Degree – Master of Liberal Arts (MLA)
Concentration: Music

Description of Program

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) in Music degree program objective is to provide student learners with the tools and training necessary to produce literary scholarship of professional quality and to participate in ongoing academic discussions of issues in the fields of Music.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a level of instruction for potential musicians that will enable them to produce self-directed person who are capable of making health life choices.
  • Provide student learners with a deeper level of musical skill and understanding.
  • Provide student learners with an increased knowledge and skill in the pedagogy of music, teaching, and performance.

Admission Requirements:

Students applying for entrance to the Master of Liberal Arts in Music are required to submit an application for admission, Apply Online (

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for regular admission and 2.5 for conditional admission at the undergraduate level.
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation from references sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Official transcript from an accredited school (if a student has attended more than one school, transcripts must be submitted from all schools attended). At least one transcript must document the student has a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Some departments have additional requirements students must meet for admission
  • Immunization Record

Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials by the department’s admission committee. Each department uses an admission formula to accept students. The entire application packet, including all supporting materials, must be submitted to the Graduate School. Official test scores must be submitted from Education Testing Service (ETS) and must not be older than five years, official transcripts from the sending school, and Credential Evaluations (International students) from an approved Credential Evaluation Service.

Standardized Test:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is the official standardized test required for admission to the Master of Liberal Arts. WAIVED

Degree requirements:

The curriculum for the Master of Liberal Arts in Music requires 33 credit hours of coursework and a capstone project for degree completion. An oral defense of the thesis is required for progression to degree completion.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Write an acceptable capstone and defend it orally
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is an exit requirement for the Master of Liberal Arts. The discipline has specific expectations for selection of topics and the type of capstone project. Students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice in the relevant disciplines under the guidance of a graduate faculty to produce a paper that reflects understanding of the topic and in the respective discipline.

Master Degree Audit:

Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if student has met all academic requirements for course work and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.

Time to Degree Completion

Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the Master of Liberal Arts program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence

The Master of Liberal Arts in Music follows the prescribed curriculum for completion of 33 hours of coursework.

Required Core Liberal Arts Courses (6 Hours)
ILA 500 Introduction to Liberal Arts
ILA 501 Research in the Liberal Arts

Required Music Courses (12 Hours)
MU 506 Seminar in Music Education
MU 508 Seminar in Music History and Literature
MU 509 Selected Topics in Music History and Literature
MU 512 Selected Topics in Music Education

Music Electives (Choose 6 Hours)
MU 505 Seminar in Music Theory
MU 510 Music Pedagogy and Techniques
MU 511 World Music

Interdisciplinary Electives (6 Hours)
HI 503 Colonial American History
HI 505 African American International

Capstone (3 Hours)
ILA 599 Capstone Project

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Renardo Murray ▪ 601.877.6264 ▪ [email protected] (School of Arts and Sciences)
Dr. Sean Daniels ▪ 601.877.3962 ▪ [email protected] (Department of Fine Arts)