Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 32

Required Courses:

Core Courses
MUSC 8213Opera Diction2
MUSC 8216Aria Repertoire2
MUSC 8220Opera Workshop (4 terms)8
MUSC 8234Opera Major2
MUSC 8244Opera Major2
MUSC 8254Opera Major2
MUSC 8264Opera Major2
MUSC 8274Opera Role Performance1
MUST 8701Research in Music3
MUST 8708History of Opera2
MUST 8709History of Opera2
Electives 14
Total Credit Hours32

Language Examination: Candidates in Opera must present undergraduate coursework in French, German, and Italian languages (or pass a translating and speaking examination at Temple) at the time of admission to the program. Where the transcript or pass-off examination does not reveal such study, the appropriate deficiency course(s) must be taken prior to completion of the master's degree.

Additional Requirements:
Diagnostic Examinations:
Diagnostic examinations in Aural Theory, Written Theory, and Music History are required for all entering master's students. The exceptions are students in Jazz Studies and Music Therapy who have their examinations arranged within their respective departments. In addition, Keyboard students take an additional two-hour examination in Keyboard Literature. As stated in the Boyer College Graduate Handbook, master’s "students may not take final qualifying examinations nor perform graduation recitals until all diagnostic examinations have been successfully completed."

The exams may be taken in one day or split over three days, or the exams can be taken online for a fee. Preparations are provided upon registration. Visit the Boyer College of Music and Dance website for the graduate music examination schedule and registration form.

Please note that registration for a student's first term of study is completed in consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Please re-read the admission letter, especially the “Special Notes” section on page 2, regarding any entrance deficiencies. If any remedial coursework is required, it must be completed by the end of the first year of study. It is also best for students to complete MUST 8701 Research in Music, which is required of all students except those in Jazz Studies, Music Education, and Music Therapy in the first year of study.

A. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Aural Theory

The examination lasts approximately 40 minutes and consists of a written portion in which students are asked to:

  1. Dictate a chord progression that modulates and contains chromatic harmony by writing out the bass line and identifying chords by Roman numerals and inversions.
  2. Complete a two-part melodic dictation that modulates and contains chromatic pitches.

B. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Written Theory

The examination lasts one and one-half hours and is in two parts: 

  1. Harmonic analysis of two chorales: one that uses diatonic harmony, and one that uses chromatic harmony.
  2. Analysis of the form, motives, and phrase structures of the first movement of a Classical-era piano sonata.

C. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Music History

The examination lasts one hour and contains objective questions in a multiple choice and/or true/false format. It covers composers, forms, instruments, musical works, styles, and terms from 1450 to the present. Sample questions are:

  1. The basso continuo came into use in about which year?
    (a) 1500  (b) 1600  (c) 1650  (d) 1700
  2. Who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)?
    (a) Mahler  (b) Bruckner  (c) Brahms  (d) Schumann
  3. Which of the following instruments would not be found in the score of a symphony by Haydn?
    (a) horn  (b) oboe  (c) timpani  (d) trombone  (e) trumpet

D. Conditions for Exemption from Diagnostic Examinations

The requirement to take the Diagnostic Examination in any area is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music and Dance who:

  • matriculate and enroll in the term immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements; and
  • received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.

Piano Proficiency:
In addition to the written Diagnostic Examinations required upon entrance to the program, Opera majors take a functional piano examination encompassing the following points:

  1. playing a prepared accompaniment (music can be used);
  2. sight-reading a simple accompaniment; and
  3. improvising an accompaniment to a simple melody.

Remedial coursework may be required.

Professional Development Policy:
In addition to taking the required subjects for their degrees, all students in the Boyer College of Music and Dance are obligated to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. Boyer College of Music and Dance believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes; tutoring; teaching private lessons; coaching; participating in the distribution and inventory control of Temple University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials; participating in ensembles; accompanying; performing at admissions and open house events; supervising performance classes; and engaging in other academic activities.

Performing Ensembles:

  1. Touring: All students in touring performing ensembles are required to participate in all scheduled tours. These tours, usually one or two weeks in length, often take place immediately after termination of academic terms. Students must arrange their schedules to accommodate this requirement.
  2. Non-Credit Participation: With special permission, graduate students for whom there is no ensemble requirement, or where previous ensemble credits exceed the graduation requirement, may participate in choral and instrumental ensembles without cost, with prior permission from the ensemble director, the department chair, and the Associate Dean.

Independent Study Courses:
Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the students' major advisor, and the Associate Dean. Approval will be granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects will be granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.

Acceptable English:
All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.

Graduate Private Lesson Policy:
Weekly one-hour private lessons are provided for all matriculated master's and doctoral performance majors in good standing, provided at least three additional credits of programmatically required graduate-level study are taken simultaneously. A $250 per term lesson fee (subject to change without notice) is charged for all private lessons. Tuition remission may not be used to cover the private lesson fee.

Private applied lessons beyond the four-term requirement currently in effect for graduate performance students may be extended with the permission of the jury, department chair, and the Associate Dean or Dean of the Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Incompletes:
All incomplete grades and keyboard proficiencies must be fulfilled by the first day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
The Voice and Opera program requires a one-hour comprehensive examination in music literature and theory. When admitted to the College, a list of 100 musical works of the standard literature from the Middle Ages through the 20th century is made available to the student as an aid to prepare for the examination. This examination should be taken in the penultimate term of study.

The examination is in three parts: identification of specific selections from a list of 100 works, identification of a "mystery" selection, and score analysis. Two graduate faculty members grade the examination. Students must pass all three sections. A score of 70% or better must be achieved in the identification section, and a "pass" or "weak pass" must be achieved in the "mystery" selection and the score analysis section.

The examination is administered approximately ten times each year. Students notify the Assistant Dean no later than one week prior to the requested examination administration date. For examination dates, see the Graduate Music Examination Schedule.

Adjudicated Roles:
Opera majors must have accumulated at least two major adjudicated roles or one major and two minor adjudicated roles in addition to opera theater assignments. Fully-staged opera productions with orchestra are typically presented each term. Opera roles are adjudicated by three full-time music faculty members.