M.A. in Music (History and Literature)

The 36-credit Master of Arts in Music with a concentration in History and Literature explores the evolution of musical styles, both instrumental and vocal, and how world events have influenced eastern and western music. The degree prepares students for a wide variety of careers including music historian, solo or group performer, accompanist, chamber musician/singer, studio musician, composition/theory specialist, music educator, music technology specialist, private school teacher, private studio instructor or music producer. A performance emphasis can be incorporated into this degree, in areas ranging from piano to violin to tuba to jazz synthesizer. A student may relate and integrate the performance emphasis within the required thesis.

As a student in this program, you will work with faculty members who are active musicians with flourishing professional careers and extensive networking connections in the music world. In addition, you will have access to workshops and master classes conducted by high-profile musical artists from New York City and around the world. Music majors also perform on national and international tours organized and led by their professors. You also will have the opportunity to participate in one or more of LIU Post’s 16 ensembles, including groups that specialize in contemporary, traditional and early music styles.

Qualities that Set Our Program Apart
  • You will work with some of the most talented and successful musicians and teachers in the New York metro area. Our faculty members are active musicians and teachers, and they represent some of the most cutting-edge and high profile people in the profession.
  • Our proximity to New York City and connection to Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at the LIU Post Campus will give you direct access to a wide variety of outstanding professional music-making in the form of concerts, workshops, master classes and collaborative projects. Recent musical artists who have worked with our students include: the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Chanticleer Choral Ensemble, Shanghai String Quartet, Bobby McFerrin, United States “President’s Own” Marine Band, New York Voices, United States Air Force Band, guitarist David Leisner, flutist Sir James Galway, jazz artist Paquito D’Rivera, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
  • You will have an opportunity to make music as a soloist, chamber musician and large ensemble member both on campus, and as part of our domestic and international touring program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Arts program must meet the following requirements for admission:

  • Submit an Application for Admission
  • Submit an Application fee: (non-refundable)
  • Submit official copies of undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts from any colleges or universities attended
  • Have an undergraduate major in music or must have a minimum of 36 credits in music classes
  • Hold a Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in undergraduate studies or successful completion of another master's degree. Applicants who do not meet this academic requirement will be reviewed individually by the program director. Based on a review of all credentials, students may be offered limited matriculation status
  • Submit two professional and/or academic letters of recommendation that address the applicant's potential in the profession and ability to complete a graduate program
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses reasons for pursuing graduate work in this area of study
  • Dependent on past academic records and performance, appear before a faculty member or panel, either individually or as a participant in a group situation, for assessment of interpersonal and musicianship skills. If an applicant is asked to appear and his or her location makes it difficult to meet a faculty member or panel during the application process, he or she may be conditionally accepted on a limited matriculated basis, with full matriculation dependent on the results of the required personal interview and assessment of interpersonal and musicianship skills to be done at a later date.
  • Submit a current résumé
  • If an applicant for whom English is a second language, submit official score results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The required minimum acceptable TOEFL score is: 85 Internet-based (223 computer-based or 563 paper-based) or minimum IELTS score: 6.5

Graduate applicants can send their admissions materials to:
LIU Post
Admissions Processing Center
15 Dan Road, Suite 102
Canton, MA 02021

International applicants should send their admissions materials to:
International Admissions
LIU Post
720 Northern Blvd.
Brookville, NY 11548-1300 USA

Additional application materials to submit:
  • Theory and Composition applicants: A portfolio of original compositions or arrangements (consisting of the printed scores and audio files); or a research paper or formal essay on a musical topic.
  • History and Literature applicants: A research paper or formal essay on a musical topic.

Send these additional materials to:
Dr. Paul Kim
Graduate Advisor
Department of Music
LIU Post
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, N.Y. 11548-1300
Or by

The 36-credit Master of Arts in Music with a concentration in History and Literature explores the evolution of musical styles, both instrumental and vocal, and cultural developments that influenced Western and world music. Both comprehensive historical surveys as well as advanced studies in specialized areas of musicological research are taught.
A thesis is required to complete this degree program.

Auditions for Admission

An audition is required for applicants interested in pursuing the M.A. in Music with a Concentration in Performance.
Audition Days will be posted on the university’s website and routinely updated in print media. Alternate dates by appointment.

Auditions will be held in the LIU Post Fine Arts Center. You can register to audition by completing the online Audition Registration Form at To register by phone or schedule an appointment for an alternate date, call 516-299-2474 or contact us through email at

Professional attire is expected.

For Instrumentalists:
  • Two pieces of contrasting styles. These could be two complete pieces or individual movements from two different works.
  • Sight-reading
  • Additional requirements as deemed necessary by area director

Percussionists: Audition repertoire should include: (1) advanced snare drum solo; (2) two mallet keyboard piece (marimba, xylophone, or vibraphone); (3) two-drum timpani piece.

For Vocalists:
  • Two pieces of contrasting styles. One selection must be in a language other than English. The other classical selection may be in English if desired, or another foreign language.
  • Exploration of vocal range and aural abilities.
  • An accompanist will be provided if you require one, or you may bring your own accompanist if you wish.

Performance applicants from abroad or distant geographical regions for whom travel to LIU Post to audition is not possible should submit a video recording of the audition performance either on DVD or via a web link (such as YouTube video) in lieu of a live audition. Audio-only recordings will not be accepted.

Major Requirements
Required Music Course
MUS 608 Seminar in Musicology 3.00
Elective Music History & Literature Courses
Three of the following:
MUS 540 Criteria for Musical Performance 3.00
MUS 600 Opera History 3.00
MUS 601 Seminar in the History of Music I 3.00
MUS 602 Seminar in the History of Music II 3.00
MUS 603 Seminar in the History of Music III 3.00
MUS 604 Seminar in the History of Music IV 3.00
MUS 605 The Role of the Symphony in the History of Music 3.00
Elective Music Theory & Composition Courses
Two of the following:
MUS 518 The Study of Musical Form 3.00
MUS 520 Jazz Composition and Arranging 3.00
MUS 611 Polyphonic and Harmonic Analysis 3.00
MUS 613 Seminar Harmony and Counterpoint 3.00
MUS 616 Analysis of 20th Century Music 3.00
MUS 619 Seminar in Composition 3.00
MUS 645 Orchestration 3.00
Required Music Thesis Courses
MUS 707 Research Methods 3.00
MUS 708 Thesis Seminar 3.00
Elective Music Courses
Students are required to complete 12 credits in Music in the 500, 600, or 700 series
3.00 Cumulative GPA Required
The minimum Overall GPA 3.00
Credit and GPA Requirements
Minimum Total Credits: 36
Minimum Major GPA: 3.00


College of Arts, Communications & Design
Steven Breese, Dean

Moreen Mitchell, J.D.
Assistant Dean