Dec 07, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2018-2019 
Graduate Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Artist Diploma

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Instrumental: Akemi Takayama, Associate Professor of Music
Armstrong Hall, Room 29; (540) 665-4524;

Admission to the Artist Diploma (post-baccalaureate) has been suspended. The program has not been terminated but no applications are being accepted at this time.

The Artist Diploma (post-master’s) is intended for exceptional performers or ensembles that hold a master’s degree, conservatory equivalent or professional credentials with appropriate credits in music history and theory.

Career goals of applicants to both diploma programs include entering major competitions, auditioning for major orchestras or pursuing a professional performing career.

The diploma programs are available in the applied areas of organ, piano (including collaborative piano), violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, harp, guitar, string quartet (or other chamber ensembles) and conducting. Artist Diploma is not available in Voice.


Students completing the Artist Diploma (post-master’s) will be able to:

  • demonstrate advanced musicianship in solo and ensemble performances;
  • perform a variety of advanced level repertoire commensurate with their professional goals;
  • perform in a variety of settings.

The Artist Diploma requires full-time study and a two-year residency period. Students receive faculty guidance in completing a program of study designed to enable the development of individual artistic and intellectual interest. All students participate in a range of performance opportunities appropriate to their discipline. Upon acceptance, a graduate committee is appointed to guide students through the program.

Degree Requirements

The course of study is flexible and designed for the individual needs of advanced students. Students work in close collaboration with studio faculty and advisors to deepen their artistry. The following requirements are minimums in each category.

The Artist Diploma includes a minimum of 32 credits. Sixteen credits are completed in four semesters of private applied study in the principal instrument, eight credits are completed in four semesters of participation in performance ensembles and eight credits are completed in presentation of four recitals.

When students enter the Artist Diploma program as an ensemble, the applied study consists of group coaching of the ensemble. Students desiring to undertake individual applied study in addition to group coaching must register for such study separately.

When students are accepted to an Artist Diploma program as an ensemble and during the course of study one or more members withdraw from the ensemble, the remaining members of the ensemble are expected to find replacements. The Conservatory will assist as possible, but assumes no responsibility for finding suitable replacements. The replacement members must complete the normal application and audition process.

When an Artist Diploma ensemble is at less than full strength and suitable replacements cannot be found, the remaining individual members of the ensemble may apply to continue pursuing an Artist Diploma as a soloist, after completing an appropriate individual audition.

A minimum 3.0 grade point average is expected for all Artist Diploma students.

Artist Diploma students studying orchestral instruments must participate in the ensemble program every semester in residence as assigned. Opera students are assigned to appropriate productions. Students are assigned by the major teacher to various performing groups in consultation with the conductors or coaches of these groups.

The four recitals of students completing the Artist Diploma as individual performers must include a minimum of two required solo recitals. The other two recitals may include accompanying of graduate recitals and other public performances as a soloist. The variety and/or type of recitals to be performed are determined by the student’s committee after review of the repertoire list and in consultation with the major teacher.

All four recitals presented by students completing the Artist Diploma as ensembles must consist of chamber ensemble repertoire and exclude solo performances.

Recitals are evaluated each semester by members of the graduate committee to arrive at a course grade.

Artist Diploma candidates are given the option of presenting recitals in public venues within a 75-mile radius of the university campus. The recitals must be convenient to the faculty committee members, scheduled in consultation with the faculty committee and at the expense of the student. Requests for off-campus recitals are considered on a case-by-case basis.


The minimum residency is two years.

Course and Credit Requirements

Total: 32 credits

*Minimum grade of “C” required.

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