The Master of Music in Jazz Studies is a highly selective degree program open to candidates who have an undergraduate degree in jazz studies or an undergraduate degree in music with significant experience in jazz and contemporary music. The 32-credit degree program can be completed in one academic year. Open only to a limited number of students, the program provides a solid foundation in contemporary music and encourages a primary focus on your individual career goals.

The program is centered on five outcomes designed to prepare graduates for successful careers as performers, educators, directors, producers and a host of positions in the music industry. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have:

  1. Developed their sense of hearing so that they can recognize the content of the music that they experience.
  2. Gained theoretical understanding of music not limited to jazz, so that they can understand the form and structure of what they’re hearing.
  3. Delved deeply into the historical and sociological context of jazz to acquire a more complete understanding of their position in the world of jazz.
  4. Become confident and competent advocates of the idiom by strengthening verbal and written communication skills.
  5. Absorbed the content of the various aspects of the program so that it informs their own creative output.
The undeclared mandate of creative artists is to speak the language of the time in which they live or push that language forward — in order to do so, they need an historical and sociological context for the music they’re experiencing.”
— Don Glanden, Jazz Studies Director Jazz Studies (MM)

Don Glanden received a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. He studied privately with Bernard Peiffer, Sir Roland Hanna and Kenny Barron. Don has performed with many great jazz artists including Donald Byrd, Ernie Watts, Marcus Belgrave, Henry Mancini, Eddie Gomez, Randy Brecker and Patti Austin. He has two compact disc releases as a leader, Sudden Life and Only Believe. Don has had numerous articles published in jazz magazines such as Downbeat, Jazz Improv and All About Jazz, and is producer/director of “Brownie Speaks: A Video Documentary.”

The Master of Music in Jazz Studies is a highly selective degree program open to candidates who have an undergraduate degree in jazz studies or an undergraduate degree in music with significant experience in jazz and contemporary music. The 32-credit degree program can be completed in one academic year. Throughout the program, students are offered advanced private instruction in their major area to develop professional-level artistry and skills.

The program’s curriculum includes an internship component aimed at providing students with immeasurably valuable experience and contacts that will benefit them in the months and years after graduation. Recent internships have included observing and participating in pit bands for Philadelphia theater productions, writing and editing for leading jazz publications including All About Jazz and Modern Drummer, working in arts administration for the Philly Pops, assisting jazz bass legend Jymie Merritt in rehearsing and documenting his original music, and serving as assistant engineers in professional recording studios. The City of Philadelphia and its surrounding area is a pulsing, vibrant scene ripe for those seeking to forge ahead with their professional music careers.

MM Sample Curriculum
Total Credits: 32
Duration: 1 year, full-time

Graduate Arranging (2c) 

Advanced Transcription and Analysis (3c) 
Applied Major Instruction (3c) 
Ensembles (take 2) (2c)
Graduate Improvisation I (2c) 
MIDI and Music Technology (2c) 
Graduate Professional Internship (1c) 
Graduate Forum (1c) 


Composing for Performers (2c) 
Applied Major Instruction (3c)
Ensembles (take 2) (2c)
Graduate Project/Recital (3c) 
Graduate Improvisation II (2c) 
Music Journalism (1c) 
Graduate Professional Internship (1c) 
Jazz Pedagogy (1c) 
Graduate Forum (1c)

For complete MM in Jazz Studies course descriptions, please visit the course catalogue.

course catalogue website

For the Graduate Diploma curriculum, please visit the course catalogue.

course catalogue website

My experience at the University of the Arts is something I draw on every day while teaching and performing.
— Tom Palmer '04, Asst. Professor, University of Delaware Jazz Studies (MM)

Take a listen to the work of our Jazz Studies students: 














How to Apply

Application Deadline

Fall 2020: The University is currently reviewing applications to this program on a rolling basis. Students may continue to apply after the February 1 priority deadline and will be considered for admission and scholarships on a space-available basis. Please review Graduate Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarship for further information.

To apply, the following materials are required:

  • Application Fee of $60 (nonrefundable; submitted with your application)
  • Official Transcripts
    • Official transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate schools attended are required. Transcripts should be issued directly by the Registrar's Office at the college(s) attended and sent to the Office of Admissions, The University of the Arts, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or via email to For transcripts from outside the United States, please refer to the instructions provided below for international students.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation may either be requested through the online application form, or mailed to the Office of Admissions. At least two must come from professors or professional in your field familiar with your capabilities and credentials. The third may be from a colleague, collaborator or a peer.
  • Statement of Intent & Resume
    • Your Statement of Intent & Resume are uploaded and submitted as part of your online application. What do you hope to gain by your studies at the graduate level? Your resume should highlight all of your professional accomplishments including employment, internships, honors, exhibitions and publications.
  • Audition
    • Requirements: In-person auditions are required unless an exception for extenuating circumstances or distance is granted. If an exception is granted, auditions may submitted via video documentation. Please review the Audition Overview & Requirements document to prepare for your audition.
    • Registering: Your online application must be submitted 2 weeks in advance of your requested audition date. You will be prompted to select an available audition date when submitting your online application.
  • Personal Interview
    • After the application has been processed, each applicant is contacted for a personal interview conducted by the program director. For applicants who cannot interview at the university, interviews can be conducted via telephone or Skype.

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit:

  • Official Transcripts
    • All transcripts from outside the United States must be in English and must be official. The Office of Admissions may request that international students obtain a transcript evaluation from a third-party credential evaluation service (such as World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators) in cases where further information is required to assess international credentials. 
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
    • International students whose native language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test. A minimum TOEFL score of 79, IELTS score of 6.0, or Duolingo English Test score of 100 is required for admission. In lieu of the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test, completion of Level 9 in the University of the Arts ESL Institute will be accepted.   

I20/F-1 International Student Visa Information: Upon acceptance, students will be contacted by the University of the Arts International Student Programs Office regarding visa counseling and all materials required to create an I-20 in order to obtain an F-1 visa. Contact Mara Flamm, Director of International Student Programs, with any questions regarding your I-20 or F-1 visa.

Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study may receive an offer of conditional admission that first requires enrollment in the University of the Arts' English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.

In special circumstances, applicants who have not taken the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting not to take the exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an interview. A waiver may be considered for those applicants who enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university in the U.S. and successfully completed two semesters of college-level English, not taken in conjunction with ESL study, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in those classes.

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