Apr 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog DRAFT (working copy for edits) 
2024-2025 Catalog DRAFT (working copy for edits)

Jazz Studies, M.M.

Mission Statement

The School of Arts and Humanities offers the Master of Music in Jazz Studies to provide opportunity to talented and highly self-disciplined music educators and performers to earn an Master of Music (MM) tailored to fit their lifestyles, interests, and goals and to develop their understanding of jazz history and theory, as well as enhance their performance skills, through study under successful and dedicated performers and teachers from a range of backgrounds and aesthetic perspectives.

The mission of the MM program is directly related to the mission of the university in that it enhances individuals’ abilities to think creatively and critically, to effectively communicate, to be technologically literate, to appreciate and contribute to the cultures of their communities and beyond, and to possess awareness and sensitivity to global issues.

Expected Student Learning Outcomes

A graduate of the Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Arkansas at Monticello will:

  • Possess exceptional knowledge, understanding, and critical-thinking skills pertaining to jazz history, forms, genres, performance practice, and notation;
  • Demonstrate a highly developed ability to think creatively and analytically about jazz theory and apply his or her knowledge and skills to music performance.
  • Perform Jazz music and improvisation at a highly proficient level on his/her instrument.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor of Music Degree (B.A., B.M., or B.M.E.) or other bachelor’s degree with at least 18 credit hours in one of the following areas:
    1. Music Performance
    2. Music Education
    3. Jazz Studies
  2. Competency on at least one of the following instruments: Saxophone, trumpet, trombone, drum set, piano, guitar, and bass.
  3. Undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  4. Three-part recorded audition:
    1. Two contrasting standard jazz tunes with head and improvisation
    2. Specific jazz scales and modes
    3. A jazz tune of the applicant’s choice

Graduate Assistantships

Contingent annually upon budget approval, Graduate Assistantships may be awarded to a small number of qualified students on a competitive basis. Graduate Assistants carry a workload equivalent to teaching six credit hours each semester in exchange for a waiver of all graduate tuition for courses required in the Master of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Graduate Assistants are closely mentored by one or more Music faculty.

Student Advising

All MM students are advised by the Director of the Master of Music in Jazz Studies to assure that program requirements are being met and that each student is progressing toward completion of the degree.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of nine hours of graduate-level work can be transferred from other accredited universities with the approval of the Director of the Master of Music in Jazz Studies and the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. No course with a grade lower than “B” can be transferred.

Academic Status

MM students will receive grades of A, B, C, or F in all courses. Students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If a student’s GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on probation for one semester. After the probationary semester, the student’s GPA must be 3.0 or higher or the student will be expelled from the program. A student cannot hold a Graduate Assistantship if he/she is on probation.

Course Load

MM students are expected to adhere to a rigid curriculum as described below.

Length of Program

The MM requires successful completion of 30 semester credit hours. Time frame - July to July

Program of Study

Summer II Term: 6 hours

Fall Semester: 9 hours

Spring Semester: 9 hours

Summer II Term: 6 hours


Among the variety of Residency requirements*, the following Capstone Residency requirements must be met for graduation:

  1. A written comprehensive examination, in which the student must demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of their field of study; and;
  2. A public recital or performance.