduate and graduate students. The opportunity to work with internationally and nationally renowned faculty creates a vibrant atmosphere for musical and intellectual growth. Our students also learn from one another, forming a supportive musical community.

The music program at OU is broad enough to provide students with a wide range of experiences, yet focused enough that students receive significant attention from our faculty. Performance possibilities include diverse offerings such as the Oakland Symphony, Chorale, Wind Symphony, Jazz Combos, Opera Workshop, African Ensemble, and many more. Students pursuing music education degrees study with experienced music educators and work in the schools starting in the freshman year.

All music students expand their understanding through study with cutting-edge teachers in the fields of music theory and music history. In addition to their work as teachers, performers, and researchers, OU faculty mentor students as they prepare for careers and further study in a range of musical fields.

Bachelor of Music (BMus)
  • Music Education (choral, instrumental, general music)
  • Performance (instrumental, piano, voice)
  • Combined degree in music education and performance
Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA)
  • A Liberal Arts degree program
Minors in Music
  • Auditioned Minor
  • Non-auditioned Liberal Arts Minor
  • Jazz Minor
  • World Music Minor
Undergraduate Audition Information

All undergraduate programs (except the non-auditioned liberal arts minor) require students to audition for admission. At the audition, students must demonstrate proficiency in their instrument of choice or voice. Your first step is to apply for admission. To apply online for free, visit the Oakland University Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

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Oakland University offers a range of graduate degree and certificate programs in music through the doctoral level. These programs provide opportunities to work closely with our faculty and grow as conductors, performers, researchers, and teachers.

For more information about Professional Development, the Master of Music, and Graduate/Post-Master’s Certificates, please contact Jessica Payette or call (248) 370-3148

For more information about the Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education, please contact Jackie Wiggins.

Graduate Admissions
Applications to graduate degree and certificate programs are made to Oakland University Graduate Admissions. There are links to the specific admissions pages with each of the descriptions below.


Graduate Assistantships are available for students in the MM and Ph.D. programs. These assistantships provide stipends and pay for credits. For more information, contact Joe Shively. Applications for Graduate Assistantship for Master of Music students are due by March 1 and applications for Ph.D. in Music Education students are due by February 1. Assistantship Application


An audition is required for those applying to conducting, pedagogy and performance programs. Some auditions are held on departmental audition days while others are scheduled with the appropriate faculty. Contact Jessica Payette to begin the scheduling process.

Writing Sample

Applicants to the MM in Music Education must provide a writing sample. The writing sample may be an academic paper written in an undergraduate or graduate course or a one-page discussion of an issue in music education. Submit the writing sample to Jessica Payette via email or fax (248) 370-2041.

Master of Music Program
The Master of Music (MM) offers majors in conducting, education, pedagogy and performance. Each major within the MM is a 36-credit program that includes a shared core, courses required for the major, and electives. For more information, contact Jessica Payette.

History and Theory Placement

The placement exam is given in the week prior top the beginning of each semester to identify the appropriate course work in history and theory, download a Study Guide.

Upcoming Placements
  • Summer 2015
    Music History: Monday, May 4, 2015, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. in Varner 218
    Music Theory: Tuesday, May 5, 2015,  6 p.m. -9 p.m. in  Varner 218
  • Fall 2015
    Music Theory: Thursday, September 3, 2015, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. in Varner 218
    Music History: Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m in Varner 218
  • Conducting - The Master of Music in conducting is a 36-credit program designed to meet the needs of music teachers and other music professionals who are interested in developing high-level skills and understanding in instrumental and/or choral conducting.

    Conducting admissions and degree information
  • Music Education - The Master of Music in music education is a 36-credit program designed to meet the needs of music teachers, to help them expand and extend their professional skills and understandings with the long range goal of enabling educators to study and improve their own practice.

    Music Education admissions and degree information

Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education
The Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education degree program is designed to develop individuals who can provide leadership for music education practice as teacher educators, curriculum leaders, and researchers. Core concepts in the program include constructivism, cultural psychology, and social democracy in music learning and teaching. For more information, contact Jackie Wiggins.

Ph. D. in Music Education admissions and degree information

Summer Study
Graduate Music@Oakland University - Summer 2015
Click to view and download the PDF.

Summer I (May 11 - June 1)
MUS 527 American Music (2) Kidger Online
MUS 534 Teaching Music Special Needs Learner (2) VanderLinde
In-class meetings May 15, 16, 29, 30, June 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20. Fridays:
5:30-8:00 pm and Saturdays: 9:30 am-Noon, and partially online.
MUS 581 Advanced Choral Interpretation & Conducting (2) Mitchell MW 4:30-6:27 pm
MUT 536 Analysis of Post-1900 Music (2) Hoag TR 4:30-6:30 pm
MUE 541 Jazz Improvisation Combos (0 or 1) Brown TR 10-11:57 am
MUE 565 Contemporary Music Ensemble (0 or 1) Brown TR 12:30-2:27 pm
Private Applied Study
MUS 691 Online Site-based Practicum (1 or 2) VanderLinde Online
MUA 695 Master's Recital (2)
MUS 695 Master's Project (1 or 2)
Music 696 Practicum Analysis/Reflection VanderLinde Online
MUS 699 Master's Thesis (1 or 2)
MUS 799, 851, 852, 995, 999 Doctoral Research

Summer II (July 6 - August 6, except as noted)
MUS 538 Issues in Music Education in the 21st Century (2) Shively online
MUS 609 GarageBand in Music Education (2) Medvinsky, July 20-24 (tentative),
1-3:30 pm and partially online.
MUS 643 Teaching for Musical Understanding in Choral Music (2) VanderLinde
Meets June 29-July 7, In-class meetings June 29-July 2 from 9:30 am-Noon
and 1:00-4:00 pm, and partially online.
MUS 644 Teaching for Musical Understanding in Instrumental Ensemble (2)
Shively July 6-10, 9:30 am-Noon and 1:00-4:00 pm, and partially online.
MUS 647 Teaching for Musical Understanding with Technology (2) Medvinsky
July 20-24 (tentative), 9:00-11:30 am and partially online.
Private Applied Study
MUA 695 Master's Recital (2)
MUS 695 Master's Project (1 or 2)
MUS 699 Master's Thesis (1 or 2)
MUS 799, 851, 852, 995, 999 Doctoral Research

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Certificate ProgramsGraduate Certificates and Post-Master’s Graduate Certificates are offered in conducting, education, pedagogy and performance.

Contact Deborah Blair, music education program coordinator for post-baccalaureate music teacher certification.

Contact Tian Tian, coordinator of the piano program for performer's certificate information.

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