Application Information

Our Admissions Committee thoroughly reviews every application to understand the strengths, skills and unique potential of each prospective student. A sound academic record – your undergraduate history and subsequent graduate work – is important, of course.

In addition to your academics, the committee will carefully examine your personal statement and letters of recommendation looking for evidence of writing skills, evidence of successful work in the music field, leadership experience and commitment to the mission of Graduate Programs in Music Education. All information you submit is considered and we encourage you to be thorough and straightforward. We want to make sure that the University of St. Thomas Graduate Music Program is a good fit for you, and that you are a good fit for the UST Graduate Music Program.

All applications will be reviewed upon completion.

Apply by April 1 for summer term priority.

Begin your free Online Application

Application Criteria

Applicants for admission to the Master of Arts in Music Education degree program must meet the following minimal criteria:

  • baccalaureate degree and a major in music or music education from an accredited college or university with a minimum of a "B" grade average and 
  • evidence of successful work in the field confirmed by three letters of recommendation from teachers, administrators, or other professional colleagues.

Meeting minimal application criteria does not guarantee admission; likewise, exceptions to minimum criteria may be made by the admissions committee based on other factors of professional achievement.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit the following materials to Graduate Programs in Music Education (GPME). Applications will be processed after all items are received. Applicants will be notified, by mail, 4-6 weeks following the application deadline.

  1. Completed online application (which includes items 3 and 5 below).
  2. Official transcripts of all baccalaureate and graduate studies.
  3. Resume: include education, teaching experience, music performances, awards, professional activities and affiliations.
  4. Three confidential letters‌ sent directly from references to GPME. Your references should attach a separate letter addressing knowledge of your teaching or musical work and your interest in pursuing a Master of Arts degree.
  5. Personal Statement. Typed, double-spaced essay of 2-3 pages describing the following:
    1. Why you have decided to pursue graduate study.
    2. How the University of St. Thomas Master of Arts in Music Education degree program will help you meet your professional goals.
    3. What outcomes you expect as a result of earning the M.A. degree at the University of St. Thomas.
  6. Performance Assessment. A demonstration of the applicants music performance ability. Refer to the Performance Assessment section below. Please note that the application will not be reviewed without the Performance Assessment video link(s). 

Additional MAME Admission Requirements

All students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education program complete the following: 

  • Admission Interview and Degree Plans. These are scheduled directly with Dr. Doug Orzolek, Director of Graduate Programs in Music Education,
  • Music History and Theory Diagnostic Exam. All students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education program must take a diagnostic examination in music history and theory immediately following their acceptance into the program. For more information refer to the Music History and Theory Diagnostic Exam section below.

Performance Assessment

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree must demonstrate music performance ability in piano, voice, or other instrumental performance.

Students must perform two different selections showing contrasting styles in historical periods, genres, and technical demands. If an accompaniment exists for the works being performed, then the recording must include that accompaniment. In addition, all students should sing either "My Country 'Tis of Thee," or "America, the Beautiful" a cappella.

Performance Assessments are evaluated on technical competence (at the level of a senior recital) and musical expression, including stylistic understanding of the music presented. The emphasis in the Performance Assessment is on meaningful musical performance that demonstrates the student's ability to expressively convey music convincingly.

Your performance(s) should be uploaded to YouTube. You can either combine your performances into one video or break them into separate videos. Audio only recordings are not acceptable. The application will not be considered until the performance video link(s) have been provided.

Music History and Theory Diagnostic Exam

All students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education program must take a diagnostic examination in music history and theory immediately following their acceptance into the program. This exam is a non-course requirement of the Master of Arts in Music Education degree. Details will be provided to students accepted into the M.A.M.E. program.

You may begin the Master of Arts degree in Music Education as a nondegree student. This option may be of interest to students with a desire to pursue graduate study but not necessarily in obtaining a degree. Enrolling in one or more courses at nondegree status will provide contact with faculty members and an opportunity to evaluate whether the program's offerings match your needs, interests, and abilities. To enroll as a nondegree student select the online application link on this page.

Changing from Nondegree to Degree Status

Nondegree students may apply for degree-seeking status at the regular admissions deadlines by submitting all required application materials. Letters of recommendation solicited from faculty in the program are allowable. Up to six credits taken as a nondegree student may be applied for credit towards the degree. 

The Office of International Admissions and Aid recommends international students complete their application at least six months prior to their anticipated arrival on campus. 


Graduate students must first complete all of the application requirements for the program to which they are applying. submit the documents directly to the program, by the deadlines indicated for each specific program. International Recruiting and Admissions also requires the following submissions, which you can also submit directly to your graduate program.


  • Official documentation of English language proficiency.


  • Completed International Student Questionnaire and Financial Certification Form (PDF).
  • Official documentation of your financial support current within the last 3 months.

Immigration paperwork

  • A copy of the picture page from your passport.
  • Applicants who are already inside the U.S. must submit a copy of their current visa and a copy of their I-94 card.
  • Applicants who are already inside the U.S. on a J-1 visa must submit a copy of their most recent DS2019 form.
  • Applicants transferring an F-1 visa from another U.S. school must submit a copy of their most recent I-20 form and a SEVIS Transfer Form (PDF).

Please mail these additional submissions directly to the graduate program to which you are applying.

English Proficiency Options

To meet St. Thomas immigration requirements, you must give evidence of a command of both written and spoken English, adequate for the profitable pursuit of University courses conducted entirely in English. The list below contains the tests and programs the University of St. Thomas accepts as evidence for English proficiency. 

Score reports must be sent to St. Thomas directly from the testing center. Score reports must not be more than two years old.

  • TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language) score report of 80 on the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) with a subscore of 20 on the written and 20 on the speaking sections. (The St. Thomas TOEFL code is 6110.) 
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score report of 6.5. 
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) score report of 80, and score report must be accompanied by an official letter from the testing coordinator.
  • Previous undergraduate or graduate degree: Applicants who have successfully completed a previous undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university and can verify that the curriculum was taught in English may be exempt from the English Proficiency testing requirement.

ELS (ELS Language Center)

If you feel that you are unable to obtain the minimum score on any of the tests required, you may choose to apply directly to the ELS Language Center, located on the St. Thomas campus. Upon completion of ELS, graduate applicants must provide proof of one of the English proficiency requirements listed above. 

Transcript Evaluation Services

Transcripts from institutions outside the U.S. must be evaluated before your application can be considered. It is recommended that the international students complete applications to the evaluation service at least six months prior to the term in which they wish to start the program. We accept evaluations from the following; please work with one of them to obtain your evaluation. Please contact your graduate program with any questions or to discuss other options for transcript evaluations.

World Education Services

Educational Credential Evaluators

The University of St. Thomas International Admissions office requires supplemental submissions, which you can find at:
Please submit supplemental documents directly to Graduate Admissions.

Please keep in mind that our program is primarily a summers-only program. Given current policies governing student visas, this does not make our program a good match for many international students. While we do offer graduate courses during the school year, low enrollment in a course might mean that the class is cancelled. As a result, we cannot guarantee year-round course offerings. This may have an impact on your student visa. With this disclaimer, Graduate Programs in Music Education regrets that it cannot be held responsible for helping you maintain your status as a student in the United States.

A maximum of six semester hours completed at another accredited institution prior to entering the program may be considered for transfer to meet degree requirements if the course work was:

  1. graded "B-" or better;
  2. taken within the last seven years;
  3. comparable in content and approach with those in the University of St. Thomas Master of Arts in Music Education degree program:
  4. acceptable at the granting institution toward a graduate degree there; and
  5. not used to fulfill requirements for a previously granted degree.

Transfer credits from another institution may not be applied to Level II or III of either the Orff Schulwerk or Kodály fields of concentration; however, they may be applied to the core requirements and Level I in these fields of concentration.

Six graduate credits earned as a nondegree student in University of St. Thomas courses that also are requirements for the graduate program may be transferred to meet the student's course requirements. The total number of transfer credits from other institutions and the University of St. Thomas may not exceed six.

The University of St. Thomas Music Department is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Schools of Music.

The University of St. Thomas is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions. Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 1450 Energy Park Dr., Suite 350, St. Paul, MN  55108.

The University of St. Thomas does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance in the employment of faculty or staff, the admission or treatment of students, or in the operation of its educational programs and activities.‌