Michael J. Stepniak, Dean
Ruebush Hall, Room 108, (540) 665-4600
Jeffrey Marlatt, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Ruebush Hall, Room 108, (540) 665-4600
Ting-Yu Chen, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Ruebush Hall, Room 108, (540) 665-4600
Explore the Shenandoah Conservatory on our university website.
As a community uniquely committed to rigor, nurture, and innovation, Shenandoah Conservatory inspires artistic and scholarly excellence, preparing talented students for successful careers in the arts.
Conservatory Admission Requirements
Applicants for Conservatory graduate programs must successfully complete entrance requirements that may include one or more of the following:
- Pre-screening and performance audition
- Portfolio review
- Writing sample
- Personal essay
- Transcript review
- Personal interview
- Letters of Recommendation
For specific requirements visit www.su.edu/admissions.
International students applying to master’s and doctoral degrees must take the TOEFL examination and earn a minimum score as published by the Office of Admissions. Complete information regarding the requirements for non-native speakers of English is available from the Office of Admissions.
International students applying to the artist diploma program are not required to demonstrate language proficiency, but are encouraged to submit TOEFL scores to assist the faculty in academic advising.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission.
New Conservatory graduate students are required to take diagnostic examinations. These examinations are designed to assess student preparation for required graduate courses in music literature and music theory. Master’s students are required to take a diagnostic examination in music theory. Doctoral students must take diagnostic examinations in music literature and music theory.
Diagnostic examinations are administered at the beginning of the summer and fall terms. Examinations are graded pass/fail. Two attempts are allowed to pass diagnostic examinations in music theory and music literature.
All remediation must be completed before registering for any graduate-level courses in music theory.
• Music Literature: The diagnostic examination is divided into five components: Medieval and Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century. Students who do not pass any portion of the examination must enroll in appropriate remedial courses, and attain a minimum grade of C.
All remediation must be completed before registering for graduate-level special topic seminars in music literature.
Choral Conducting and Voice students are required to take a diagnostic examination in diction.
Performing Arts Leadership and Management, Artist Diploma, Master of Music Therapy and Professional Studies Program for Music Therapy Certification Eligibility students are exempt from taking diagnostic examinations.
Transfer of Credits
A minimum of 30 credits is required in the master’s program. Shenandoah Conservatory will accept up to nine transfer credits into a master’s degree program when earned from an accredited institution. All transfer credit must fulfill curricular requirements or appropriate electives. Students who enroll in a second master’s degree at Shenandoah Conservatory may transfer up to nine credits into any additional degree program within the Conservatory. Applied instruction in all performance areas must be taken for credit at Shenandoah Conservatory.
Doctor of Musical Arts Degree
The DMA in Pedagogy – Voice requires a minimum of 60 credits. DMA Pedagogy – Voice students may transfer in up to twelve graduate credits beyond the master’s degree when earned at an accredited university or institution.
The DMA in Performance requires a minimum of 54 credits. DMA Performance students may transfer in up to ten graduate credits beyond the master’s degree when earned at an accredited university or institution.
All transfer credit beyond the master’s degree must fulfill curricular requirements in the DMA Performance or Pedagogy degree. Deficiencies will be identified through a thorough academic transcript review. Successful fulfillment of deficiencies and required remediation are a condition of degree completion.
All applied instruction, performance recitals and culminating projects must be completed at Shenandoah Conservatory.
The associate dean for faculty and academic affairs makes all final decisions regarding transfer credit and curricular deficiencies.
Transfer credit for applied study is not accepted. All applied instruction and performance recitals for the Artist Diploma program must be taken for credit with Shenandoah Conservatory faculty. Students who wish to transfer from the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance curriculum into the Artist Diploma program must re-audition and submit all application materials required for the Artist Diploma program. Applied music credits for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance curriculum are accepted as equivalent to study in the Artist Diploma program.
Students have a period of six years from their initial enrollment date to complete the master’s degree requirements and eight years for the doctoral degree requirements.
Doctoral Student Residency
Residency is required. This can be achieved by either enrollment as a full-time student during two consecutive terms (fall and spring) or enrollment at Shenandoah over three consecutive terms (for example, spring/summer/fall) with a registration of a minimum of 18 credits completed within those terms. It is anticipated that these registrations include a summer session and individual work on the research document during the fall and spring terms. It is strongly recommended that students plan their approaches to residency with their academic advisors.
Comprehensive and Qualifying Examinations
Oral, qualifying, or comprehensive examinations occur at or near the completion of all graduate degree programs. Comprehensive examinations require demonstration of knowledge in music literature, music theory and the area of specialization. Qualifying examinations demonstrate knowledge in the area of specialization.
Master’s degree examinations for students in all curricula are comprehensive in content and are administered orally for students in church music, collaborative piano, composition, conducting, pedagogy and performance. Examinations for students in music education, music therapy and arts management are administered in a written format.
Doctoral comprehensive examinations are administered in a written format for students in instrumental performance and conducting. Qualifying examinations are administered in a written format for students in pedagogy, keyboard and voice performance.
Successful completion of doctoral comprehensive and qualifying examinations is prerequisite to registration for MUPP 853 Career Navigation for the Artist Teacher , dissertation credit (CONR 899 ), doctoral lecture recital (MUPP 896, MUPP 898) and lecture recital document (CONR 893 ).
Detailed information related to comprehensive and qualifying examinations may be found online in the Graduate Students Canvas Organization.
Students in doctoral programs achieve candidacy upon successful completion of all comprehensive or qualifying examinations. Candidacy is not required in master’s degree programs.
Participation in Commencement – Shenandoah Conservatory Procedures
The policy on student participation in commencement ceremonies, colloquially termed “walking,” appears in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. See “Student Participation in Commencement Ceremony.”
Specific implementation for Conservatory students:
Permission to walk must be requested in writing and submitted to the associate dean for student affairs. When time permits, decisions to approve requests are made in conjunction with the Conservatory division chairs. Official “Permission to Walk” forms are available in the Conservatory Office.