Master of Music Education (MME) Graduate Handbook
This handbook is your guide throughout your Master of Music Education program. Use this document with the School of Music online catalog, and the School of Music Academic Services Resources.
You are expected to know the requirements of your program as found in this handbook and the online Academic Catalog for the year you begin your studies. You are responsible for knowing the policies and procedures that govern your advancement through the program. Not knowing about a requirement does not excuse you from meeting that requirement.
Your KU email address is the official means of communication for all KU students. Check your “spam” or “junk” folder regularly to ensure you are receiving all important communications. For more email information see KU Information Technology: Email.
Table of Contents
- Requirements for Regular Admission
- Degree Requirements
- Thesis/Non-Thesis Options
- Master's Thesis Formatting
- Tuition and Fees
- Financial Support
- COGSIM (Committee on Graduate Studies in Music)
- Academic Misconduct
- KU Information
- Web-Based Resources
- School of Music Directory
Requirements for Regular Admission
- Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
- An appropriate baccalaureate degree to support the individual’s goals for master’s study. Students seeking entrance into the graduate initial certification program in music education or the graduate equivalency program in music therapy should have substantial backgrounds in music regardless of the undergraduate major. Degree patterns include:
- A bachelor’s degree with a major in music education.
- A bachelor’s degree with any music major plus any state certification as a music teacher (for MME in music education).
- The equivalent of a music minor plus a bachelor's degree in an appropriate related field.
- Final official degree conferred transcripts must be sent directly from all previous colleges or universities.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation regarding applicant's qualifications for graduate study in their selected program.
- Submission of a DVD video recording appropriate to degree of application.
- Other supporting materials are required.
Course enrollment is accomplished online. Enrollment instructions are found at KU Registrar: Enrollment. Check your Enroll and Pay Student Information Center for exact dates and times. They are posted in March for Summer and Fall continuing student enrollment and in October for Spring continuing student enrollment. Also use this link if you are a new student enrolling for the first time.
Courses at the 500 level or above are graduate level courses and will count toward your graduate GPA but may not count towards your degree. At least 50% of your credit hours must be earned in courses at the 700 level or above.
Students will be assigned a permanent advisor for enrollment and degree planning in accordance with their preferences and career aspirations. The thesis advisor will be assigned on the basis of the student’s topic and preference.
MEMT master's degree advisors include all Music Education faculty and Music Therapy faculty.
Full-time enrollment for Fall and Spring semesters is:
Full-time enrollment for Summer semester is:
Full-time status might be required by the rules and regulations governing student loan deferments, scholarships and fellowships, and foreign student visas (F-1 and J-1).
|Maximum/Minimum number of credits|
You may enroll in a maximum of 16 credits in the fall and spring semesters and 8 credits during the summer session. If you must enroll in more than the maximum number of credits, a Schedule Change Form is required. If you are NOT required to have full-time status there is no required minimum number of credits.
To avoid late enrollment fees, you must enroll BEFORE the first day of classes. Enrollment information, including the enrollment schedule, is found on the registrar’s website, KU Registrar: Enrollment. Late enrollment begins at 12:00 a.m. on the first instructional day of the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.
If you enroll AFTER the first week of classes, you must obtain a Petition to Late Enroll form from the Graduate Student Services office, 446 Murphy, complete it with appropriate signatures, and submit it to the Registrar’s office. Enrollment after the 20th day of classes is only permitted in rare cases, by completing a FacEx Appeal.
|International student enrollment|
International students must be particularly aware of the rules and regulations regarding their visa status. International students should contact the International Support Services (ISS) office when enrolling, dropping or adding classes, reducing full-time enrollment, changing their degree program, taking a leave of absence, or withdrawing from the university. U.S. (Federal) laws govern your student visa status, and you must be fully aware of them as you proceed through your degree program.
|Leave of absence|
You may request a leave of absence in cases of illness, emergency, to pursue family responsibilities, or to pursue activities related to long-range professional goals. The time taken for a leave of absence does not count against your degree program time constraints (see Graduate Studies Policy). Taking a leave of absence is highly encouraged over not enrolling and being discontinued by the University. Students are allowed a maximum of three 1-year Leaves of Absence.
|Leave of absence: Updated Fall 2021|
A leave of absence is granted for no more than 1 year at a time. To begin a leave of absence, you must submit the Leave of Absence (LOA) Request form to the Graduate Student Services Coordinator in 446 Murphy requesting a leave of absence, stating the reason for the leave, and for which semester(s). Your advisor must approve your request. The first request for a leave of absence is automatically granted. Subsequent requests must be submitted to the Committee on Graduate Studies in Music (COGSIM) for approval. Progress toward completing your degree will be considered in granting further Leaves of Absence.
International students must work with an ISS counselor if they are planning to request a leave of absence. Depending on your situation, there may be additional documents you must submit.
|Retroactive withdrawal from courses|
The School of Music does not allow, under any circumstances, retroactive withdrawal by graduate students, either for a whole semester or for individual courses.
Degree program check sheets indicate the minimum required coursework and credits for your degree. Using this check sheet with your advisor allows you to plan your entire program and graduate on time. You may obtain an updated copy of the check sheet kept in your folder from the Graduate Student Services office, 446 Murphy. Student check sheets are updated in your file annually using the advising report found in the myKU Portal.
|Re-admission for returning graduate students|
A student who has been actively enrolled in a degree-seeking graduate program but has not been enrolled for one academic year (three consecutive semesters, including summer) or less, may be eligible to use the Permit to Re-enroll form.
A student who has been actively enrolled in a degree-seeking program and has not enrolled for four or more consecutive semesters (including summer) without an approved Leave of Absence is not eligible to use the Permit to Re-enroll form and must re-apply for Graduate admission, including a possible audition. In this case, you would be admitted as a new student and additional requirements may be in effect.
If you were not enrolled during the Spring or Fall semester preceding your return, you must contact the Graduate Student Services Coordinator to determine the correct procedure for returning to your degree program.
|Enrollment during your final semester|
University policy states that you must be enrolled in at least 1 credit during the semester you are graduating or the semester prior if meeting the early deadline. This includes the summer term.
|Enrollment grace period||There is an enrollment “grace period.” If you meet all degree requirements, which includes passing your Final Exam and submitting written documents, by the end of the first two weeks of the Fall or Spring semester (or the end of the first week of the Summer semester), you do not have to enroll, but will graduate that semester. You must have been enrolled in at least one credit the previous semester.|
|MME degree program and course of study|
The MME degree requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit, but may exceed this minimum. At least one-half of the required credit hours must be in courses open only to graduate students. At least 20 of the hours must be in regularly scheduled classes excluding directed study, research, and thesis or comprehensive examination (as applicable).
The work must be distributed as indicated in the categories shown on the MME Program Plan found in the online catalog at KU Academic Catalog: School of Music or at MME Requirements.
These requirements include:
A check sheet of these requirements is located at MME Requirements.
Students may elect to earn the MME with a major in music education using the thesis or the non-thesis option.
|Master’s degree program time constraint|
The Master of Music Education degree must be completed within 7 years from the time of enrollment in the graduate program. Students must petition for a one-year extension beyond the 7-year requirement. Petitions for extensions go to the Committee on Graduate Studies in Music (COGSIM).
|Progress toward degree/Leave of Absence||Graduate students in the School of Music must maintain an expected level of academic performance throughout their program to maintain good academic standing. Criteria for evaluating satisfactory performance include:
Students who are unable to complete degree requirements during any semester due to injuries, illness, financial difficulties, or family emergencies should submit a request for a Leave of Absence. Failure to request a Leave of Absence will not relieve the student of the requirements to continue to make progress toward the degree as defined above.
Failure to make progress toward the degree as defined above will result in a student not being in good academic standing and the student will be put on probation or dismissed from the program. The School will evaluate graduate students pursuing more than one degree program based on their progress toward meeting the requirements of each program individually.
Applied Studio Instruction
Students who wish to take graduate level studio lessons should contact the appropriate major performance medium area for an audition and approval.
All graduate students in MEMT are required to enroll in MEMT 812: Research in Music Ed & Music Therapy.
If you have taken a comparable Research and Bibliography graduate course at another university, you may request a waiver or substitution of MEMT 812. To request a waiver, provide your advisor a syllabus of the course you wish to use in place of MEMT 812.
|Graduate Advisory Committee:|
3 members required
You must choose your advisory committee members and complete an Advisory Committee Form found on Resources for Students, Faculty and Staff by the beginning of your second year. Discuss the membership of your committee with your advisor and personally ask each faculty member to serve. All committee members must be on the Graduate Faculty. For the Master’s Degree advisory committee, you must have 3 faculty members as follows: 2 members from the major area and one member from the school or university with graduate faculty status.
The advisory committee will administer the final Master’s Oral Examination.
Students may elect to earn the MME with a major in music education using the thesis or the non-thesis option.
Music Education Thesis Option
Each master’s student, with the advice and consent of the advisor and thesis committee, may select from the following options to complete the thesis requirement.
No instructor may assist a student with thesis research unless the student is enrolled for thesis credit. Graduate students must complete MEMT 812, Seminar in Research Methods, or its equivalent, and pass the bulk of their program coursework before enrolling in thesis. With the guidance of the thesis advisor, the student prepares a formal thesis proposal. Once the formal proposal has been approved in writing by the advisor and 2 other members of the MEMT graduate faculty, the student must apply and receive permission from the university HSCL Committee if the proposed research involves human subjects, before proceeding with the thesis proper. During work on the thesis the student should be enrolled in sufficient thesis credit hours each term to reflect the demands on the advisor and other staff members, and demands on other university resources.
The non-thesis option typically functions as a terminal degree and the work must be distributed as indicated in the categories shown on the appropriate Degree Program Plan. This option culminates with enrollment in a 1-credit hour comprehensive final examination (MEMT 898: Master’s Oral Examination) course and the subsequent portfolio and presentation.
The student may prepare in consultation with a faculty advisor a Master's Non-Thesis Portfolio Presentation of materials representative of the candidate’s graduate work overall and demonstrative of the candidate’s ability to reflect critically upon and apply the concepts and techniques acquired during graduate studies to his or her professional practices in music education or music therapy.
The portfolio must be submitted to the committee two weeks prior to the scheduled presentation.
Exam Authorization form
The Master’s Comprehensive Oral Exam is a University-level exam and the final experience of the MME degree. The Graduate Studies Office is notified of the School-approved exam by the submission of the Exam Authorization PtD (Progress to Degree) form (pdf). This form must be completed by you, signed by your committee chair, and submitted to the Graduate Student Services Coordinator, 446 Murphy, no later than 2 weeks before your scheduled Master’s Final Exam.
Failure to submit this form 2 weeks in advance of the exam will result in the cancellation and re-scheduling of your exam.
|Scheduling the Defense or Comprehensive|
Before scheduling the Master’s Comprehensive Oral Exam, students must have no incompletes in their transcript, be in good academic standing, and have completed all other requirements.
When ready to schedule the Exam with the members of the Graduate Advisory Committee, the student will work with their committee chair and members to obtain the date, time, and room for the defense or comprehensive examination. The student will e-mail their committee with the exam date, time, and room information. The GPtD Exam Authorization Sheet must be completed by you, signed by your committee chair, and submitted to the Graduate Student Services Coordinator, 446 Murphy, no later than 2 weeks before your scheduled Master’s Final Exam. The chair of the committee will check that the student’s file is up to date and approve completion of the Graduate Progress to Degree (GPtD) form to request the defense/examination.
|Non-Thesis Master's Oral Examination|
Each master’s student, with the advice and consent of the advisor and examination committee, will submit the portfolio and complete the presentation in partial fulfillment of the non-thesis degree requirement. The student must be enrolled at the time the final portfolio presentation is held. The exception to this policy is master’s students who complete degree requirements during the first week of summer session or within the first two weeks of the fall or spring semester are not required to be enrolled for that term unless they were not enrolled during the previous semester. See Instructions for the Portfolio Presentation (format & submission requirements)
The exam will be scheduled for a period of 2 hours. The examination committee shall be comprised of the student’s major advisor and 2 other graduate faculty members jointly selected by the student and major advisor. It is the student’s responsibility to present the final portfolio copy to each committee member 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled exam date.
The candidate will begin by giving a twenty-minute oral presentation on his or her portfolio. Thereafter, the candidate will address questions posed by the committee arising from the candidate’s presentation and the thesis document.
Master's Oral Defense
Upon completion of the thesis document (see instructions for master's thesis format & submission process), the student must defend the thesis. The student submits the GPtD Exam Authorization form for approval to hold the Final Master’s Examination at least 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled exam.
It is the student’s responsibility to present the final thesis copy to each committee member 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled exam date. The student must be enrolled at the time the final master’s exam is held. The exception to this policy is master’s students who complete degree requirements during the first week of summer session or within the first two weeks of the fall or spring semester are not required to be enrolled for that term unless they were not enrolled during the previous semester.
The defense/exam will be scheduled for a period of 2 hours. The examination committee shall be comprised of the student’s major advisor and 2 other graduate faculty members jointly selected by the student and major advisor. The candidate will begin by giving a twenty-minute oral presentation on his or her thesis, but the exam is not confined to that topic. Thereafter, the candidate will address questions posed by the committee arising from the candidate’s presentation and the thesis document.
Master's Thesis Formatting
|Formatting your thesis|
The Graduate Studies Office has formatting requirements for all Master’s theses and documents. These formatting requirements can be found on this webpage: KU Libraries: Thesis and Dissertation Formatting. The page also has information on Multimedia Files, Copyright and Issues of Responsible Research, Embargos, Preparing Your Manuscript, and services available for writing and preparing your manuscript for publication.
|Submitting your thesis|
All Master’s students who select the thesis option must submit the final draft of the thesis or final composition project to UMI (ProQuest) publishing. The instructions for submission can be found at the Graduate Studies website, KU Graduate Studies: Submitting. Submitting your thesis or final composition project to UMI for publication is a graduation requirement. The final document must be submitted for school approval no later than the semester deadline for meeting degree requirements for graduation. The deadline can be found on the Graduate Studies calendar, KU Graduate Studies: Graduation. According to UMI your submission will be published in an 8.5 x 11 format regardless of the size of the document you submit. If you have questions about the submission of large-format items, please contact UMI.
|Signed title page, signed approval page, and abstract for your file:||To complete requirements for graduation, all master’s students who have defended a final thesis document must submit the following documents to the Graduate Student Services Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop them off in 446 Murphy:
Graduate Studies uses the “ABCDF” system of grading. The School of Music also uses a “+/-” system. For coursework in thesis, dissertation, lecture-recital with document, or document alone, the letter grade “P” (Progress) is used instead of “I” (Incomplete) to indicate acceptable progress until the document has been completed and a final grade of A-F is submitted. “P” grades are not included in the computation of your grade point average, and they cannot be changed to a letter grade after the semester they are taken.
A grade of B- or below in a course in your major area is not acceptable and will not meet degree requirements. For all other courses, a grade of C- or below is not considered a passing grade and will not carry graduate credit or fulfill a degree requirement but will be counted towards your graduate GPA unless students elect to enroll Credit/No Credit for the course.
|Incomplete grade policy|
The grades “W” and “I” may be given. The letter “I” indicates incomplete work that may be completed without re-enrollment in the course (generally within one year). The letter “W” indicates withdrawal for which no credit or grade point is assigned. “WG” is used when no grade has been given by the class instructor and means “waiting for grade.”
A student who has an “I” posted for a course must make up the work by the date determined by the instructor, in consultation with the student, which may not exceed 1 calendar year, or the last day of the term of graduation, whichever comes first. An “I” not removed within a year is automatically converted to a grade of “F” or to the lapse grade assigned by the course instructor. The grade of F or the lapse grade will be included in the transcripts and GPA.
Extensions to the time limit may be granted by the dean’s representative upon submission of a petition from the student containing the endorsement of the course instructor who assigned the “I” grade, or the area coordinator if the instructor is unavailable. After the “I” grade is converted to a grade of “F,” the grade may only be changed in accordance with USRR Article II, Section 3.
It is your responsibility to make certain that all Incompletes have been replaced with a letter grade by your final semester. You may not take your final oral Master’s exam with Incompletes on your academic record.
|Credit/No credit||You may elect to be graded with Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) instead of ABCDF under certain circumstances. For graduate students, the grade of CR will be recorded for a grade of C or above, a grade of NC for a grade of C- or below. Courses graded CR/NC will not satisfy degree requirements in School of Music graduate programs and still require tuition and fees be paid.|
|GPA and academic probation|
You must maintain at least a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in all coursework in your major area and you must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all graduate-level courses. If your cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, you will be placed on academic probation. You must raise your GPA to 3.0 or above by the end of the following semester (probationary period) to be returned to regular status.
If you have not raised your GPA to 3.0 by the end of the semester of probation, you will not be allowed to re-enroll in coursework and will be dismissed, unless the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs acts favorably on a recommendation from the faculty members in your area that you continue in graduate study on continued probation.
At the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the student’s area, up to nine (9) hours of graduate credit taken at a regionally accredited graduate school may be transferred and applied to a KU master’s degree plan if the credits were taken prior to the final semester of enrollment at KU.
Only courses graded B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher may be transferred.
Tuition and Fees
Graduate students are assessed the standard resident or non-resident graduate tuition rate for every credit in which they are enrolled, including undergraduate credits. Music classes carry an additional course fee which, like tuition, is assessed per credit hour. If you have a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA), the tuition and course fees are waived at the percentage stated in your GTA contract.
All graduate students pay required campus fees. Lawrence campus fees are assessed per credit hour if you are enrolled in fewer than 6 credits. If you are enrolled in 6 or more credit hours, you will pay the flat rate. The School of Music GTA does not cover campus fees. Tuition and fee information, including the current rates, can be found at KU Financial Aid & Scholarships, and on the Registrar’s Comprehensive Fee Schedule.
|Refunds for dropped classes|
The longer you remain enrolled in a course, the lower your refund will be if you decide to drop the course. Check the Registrar’s Office website, KU Registrar, for the academic calendar that provides deadlines for dropping classes and the refund rate. You may drop courses online up to the last day to drop. After that date, you may only drop if you complete a FacEx Appeal and it is approved.
|Graduate Studies funding opportunities|
The KU Office of Graduate Studies offers a limited number of fellowships, travel funds, and scholarships to assist academically superior students. Summer fellowships are available to currently enrolled Master’s students. Only one or two students may be nominated for each award. Nominations are made by the area coordinators, who submit the nomination packet electronically to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Let your area coordinator know if you are interested in being nominated. Application forms are available on the Graduate Studies website in late December or early January. Information on the application and nomination process is also on that site: KU Graduate Studies.
|Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs)|
Graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) are offered in ensembles, musicology, music theory and composition, music education and therapy, and in many areas of performance. Normally, a School of Music GTA can be renewed for a maximum of 4 semesters while working on a Master’s degree.
To be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship, complete a GTA application, available on the Student Academic Resources page. Applications are due in the Graduate Student Services office, 446 Murphy, by March 1. Speak with your advisor or area coordinator about available GTAs or about seeking reappointment for your current GTA. Students seeking a GTA outside of the School of Music should work directly with the hiring department in that area.
|Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) tuition waivers|
GTA tuition waivers are as follows:
There is complete information regarding GTAs and the benefits that come with them at this website: KU Policy: Benefits for Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, and Graduate Assistants. It explains what is covered for each level of appointment.
A small number of music scholarships are available for graduate students. Please speak with your area coordinator about what is available to you.
|School of Music Student Opportunity funds|
The School of Music provides funds to support travel for the professional development of students and to increase the visibility of its academic programs. These funds are for students participating in national and regional conferences in which they perform, present papers, or hold workshops. The funds also support students invited to perform or present at other regional, national, or international venues. To request School of Music opportunity funds, please complete the School of Music Opportunity Fund - Student Travel Reimbursement Request form.
The Graduate Studies Office has deadlines each semester for meeting all degree requirements including exams passed, completion of the thesis (if required), and applying to graduate in Enroll & Pay. Those dates are on the Graduate Studies Graduate Calendar, https://graduate.ku.edu/students/graduating. Extensions will not be granted. You are strongly encouraged to meet with the Graduate Student Services Coordinator in Music to review the timing of the remainder of your degree requirements.
|Application for graduation|
You are urged to complete an application for graduation at the beginning of the semester you plan to graduate or the semester prior if meeting the early graduation deadline (without enrollment). This is done in Enroll and Pay. You must have submitted your application to graduate by the Graduate Studies completion deadline. If you do not graduate the semester you apply, your application to graduate will be rescinded and you will need to reapply for the future semester you plan to graduate.
|Are you finished?||You are strongly encouraged to meet with the Graduate Student Services Coordinator well before you plan to graduate to make certain you are meeting all requirements, that you know what remains, and that you will be approved to graduate.|
Degrees are awarded three times a year to graduate students who have met the requirements specified by the Graduate School as found in the Graduate Catalog. The KU Commencement events occur only once a year at the end of the Spring semester for Spring graduates and those who graduated in the preceding Summer and Fall.
COGSIM (Committee on Graduate Studies in Music)
The Committee on Graduate Studies in Music consists of 5 faculty members elected by the School of Music faculty and 2 graduate student representatives selected early in the fall semester by the COGSIM faculty members from a list of graduate student volunteers. The committee shall:
- monitor artistic and academic requirements and standards of graduate programs in cooperation with the areas;
- consider requests for curricular changes and changes in degree requirements from the areas and make recommendations to the faculty;
- act on petitions from graduate students. Any requested change to a faculty approved program of study must come before COGSIM as a student petition.
|Graduate Student Petitions||For exceptions to degree requirements or other policies and regulations within each degree program, students must submit a petition to COGSIM. Committee decisions will be communicated by the Graduate Student Services Coordinator.|
|Appealing a Final Grade|
For a grade appeal, the student must first attempt to resolve the issue by contacting the instructor within six months. If the grade conflict remains unresolved, a student may initiate an appeal of a final course grade if, but only if, he or she believes that there has been an improper application of the grading procedure the instructor has announced for the course.
A graduate student may initiate their appeal to COGSIM by completing a Graduate Student Petition form. A student may appeal the decision made by COGSIM to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and, ultimately, to the University Judicial Board.
If the student’s appeal is sustained at any level, the final course grade shall be assigned in accordance with Section 2.3.5 of the University Senate Rules and Regulations. The Association Dean for Academic Affairs may be consulted at any time for advice on any aspect of the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges for graduate students, faculty, and programs. While this handbook lays out the standard policies that govern your doctoral program, you can expect that some of these policies will be adapted to meet the realities of pursuing a graduate degree during a pandemic. You are also responsible for knowing the adapted policies and procedures. As policies change, you will be notified by email. In addition, adapted policies will be posted to the following pages, though you are encouraged to reach out to the Graduate Student Services Coordinator if you are ever in doubt:
See the University Senate Rules & Regulations for the complete University policy on Academic Misconduct including definitions and examples.
Both the official KU website and KU School of Music website contain a wealth of information. You can find information on the KU website about parking, student health services, recreation services, KU ID cards, email, and enrollment.
International Support Services
If you are an International Student, please become familiar with International Support Services (ISS). There are often variations in each situation; the ISS advisors can best advise you on how academic decisions, such as taking a leave of absence, dropping below full-time status, or changing majors, can affect your visa status.
Grievance Policy and Procedures
Grievances arising within the School of Music must be heard under the School’s Grievance Procedure. The School of Music grievance procedure applies to the faculty members, unclassified professional staff, and students.
- KU Schedule of Classes
- KU Academic Catalog - School of Music
- KU Academic Catalog - Graduate Studies
- KU Graduate Studies
- KU International Support Services
- KU Housing
- FINAL DOCUMENT INFORMATION (Master’s Thesis, PhD Dissertation, DMA Lecture-Recital Document, and DMA Document):
- KU Registrar: Graduation
School of Music Directory
All School of Music faculty (including each area coordinator) and staff can be found at People Directory.