Earn your MA in Voice

Vocal students at the University of Iowa experience a rich and varied curriculum that develops the highest levels of artistry and musicianship. World-class faculty guide each singer's development and prepare them for professional life.

In addition to one-on-one lessons with voice faculty, students perform in weekly and monthly classes and seminars, and have the opportunity to perform in a range of vocal ensembles, as well as large opera productions several times each year. 

Requirements and program planning

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Requirements and program planning

  • MUS:5300 Introduction to Graduate Study in Music (2 s.h.)

      Review of Undergraduate Theory (MUS:5200): Required of all graduate students who do not pass the advisory examination in music theory. It must be taken before completing 6 semester hours from the following list of theory courses. This course does not count toward graduate degree requirements.

      Students exempt from MUS:5200 through the advisory examination in music theory must complete 6 s.h. from the following:

      • MUS:4200 Counterpoint before 1600 (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4201 Counterpoint after 1600 (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4730 Jazz Theory (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:5235 Tonal Analysis (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:5236 Non-Tonal Analysis (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:5237 Analysis of Popular Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:5240 Special Topics in Theory and Analysis (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6210 History of Ideas in Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6211 Theoretical Approaches to Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6215 Theory Pedagogy (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6250 Advanced Tonal Theory and Analysis (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6251 Advanced Non-Tonal Theory and Analysis (3 s.h.)
      • ​​​​​​​MUS:6252 Advanced Theory and Analysis of Popular Music (3 s.h.)

      Select from the music history courses in the following list. Only one 4000-level course (taken at the University of Iowa or equivalent transferred in from another institution) may count toward the 6 semester hours required:

      • MUS:4320 Music and Gender (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4325 Medieval and Renaissance Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4330 Baroque Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4335 18th-Century Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4340 19th-Century Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4345 20th-Century Music (3 s.h.) 2/22
      • MUS:4350 Advanced Jazz History (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4355 American Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4360 Jazz Matters (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:4610 Studies in Film and Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6305 Teaching Music History and Culture (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6310 Topics in Musicology (3 s.h.) (repeatable)
      • MUS:6312 Historical Approaches to Music (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6314 Topics in Ethnomusicology (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6315 Foundations of Ethnomusicology (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6326 Renaissance Music Notations (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6375 Music Editing (3 s.h.)

      • Major Ensemble – four semesters required, 1 s.h. each

      • MUS:6020 Graduate voice lessons – four semesters required, 2 s.h. each (8 s.h.)
        Applied lessons are taken each semester until the recital requirement is completed; requests for exceptions must be approved by the voice area.
      • MUS:5510 Graduate Diction (2 s.h.) (Spring)
      • MUS:6520 Methods of Teaching Voice (3 s.h.)* (Spring)
      • MUS:6900 M.A. Recital (1-2 s.h.)

      One semester from the following:

      • MUS:6541 Survey of Song Literature I (3 s.h.) (Fall – odd numbered years)
      • MUS:6542 Survey of Song Literature II (3 s.h.) (Fall – even numbered years)

      One course from the following:

      • MUS:3500 Opera Workshop (2 s.h.)
      • MUS:3502 Opera Production (2-4 s.h.)
      • MUS:3530 Musical Theatre Workshop (2 s.h.)

      Not required, but highly recommended:

      • MUS:3851 Intro to the Alexander Technique (3 s.h.)
      • MUS:3850 Intro to Laban Movement Studies (2-3 s.h.)
      • MUS:6530 Topics in Vocal Performance (may be repeated 2 times, 2 s.h./semester) (Spring)
      • MUS:6540 Survey of Operatic Literature (3 s.h.) (Spring – odd numbered years)
      • MUS:3503 Vocal/Operatic Coaching (1 s.h.) (repeatable: 1 semester may be applied to degree)

      *All TAs must complete the course Methods of Teaching Voice by the end of their first year on campus.

      The student must have successfully completed at least one year (two semesters) of college level language study in two of the three major singing languages (French, German and Italian) prior to taking comprehensive exams.

      Students may verify proficiency in any or all of these languages through:

      • the undergraduate language placement WebCAPE online French or German exams offered by UI Exam Services, or arranging individual placement testing of Italian proficiency through the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures - Italian
      • a transcript verifying courses taken within the 6 years prior to the comprehensive exams with a resulting letter grade of B or better



      Portrait of Élise DesChamps

      Élise DesChamps

      Assistant Professor of Instruction
      Voice Area Head
      Learn more about Élise DesChamps, a lecturer at the University of Iowa.

      Create your academic path

      You'll find degree overviews, requirements, course lists, academic plans, and more to help you plan your education and explore your possibilities.

      View General Catalog

      Current course list

      The MyUI Schedule displays registered courses for a particular session and is available to enrolled students. The list view includes course instructors, time and location, and features to drop courses or change sections.

      View Current Courses

      Add a minor

      Any student admitted to a graduate degree program in the School of Music may add a theory pedagogy minor by completing the required courses.

      Voice/Opera faculty

      Royce Blackburn

      Royce Blackburn

      Visiting Assistant Professor
      Portrait of Élise DesChamps

      Élise DesChamps

      Assistant Professor of Instruction
      Voice Area Head
      Portrait of Rachel Joselson

      Rachel Joselson

      Associate Professor
      Portrait of Stephen Swanson

      Stephen Swanson

      Portrait of Wayne Wyman

      Wayne Wyman

      Interim Director of Opera

      Practice and perform

      Need to book a music room, request an accompanist, check out audition information, rent a locker, or use a recording studio? Visit the Music Callboard for all scheduling and policy information.