Music History & Literature

Cal State Fullerton’s music history and literature area seeks to provide every music student with essential knowledge and skills in music history and literature and provides training in musicological research and methods for B.A. and M.A. music history majors. We offer undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in a wide range of areas including Western art music of all periods, jazz and popular music, and world music. The B.A. degree in music history emphasizes the academic study of music for students who wish to prepare for graduate work or who simply seek greater exposure to music history and literature. The M.A. degree in music history provides students with close faculty mentoring and flexible study plans tailored to individual interests. 

Graduates of both programs are prepared to enter careers in music and related fields and to continue their studies at the graduate level. CSUF music history majors have researched a wide array of thesis topics, and have gone on to advanced graduate study in musicology and ethnomusicology at institutions such as the University of Michigan, University of Washington, Claremont Graduate University, and University of California, Riverside. Music history faculty members regularly employ their research interests in their teaching; their specialties range from the Baroque period to contemporary music and represent a variety of scholarly methodologies in historical musicology and ethnomusicology.


Kimberly Greene* - music history and music in general education
John Koegel - musicology, area coordinator
Katherine Powers - musicology
Katherine Reed, Ph.D. - musicology
Charles Sharp* - jazz history
Matthew Thomas* - musicology

*denotes part-time faculty

Area Requirements
Music Theory/Musicianship
Music History/Literature
Applied Study/Recital
Music Electives
Major Performance Ensemble
Conducting or Composition 
Senior Project

All music majors, regardless of their intended degree, will receive four semesters of applied music (private) lessons.   To gain entrance to the School of Music, you must show basic proficiency as either a singer or instrumentalist in an audition.   Please visit one of the pages below for more information.




Jazz / Commercial Music

Master of Arts in Music:  Music History and Literature
Entrance Requirements and Other Essentials

The Master of Arts in Music, Music History and Literature permits a breadth of advanced study and an area of concentration. The degree requires a minimum of 30 units in subjects including music history, literature, theory, and research methods, of which 6 units may be taken outside the School of Music. Reading ability in a foreign language, a thesis, and a final oral defense are also required for graduation. This degree can serve as preparation for college-level teaching and Ph.D. study.


To be considered for admission to the Master of Arts in Music, Music History and Literature, the prospective student must submit one or more research papers on musical subject matter demonstrating both research and writing skills. The submission should consist of approximately 15 double-spaced pages of writing and include appropriate bibliographic apparatus. A typical submission includes one or more papers from upper-division undergraduate music coursework.


Submit a three-page (minimum) essay addressing the following:

  1. What do you want to achieve through graduate study in music history?
  2. Why have you chosen music history as an area of graduate study? 
  3. What specific topic in music history do you want to research?


Arrange to have letters of recommendation from three music professionals familiar with your preparation for graduate study sent to the School of Music graduate program adviser.


To ensure fullest consideration, the research paper(s) and the essay described above should be submitted no later than May 1 for Fall semester entrance or December 1 for Spring semester entrance.


After being admitted, all entering graduate students take entrance exams in music history and music theory. The exams cover undergraduate level material and are given Thursday before the first week of classes.

More Information 
Audition Dates
Submission of Supporting Materials

Contact Information 
School of Music Graduate Program Advisor and Music History Area Coordinator Dr. John Koegel (657) 278-7658

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Last Published 4/18/22

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