2020-2021 Samford University Graduate Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2020-2021 Samford University Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Music

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Philip L. Copeland, Professor
Joseph H. Hopkins, Professor
Sharon L. Lawhon, Professor
Grant B. Dalton, Associate Professor
Joel S. Davis, Associate Professor
Brad M. Diamond, Associate Professor
Jeffrey Z. Flaniken, Associate Professor
Kristin Kenning, Associate Professor; Director, Samford Opera
Mark A. Lackey, Associate Professor; Director, Graduate Studies
Brian B. Viliunas, Associate Professor
Brian O. Walden, Associate Professor
Emily Snider Andrews, Assistant Professor
M. Elizabeth (Beth) McGinnis, Assistant Professor
Steven A. Potaczek, Assistant Professor
Owen W. Reagan, Visiting Assistant Professor
Morgan C. Soja, Assistant Professor
Jason A. Terry, Assistant Professor
Yeoyung ‘Angela’ Yoon, Assistant Professor
Ryan T. Lowell, Instructor
Cindy B. St. Clair, Visiting Assistant Professor


The Division of Music is preparing musicians to enrich society through a diligent pursuit of excellence.

General Information

Music study at Samford University is essentially a threefold program, including training in basic musicianship, training in specialized professional areas, and studies in the liberal arts. The core of the program is musicianship-continuous study in music performance, including solo and ensemble experiences, along with extensive work in music theory and history. In specialized areas, such as teacher training, composition, and music and worship, requirements include training and experiences in the special skills and knowledge appropriate to the respective degree program to equip the graduate to function effectively on the professional level. The liberal arts requirements contribute to the breadth of knowledge appropriate for the professional musician.

In addition to the academic programs, a wide variety of ensembles offer opportunities to both music and non-music majors for meaningful experiences in music making. University ensembles include A Cappella Choir, University Chorale, Samford Opera, Opera Workshop, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and numerous chamber ensembles.


The Division of Music in the School of the Arts is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the teacher education program is accredited by the Alabama State Department of Education.

Graduate Programs and Requirements

Master of Music (M.M.)

Church Music (M.M.)  with a Concentration in Conducting, Performance, or Thesis
Instrumental Performance (M.M.)  
Piano Performance and Pedagogy (M.M.) 
Vocal Performance (M.M.)  

Master of Music Education (M.M.E.)

Music: Pattern 1: Traditional Program (M.M.E.) 
Music: Pattern 2: Fifth Year Non-Traditional Program (M.M.E.) 
Music (National Board Cohort) (M.M.E.)  

Joint Degree Pathway Program
Master of Music/Master of Divinity (M.M./M.Div.)

The Division of Music offers graduate programs leading to the master of music degree (M.M.), with majors in church music, instrumental performance, piano performance/pedagogy, and vocal performance; and the master of music education degree (M.M.E.), with three variations on the music major (traditional, fifth-year non-traditional, and National Board cohort).

Additionally, the department offers a joint degree pathway program in cooperation with the Beeson School of Divinity, leading to both an M.M. and a master of divinity (M.Div.). Some credit sharing is allowed and overall credits of the combined programs are reduced.

Master of Music (M.M.); Master of Music Education (M.M.E.)

Admission Requirements

A bachelor of music (B.M.) degree, or an equivalent degree, from an institution accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music is required for admission to all programs. An applicant whose undergraduate preparation does not meet these specifications may be admitted provisionally, with the requirement that course work stipulated at the time of admission be completed to ensure that preparation is equivalent to that of a graduate of the bachelor of music degree program offered by the Division of Music at Samford. Courses completed in satisfying this requirement must earn a grade of at least B and do not count toward the master’s degree.

Unconditional admission to any program requires a GPA of 3.00 or above. Admission to the master of music education programs requires a minimum GPA of 3.00 (on a 4-point scale) in music courses and on the undergraduate degree as a whole. There will be no exceptions. Minimum GPA for conditional admission to all other programs is 2.50 on a 4-point scale. All applicants for the master of music education programs must have passed the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program (AECTP) examination. Applicants for the master of music education (traditional program) must also submit minimum scores of 150 on the Music: Content Knowledge Exam (Test #0013) on the Praxis II Examination.

International applicants must contact the director of graduate studies in music for additional procedures.

A complete application includes:

  1. The application form and fee ($35).
  2. An official transcript from each institution attended since high school. Applicants for the master of music education degrees must provide two official transcripts.
  3. Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT), on which a minimum score of 90 is required.
  4. Three (3) recommendations from teachers or supervisors who can assess the student’s competence to undertake graduate study.
  5. Consult the Division of Music Graduate Program Manual for additional requirements specific to each degree.

In addition to application materials, each applicant must audition and interview for the appropriate music faculty.





      Music - Church MusicMusic - ConductingMusic - Music Education & PedagogyMusic - Music History & LiteratureMusic - Music Theory & CompositionMusic - Performance-RelatedMusic - EnsemblesMusic - Performance Instruction

      Credit for performance study is consistent with the National Association of Schools of Music minimum standard of three hours of practice per week for each credit. For performance study, the first number of the course indicates classification level (1000-Freshman, 2000-Sophomore, 3000-Junior, 4000-Senior, 5000-Graduate) while the second number indicates the amount of course credits: i.e., MUSA 5111 Violin (1); MUSA 5251 Piano (2); MUSA 5357 Voice (3).

      Music - Class Instruction

      Students acquire a working knowledge of each family of instruments.

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