School of Music

recital hall piano

Graduate Studies in Music


The School of Music at Western Illinois University prepares graduate students for the professional world as performers, educators, composers, and innovators. Core courses in music theory, music history, and research complement individual lessons and specialized courses tailored to meet each student’s career goals. Students preparing for further studies at the doctoral level develop a strong foundation in performance and research, and many recent graduates have been admitted to highly selective doctoral programs at universities and conservatories throughout the world. A variety of graduate assistantships provide full tuition waivers and stipends while providing valuable performance and teaching experience.


The Master of Music Therapy at the School of Music at Western Illinois University offers students the opportunity to advance their clinical practice as music therapists. Coursework integrates music therapy theories, research, treatment knowledge, clinical musicianship, and therapeutic approaches. Individual interests and specializations can be pursued through electives and independent projects to meet student’s career goals. We hope to equip graduates with critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills through varied learning experiences in courses, fieldwork, and research.

Graduate Application Process

The following steps outline the application procedures and materials needed for admission to graduate programs as required by the School of Music.

  1. Apply to WIU.
  2. Peruse the School of Music Graduate Student Handbook where you will find detailed information regarding the course requirements for your area of emphasis.
  3. Review the Audition Requirements for your area, and contact the area professor with any questions regarding the audition. You can find their email within the Audition Requirements document.
  4. Fill out the School of Music Graduate Application Form.
  5. Submit official transcripts from previous and current undergraduate/graduate degree programs to if you are a domestic student or if you are an international student.
  6. Once your application has been processed you will be assigned a WIU ID number. You should then review and complete the WIU Graduate Assistantship application.

Please note that we will begin reviewing assistantship applications on January 31 of each year.

Audition Information

MM Audition Requirements

Although we encourage all students to audition live on our campus, we understand that scheduling and distance do not always allow for a campus visit. The School of Music accepts video recordings of required audition repertoire submitted via YouTube, Dropbox, or other similar platforms. Applicants can submit links via the School of Music Graduate Application Form. Please email any questions directly to the applied instructor in their area or to Dr. Anita Hardeman, School of Music Graduate Coordinator.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships provide students with a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend in return for 13-20 hours per week of work. Detailed information can be found in the School of Music Graduate Student Handbook.

Graduate Assistantships available for the 2023–2024 academic year include:

  • Bands
  • Choirs
  • Community Music School
  • Jazz Studies
  • Orchestra
  • Piano
  • Theory/History and Humanities
  • Trumpet

School of Music Graduate Student Handbook

Current and prospective graduate students can find detailed information regarding application procedures, program descriptions, degree requirements, advisory and comprehensive examinations, and graduate assistantships in the School of Music Graduate Student Handbook.

Contact Information

For general inquiries and questions related to applications, admission, and graduate assistantships, please contact Dr. Anita Hardeman, Graduate Coordinator for the School of Music.

Downloadable Forms