Swope Music Building and the Performing Arts Center
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Blair, Dean
Dr. Burton, Graduate Coordinator

The School of Music has three departments: Applied Music (combining the areas of instrumental, keyboard, and vocal/choral music); Music Education; and Music Theory, History, and Composition.


The mission of the School of Music at West Chester University is to create a learning environment that provides the highest order of education in all major aspects of music, to establish a foundation for life-long growth in music, and to offer programs and degrees that are tradition based but future oriented. In pursuing this mission, we reaffirm our commitment to diversity within the School of Music. Our faculty members strive to be inspiring teachers as well as musical and intellectual leaders. Further, we endeavor to expand the music opportunities available to all University students and to enhance the quality of our community’s musical life.

Programs of Study

The School of Music offers programs leading to the master of music degree in music education, performance, music history or music theory/composition, and piano pedagogy. Course selections to meet degree requirements are made by candidates in consultation with their advisers and with consideration of the candidates’ goals, abilities, needs, and interests.

Samuel Barber Institute for Music Educators

The Samuel Barber Institute for Music Educators offers an innovative combination of traditional academic courses and special subjects seminars featuring nationally renowned leaders in 21st century music education. These courses may be applied to NASM-accredited master's degrees in music education, applied music, piano pedagogy, music history and literature, and music theory as well as meeting requirements for teacher certification renewal and professional growth. Master's degrees in the School of Music may be earned through an intensive four-summer program or a combination of regular semester and summer studies. Contact the coordinator of graduate studies for details on these programs.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to a degree program at West Chester University, music applicants are considered on the basis of academic record, interviews, School of Music Graduate Admission Test, portfolio review in composition, and auditions for performance programs.

Prior to enrollment all applicants must (1) Possess appropriate undergraduate degrees and may be required to remedy not more than 12 credits of deficiency (2) Schedule interviews with the graduate coordinator and appropriate department chairperson in the School of Music.

The areas of concentration, directed electives, and free electives are described fully in a student handbook compiled by, and available from, the graduate coordinator of the School of Music, and on the CVPA website.

During the first semester or summer session in which graduate music courses are taken, each graduate student must take the School of Music Graduate Admission Test. This examination will be administered twice each semester and twice during the summer session to allow the greatest degree of accessibility for students and to facilitate student progress through degree curricula.

The examination will assess student competencies in music history/literature and music theory including skills and knowledge of two areas: (1) Music history/literature - styles, forms, and genres of all major periods of music history, representative composers and their works, and philosophical and societal issues relating to music history. This knowledge will be assessed through a combination of written questions and aural listening exam. (2) Music theory - music terminology, part-writing techniques, analysis of harmonic and melodic structures, basic arranging and composition, and aural skills. These skills and knowledge will be assessed through a combination of written and aural questions.

Contact the graduate coordinator for the School of Music for test dates and registration forms for the School of Music Graduate Admission Test.

Each degree candidate is individually responsible for satisfying degree candidacy and graduation requirements stated elsewhere in this catalog and for meeting deadline dates for the May, August, or December graduation, as appropriate.

Applied Music

(Formerly the departments of Instrumental, Keyboard, and Vocal/Choral Music)

Dr. Hanning, Chairperson

Click here for more information on programs in applied music.

Music Education

Dr. Burton, Chairperson

Click here for more information on programs in music education.

Music Theory, History, and Composition

Dr. Maggio, Chairperson

Click here for more information on programs in music theory, history, and composition.