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Office Location
East Studio Building 120 (JS 120)
205 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

Mailing Address
1201 E. 3rd Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Hours: 8 am–12 pm, 1–5 pm
Phone: 812-855-1738Phone

E-mail: musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu

musicdgs [at] indiana [dot] edu (Eric Isaacson), Director 
serbes [at] indiana [dot] edu (Sara Erbes), Advisor
anmiller [at] indiana [dot] edu (Angie Miller), Recorder
musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu (Victoria Wheeler), Secretary
musdoc [at] indiana [dot] edu (Janis Cooper Parker), Doctoral Clerk

More Information

Master's Program Outside Area Requirement

Outside Area Requirement

Master's students can choose to either complete an Outside Area (6 credits in one field) or Other Required Credits (ORC - 6 credits with no connecting theme).  See here for more information about the Other Required Credits option.

An Outside Area, which is like a small minor, consists of six credit hours in a field outside the major. It can be satisfied in any of three ways:

  1. Six credit hours in one department of the Jacobs School of Music other than your major, with approval of the appropriate department chairperson and the director of graduate studies.
  2. Six credit hours in one field outside of the Jacobs School of Music, with approval of the graduate advisor in that department and the director of graduate studies in the Jacobs School of Music.
  3. Six credit hours within or outside the Jacobs School of Music, with approval of the director of graduate studies in accordance with departmental guidelines. For this option, called an "individualized outside area," the courses must fit a specific theme or emphasis; a written proposal is required.

To declare an Outside Area, students must complete an Outside Area Approval Form, acquire the appropriate signature, and submit the form to the Music Graduate Office.

The Outside Area was called a "Cognate" until 2005.

Guidelines for Master's Outside Area

  1. The Outside Area may become a minor if at least 12 hours are taken in that field, and any other requirements for the specific minor are met. The form for requesting a minor--not a regular outside area--is available here. This is called a master's minor.
  2. A grade of "C" or better is needed in each course to fulfill the degree requirement. In addition, courses counting toward an outside area or minor must have at least an average of "B." Departments offering the outside area or minor may require a higher grade average.
  3. For an outside area in a performance area, an audition report completed by the applied instrument faculty must accompany the Outside Area Approval Form. The performance level required for an outside area is the same as for a minor.
  4. Performance majors may not use another performance area for an outside area except that modern-instrument performers may elect an early-music minor and vice versa. A minor in performance, when allowed, requires study at the 800 level.
  5. Courses that could count toward a student's major field are generally not eligible (for example, a student may not count "excess" performance study credits in the major toward an outside area): up to six credit hours may be taken in courses closely related to the major field only if they are not specifically required as part of the major. Courses that have traditionally been accepted include string pedagogy for string majors, string technology for string majors, harp pedagogy for harp majors, and opera workshop for voice majors. Any combination of courses other than these must be approved before the student enrolls.
  6. The courses to be counted under the "individualized outside area" are approved by the director of graduate studies in accordance with departmental guidelines before the student enrolls. Courses are not normally approved "after the fact."
  7. Under the "individualized outside area," performance majors may include applied study in a related instrument, up to a maximum of two credits. Graduate credit is awarded if the student is accepted at the minor (800) level and is taught by a faculty member.
  8. Courses that are normally used to satisfy proficiencies or tool subjects are not eligible (such as M539, M541, M542, T508, T509, T511, and piano classes and P700 lessons). Ensemble and chamber music coaching are not eligible. Graduate reading courses in foreign languages (under _491/492 numbers) are also not eligible. 
  9. Courses must ordinarily be at the graduate level. Undergraduate courses at the 100 or 200 level are not eligible. Advanced undergraduate courses outside the Jacobs School of Music at the 300 or 400 level may be eligible if they satisfy a requirement for the undergraduate major in that subject.
  10. Courses may be transferred from other institutions to qualify for the outside area. Such courses must meet the other requirements above and be officially accepted for transfer.
  11. Courses within the Jacobs School of Music used to satisfy outside area requirements must be taught by regularly appointed faculty members. Courses taught by associate instructors will not count.
  12. The student must meet the qualifications of the parallel minor, and only courses that would fulfill the requirements for a minor are acceptable.

Pre-approved outside area choices

There are some departments that have pre-approved the courses that can be taken for an outside area in that subject. This is a list of those fields' outside area options only (there are many other outside area options that are not listed). For students choosing one of these pre-approved outside areas, the Outside Area approval form must still be filled out an submitted, but it is not necessary to get signature from the department chair or advisor prior to submitting the form to the Music Graduate Office.

Outside Area in Early Music

6 (or more) credits selected from the following list.  A maximum of 4 credits of MUS-Y 810 can be included:

  • MUS-Y 810 Early Music Graduate Minor (var. cr.) (all credits must be in the same instrument, and only a maximum of 4 credits can be included in the outside area)
  • MUS-F 501 Accompaniment of Baroque Music (2 cr.)
  • MUS-F 502 Topics in Basso Continuo (2 cr.) 
  • MUS-F 503 Advanced Topics in Basso Continuo (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 515 Interpreting Unaccompanied Bach (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 516 Advanced Topics in Early Music (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 517 Literature and Performance Practice I (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 518 Literature and Performance Practice II (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 519 Literature and Performance Practice III (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 520 Literature and Performance Practice IV (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 521 Literature and Performance Practice V (2 cr.)
  • MUS-M 558 Early Music Topics (1 cr)
  • MUS-M 635 Performance Practice Before 1750 (2 cr.)

Requests to include other courses as part of the outside area require departmental approval.

Outside Area in Jazz Studies

Any combination of 6 (or more) credits selected from the following list:

  • MUS-M 591 Jazz Literature 1: Pre-Jazz to Bebop (3 cr)
  • MUS-M 592 Jazz Literature 2: The Bebop Era (3 cr)
  • MUS-M 593 Jazz Literature 3: Jazz since Bebop (3 cr)
  • MUS-O 521 Jazz Improvisation 1 (2 cr)
  • MUS-O 522 Jazz Improvisation 2 (3 cr)
  • MUS-O 523 Jazz Improvisation 3 (3 cr)
  • MUS-O 524 Jazz Improvisation 4 (3 cr)
  • MUS-O 512 Jazz Composition (3 cr)
  • MUS-M 583 Duke Ellington (3 cr)
  • MUS-M 584 Research in the History and Analysis of Jazz (3 cr)
  • MUS-M 594 Big Band Jazz (3 cr)
  • MUS-O 516 Jazz Arranging 1 (2 cr)
  • MUS-O 517 Jazz Arranging 2 (2 cr)
  • MUS-E 570 Pedagogy of Jazz (2 cr).

Outside Area in Music History

Any combination of 6 credits selected from the following list (each course is 3 credits):

  • MUS-M 525 Survey of Operatic Literature
  • MUS-M 527 Symphonic Literature
  • MUS-M 528 Chamber Music Literature
  • MUS-M 650 Music in the United States
  • MUS-M 651 Medieval Music
  • MUS-M 652 Renaissance Music
  • MUS-M 653 Baroque Music
  • MUS-M 654 Classic Music
  • MUS-M 655 Romantic Music
  • MUS-M 656 Music Since 1900
  • MUS-M 502: Composer: Variable Topic (course topics may not be repeated)
  • MUS-M 510 Topics in Music Literature (course topics may not be repeated)

Outside Area in Music Theory

Any combination of 6 credits selected from the following list (each course is 3 credits):

  • MUS-T 550 Readings in Music Theory
  • MUS-T 551 Analytical Techniques for Tonal Music
  • MUS-T 545 Introductory Analysis of Music Literature
  • MUS-T 555 Schenkerian Analysis
  • MUS-T 556 Analysis of Music Since 1900
  • MUS-T 561 Music Theory: Variable Topics (course topics may not be repeated)
  • MUS-T 565 Stylistic Counterpoint: Variable Topics (course topics may not be repeated)
  • MUS-T 591 Teaching of Music Theory
  • MUS-T 658 Seminar in Music Theory: Variable Topics (MUS-T 658 is ordinarily for PhD students with a major in Music Theory, so students should consult with the Music Theory department prior to enrolling in MUS-T 658; course topics may not be repeated)

Outside Area in Orchestral Conducting

2 semesters of MUS-G 570 Graduate Orchestral Conducting (3 credits each semester).

Outside Area in Opera

Any combination of 6 credits selected from the following list (each course is 3 credits):

  • MUS-M 561 History and Literature of Opera I
  • MUS-M 562 History and Literature of Opera II
  • MUS-M 563 History and Literature of Opera III
  • MUS-M 564 History and Literature of Opera IV
  • MUS-M 525 Survey of Operatic Literature
  • MUS-R 571 Opera Workshop
  • MUS-R 572 Opera Workshop


This is a list of some common outside area subjects.  This is not a comprehensive list, it is a sample.

Examples of Outside Areas within the Jacobs School of Music


Conducting, Choral

Conducting, Orchestral

Conducting, Wind

Conducting (combined)

Early Music (for non-early music majors)

Electronic Music

History of Violin Making


Latin American Music

Music Education

Music History

Music Information Technology

Music Theory


Pedagogy (if no pedagogy required in major field)

Performance (for non-performance majors)

Sacred Music

Examples of Outside Areas in departments outside the Jacobs School of Music

Arts Administration


Comparative Literature

Computer Science





Languages (advanced study in a single language)



Religious Studies

Speech & Hearing