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School of Music Masters Programs Graduate Assistantships and Awards

Graduate awards in the School of Music are highly competitive, and are based on artistic merit, academic merit, professional experience, and the applicant’s strengths and interests, in conjunction with the ever-evolving needs of the school. Priority consideration is given to students who have completed admission files by March 1. Almost half of the graduate students in the School of Music receive financial support.

The School support comes in many forms such as:

  1. Graduate Assistantships
  2. Graduate Student employment
  3. Partial tuition waivers

All graduate students who complete the School of Music Application are considered for any type of financial support available. If you wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship, your School of Music Application must be submitted before you schedule an audition.

Graduate Assistantships

The School of Music has Graduate Assistantships with a variety of responsibilities available for qualified applicants. Students currently receive a minimum stipend of $13,500 (paid in eighteen installments over a nine-month appointment), health benefits and a full University tuition waiver for the two semesters of the academic year. Graduate Assistants must be registered for a minimum of nine credit hours. Assistantships are given for one year at a time, but are renewable according to the policy noted below.

Graduate Assistantships are also available outside of the School of Music. Learn more about other assistantships at

Meritorious Credit Hour Waivers

If a student does not receive an assistantship from the School of Music, the school also offers a limited number of meritorious credit hour waivers to eligible students. For a graduate student who is offered waivers, the typical award ranges from 3 to 5 credit hour waivers, awarded on a per-semester basis. All full-time graduate students take a minimum of 9 credit hours and can register for up to 17 credit hours without additional cost.

Graduate Assistantship Renewal Policy

Graduate Assistantships from the School of Music are intended to provide financial support for a graduate student during full time course work: 2 years from the time of matriculation for MM and 3 years for DMA and PhD (usually up to admission to candidacy). Graduate Assistantship contracts in the School of Music are awarded for one year at a time; however, it is understood that a student who is making good academic progress and who is successful in the Graduate Assistantship assignment will have his/her contract renewed as noted above. Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies in Music in consultation with the Director of the School of Music and the Associate Dean of the College of Creative Arts and Media.

Graduate students must maintain a GPA of 3.00 to continue in an assistantship position. If a graduate student GPA falls below 3.00, the decision to continue the assistantship in the next semester or to renew the assistantship for the next year will be determined by the School of Music Graduate Committee.

All Graduate Assistants are formally evaluated in writing each year by the supervisor(s) of the assistantship assignment(s) initially in the first semester (normally fall) and, if necessary, in the second semester (normally spring). These evaluations are shared with each Graduate Assistant and placed in his/her School of Music file. In consideration of these evaluations, the specific assignment(s) of any graduate assistantship may change within or between semesters at the discretion of the supervisor(s) and the Graduate Committee.

Recommendation for continuation of the assistantship award for the next year (normally an academic year) will be determined in part on the basis of these evaluations. Any Graduate Assistant who is not recommended for continuation of his/her award for the next year will be notified in writing before the end of the current year and will continue in the assistantship until the end of the current contract period.

Termination of a graduate assistantship at any time other than the end of the stated contract period must follow standard procedures for termination of any university employee, including verbal counseling and written warnings. Such termination normally results in immediate suspension of graduate assistantship stipend payments and tuition waivers.

Partial Tuition Waivers

Graduate students without assistantships are automatically considered for a limited number of partial tuition waivers, which range in value from three to five credit hours. Doctoral students are given preference.