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CCM: About

CCM: About
The courtyard outside of CCM's Patricia Corbett Theater.

The courtyard outside of CCM's Patricia Corbett Theater.

Academic Programs & Majors

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programs. Refer to the chart below for more information on the types of degrees offered by each program and click on the degree titles to view specific degree plans.


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What is Theory?

Music Theory is an area of study that tends to focus on musical materials per se, in order to explain (and/or offer generalizations about) their various principles and processes. It investigates how these materials function (or, in a more speculative vein, how they might function), so that musical “structure” can be better understood (from "Theory," by David Carson Berry, Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed., 2013).



David Carson Berry, MM Adviser

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

The graduate programs in music theory are of very high quality, blending rigorous academic training with opportunities for specialization in a variety of areas. The music theory faculty consists of nationally and internationally known scholars with diverse academic backgrounds, impressive research trajectories and an exceptionally wide range of interest areas. This range permits offering seminars that expose students to all the major research areas.

The position of this academic program within the context of a major conservatory provides ample opportunities for interactions with high quality performers and composers, which enhances the educational experience.

Teaching opportunities abound, and most TAs gain experience in teaching both theory and aural skills. The high quality of the students creates a unique pedagogical setting. The high-level teaching experiences thus attained give our students a competitive edge as they enter the job market.

Students and alumni are very active presenting their research in major professional venues.  High quality work thrives within a collegial, supportive environment. 

Special Programs

The Thinking About Music series brings in top scholars in the field to present lectures and includes several opportunities for students to interact with them and become familiar with their work. A weekly colloquium series provides opportunities to present research, as well as crucial guidance on professional development issues, thus preparing them for successful careers.

Musicology and theory students work together to organize the very high quality biennial University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Music Theory & Musicology Society conference.

Admission Requirements

  • Personal audition and interview in Cincinnati
  • Official transcripts from each undergraduate/graduate institution attended
  • At least two analytical or theoretical papers should be submitted with the application
  • GRE General Exam
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 500-word applicant statement
  • International students: TOEFL exam
  • For scholarship eligibility: 3.0 undergraduate GPA

For consideration as a graduate theory assistant, a 40 minute test on written theory and analysis will be given at 8 a.m. on the interview day. If deemed qualified by this test, the applicant will be scheduled for a musicianship interview as well as a practice teaching interview with theory faculty later in the day. For the latter, a signup schedule will be posted by 9:10 a.m. The 15-minute musicianship interview will test aural, sight-reading, and keyboard skills. The 15-minute teaching session will require students to present a sample class on Neapolitan chords.

For specific audition requirements, see The CCM Application Handbook: from the CCM homepage ( click on “Apply to CCM” to download in pdf format.

Application Deadlines

If you would like to submit an electronic application for the Music Program please visit our On-Line Graduate School Application and complete the form. In order to complete the admissions process, you need to visit the Music Program website or contact the program directly for information about application requirements or to inquire about materials that need to be submitted when applying to this program.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Quick Facts

Master of Music Degree in Theory

Full-Time Program Duration

2 Years


Uptown Campus West


Phone: 513-556-9478
CCM Graduate Admissions