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MMUS Music

We See Your Future in Music.
Strengthen your skills to advance your career in music through a personalized path to learning, performing or teaching.
Norfolk State University
Master of Music

Enhance your musical knowledge and talents to grow in your artistic endeavors by earning your Master of Music degree (MMUS Music)  from Norfolk State University. 

You can choose from these three areas of concentration when pursuing a master’s degree in music at NSU:

  • Theory/Composition
  • Music Education
  • Performance (Piano and Voice)

Whichever concentration you choose for your Master of Music degree at NSU, your music studies will follow a personalized curriculum and you will receive individualized advising based on your career goals and needs. Our music classes will prepare you to continue your music education through a DMA or Ph.D. programs, as well as for professional roles such as a public or private K–12 music teacher, college or university music professor, church musician, arts administrator or freelance musician.

A Master of Music degree with nearly 100% placement

The master’s degree in music at Norfolk State University features a nearly 100% placement rate for students finding employment or moving on to doctoral study within one year of graduation.

MMUS Music Degree at a Glance

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 5:1
  • Formats Offered: In Person (FT/PT/Non-degree) 
  • Total Credit Hours: 36

View Master of Music plans of study | Request more information | Apply now

Why Study MMUS Music at NSU? 

A master’s degree in music goes beyond studying music or education. It also focuses on the study of people, places and cultures. The Master of Music degree at Norfolk State University offers the music studies and learning experiences that will prepare you for a world of opportunities in music education, performance and composition.

Established in 1975 and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the NSU Master of Music degree program features a flexible course schedule to accommodate working professionals.

Consider some of these other benefits of pursuing your MMUS Music degree at NSU:

Personalize your music experiences

In addition to a Music Research course to independently pursue a topic tailored to your interests, the master’s degree in music offers the music classes, music studies and firsthand experiences that will expand your knowledge and skills in your chosen area of concentration. For example, Music Education students participate and observe in area classrooms and rehearsal halls, and Theory/Composition students will grow their networks by connecting with guest speakers who are professionals in music-related fields.

Learn in top-quality performance and production facilities

Elevate your talents through our special facilities, equipment and advanced technology. In addition to piano, organ and general practice rooms, our E. L. Hamm Fine Arts Building includes a music media lab with Macintosh computers with MIDI keyboards and a recording studio with industry-standard equipment and software. You also will have opportunities to perform in our L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center , which includes a 1,500 seat state-of-the-art concert hall and is among the area’s premier concert venues.

Collaborate with engaging faculty 

You’ll take music classes and train with faculty who are committed scholars and active performers and conductors with professional organizations such as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Virginia Children’s Chorus and the Tidewater Guitar Society.

What Courses Will I Take as an MMUS Music Student?

You will need to complete 36 total credit hours to earn your master’s degree in music at NSU. Along with the set courses you’ll take within your area of concentration (Music Education, Performance or Theory/Composition), music studies and music classes for the Master of Music degree include core courses in Music Ensemble, Analytical Techniques and Music Research.

Where Will My MMUS Music Degree Take Me?

The engaging curriculum in the NSU Master of Music program offers the music classes and experiences that will help you develop the skills and competencies you need to succeed in diverse music and music education employment opportunities.
Earning your master’s degree in music will prepare you for a wide variety of careers, such as:

  • Elementary or high school music teacher
  • Church choir director
  • Arts administrator
  • Composer
  • Music therapist
  • Conductor
  • Concert pianist
  • Music director
  • Singer
  • Instrumentalist
  • Performer


Career outlook for Master of Music graduates

Nearly 100% of NSU’s Master of Music degree graduates are employed or pursuing their doctoral degrees within a year of graduation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 11% through 2030, which is faster than average for all occupations. In addition, employment of music directors and composers, as well as elementary, middle and high school music teachers, is projected to grow approximately 7% (as fast as the average for all occupations) over the same time period.

How Do I Get Started in the MMUS Music Program at NSU? 

Application deadlines are May 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. The Norfolk State University School of Graduate Studies and Research will help you through the MMUS Music application process, from submitting your application and undergraduate transcript to connecting you to financial aid opportunities, such as full-tuition graduate assistantships and fellowship grants.

“I searched for an M.M. program that could feed that desire to learn. Not only did NSU become that program, it became and still is the community of musicians that I lean on for support, scholarship and friendship. I graduated from NSU focused, articulate and fundamentally sound, with the community and extended network of resources I needed to be successful in the industry.”

– Daniel S. ’17, Master of Music

Degree Programs Related to the Master of Music

Accreditation for the Master of Music Degree Program at NSU

The Master of Music degree program at Norfolk State University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.