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School of Music


Certificate of Graduate Studies in Music Performance

The Certificate of Graduate Studies in Music Performance is designed for students who have completed an undergraduate degree in music and wish to focus on applied music study and performance activities.

Certificate of Graduate Study in Music Performance

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Music Performance requires the successful completion of an approved program of study that provides a minimum of eighteen (18) semester hours of graduate study. At least one-half of the total credit hours must be in courses numbered 700 or above, exclusive of recital credit. The remaining hours may be taken from courses numbered 500 or above when registered as graduate credit. No credits may be transferred from another institution. A B average is required for all courses taken for graduate credit. No more than three hours of C credit may be applied toward the certificate, and six hours with grades of C+ or lower will render a student ineligible for further certificate study.  Students enrolled in the certificate program should submit a Program of Study to the Graduate School within the first twelve (12) months of enrollment.  A maximum of 24 graduate credits may be accumulated when a student has been admitted only into the certificate program. The program must be completed within two calendar years following admission. With the approval of the appropriate music faculty and the Music Graduate Director, a student will be allowed to transfer to either the Master of Music or Doctor of Musical Arts degree in performance if all admission requirements for the desired degree have been met in full. Except for recitals, all appropriate courses taken as part of the certificate program may be transferred to the desired degree.

The following outlines the minimum program for all Graduate Certificate students in music performance:

Applied studies (MUSC 711) 8-10 credits
Two Public Recitals 2 credits
Electives (approved by the area faculty and the Music Graduate Director) 6-8 credits
  18 credits total

Each student majoring in an orchestral or band instrument or in voice will be required to enroll in an approved ensemble (and in chamber music, where pertinent) each regular semester of attendance. A maximum of four credits of major ensemble or chamber ensemble (MUSC 734 and MUSC 735) may be counted as electives. 

Students pursuing the Certificate of Graduate Study in Music Performance or are required to present two full-length solo recitals of 50 to 65 minutes. The literature performed on each recital will be learned specifically for that performance. The recitals will be adjudicated by at least a three-member committee selected from the area faculty. Because some members of the recital committee may not be available, a student should first consult the Music Graduate Director before scheduling the recital for presentation during the summer months. A recital may not be presented unless the student has officially enrolled in recital credit. In order to receive applied lessons, a student must be enrolled for applied credit. 

At least four weeks before a recital is to be presented, the student should submit a typed recital prospectus to his or her major professor, who will see that it is signed by each member of the area faculty and submitted to the Music Graduate Office. Guidelines for preparing the proposal are available online or from the Music Studies Office.  All recitals (including those presented off campus) must be scheduled through the Music Office and should be presented when classes are officially in session. Procedures for scheduling a recital are available online.  Each graduate recital is to be recorded and a copy archived in the Music Library. 

With the approval of the area faculty and the Music Graduate Director, a student pursuing the Certificate of Graduate Study in Music Performance may substitute a chamber music or concerto recital or a major opera role for one of the required solo recitals. The literature performed should have been learned during the student?s study at USC. The following pertain: 

  • Opera Role (MUSC 793) - The approved role, which is to be presented and adjudicated in a public performance, must be considered a major (i.e., not supporting) role in an opera. With the approval of the Music Graduate Committee, the opera role may be presented outside the Columbia metropolitan area if the performance is video-recorded and at least one member of the area faculty is present. 
  • Concerto Recital (MUSC 794) - The work chosen for the concerto recital should come from the standard concerto repertory of the student?s performance medium. Public performance with an orchestra (or the appropriate original "accompanying" instrumentation) is required. With the permission of the Music Graduate Committee, the concerto recital may be presented outside the Columbia metropolitan area if the performance is video-recorded and at least one member of the area faculty is present. 
  • Chamber music Recital (MUSC 795) - The works should be chosen from the standard chamber music repertory of the student?s performance medium, though one recently composed work that may not have become a "standard" repertory item may be included. 

Students enrolled in the certificate program should prepare and submit a Program of Study proposal for approval by the academic advisor and the Music Graduate Director within the first twelve (12) months of matriculation.