Capstone for Music Majors (MUHI 395A & B)


Instructor: Prof. Georgia Cowart (, Haydn Hall 314


The Music Capstone is focused on a major project, such as a senior thesis or senior recital with supporting document. A project must have a substantial writing component and must include a public presentation. (For recitalists, this requirement is satisfied by the recital.) 

In MUHI 395A, offered for 2.00 credits in the fall, students will complete their bibliography and preliminary research, along with an outline and beginnings of a rough draft of their written document. The purpose of classes and individual tutorials is to coach the students through this process.  

In MUHI 395B, offered for 1.00-3.00 credits in the spring, students will complete the written component of the project and deliver a public presentation. Classes and individual tutorials will coach students through this process. 

Course Structure

The class meets as a group at the beginning of each semester and during the spring while preparing the public presentations. Otherwise it consists of individual weekly tutorials with the instructor and graduate assistant.

Public Presentation

For non-recitalists, the public presentation will occur on a program at the end of jury exams in the spring semester. It is not a jury although conducted during the jury period; family and friends are invited. It consists of a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation  followed by a 10-minute Q & A. All students in the class (recitalists as well as non recitalists) are required to attend.  

Is MUHI 395 required?

Double majors and dual degree candidates may opt to take the Capstone in a department other than music. All other music majors must do a Capstone in music or another program of interest to which they are accepted. Students must take the two-semester sequence in order (strictly enforced), usually in their senior year.  

Can I take MUHI 395 as an elective?

Yes, as long as the student has fulfilled the prerequisite  requirements. However, space is limited and preference will be given to music majors for whom the course is required.  

Early Registration

Students who are planning to study abroad or will otherwise be away from campus during their senior year must take the full music Capstone sequence in their junior year (no exceptions), or opt to fulfill the Capstone in another department.

Applied Instruction

Students planning to use a senior recital as their Capstone must be enrolled for 2.00 credit units of primary applied music during both semesters of the Capstone registration. The performance component will be graded by the applied instructor. The senior recital may be substituted for the Exit Jury if needed, in which case the student is responsible for obtaining three jury members and requesting jury evaluation sheets from the music office in advance.

Document Length

The written component may range from approximately 15-20 pages for a supporting document to 20-25 pages (excluding bibliography) for a senior thesis.


Prerequisites to MUHI 395A are MUHI 201 and MUHI 202. Students are encouraged to complete the department seminar and as many music history electives as possible before embarking upon a Capstone project.

Senior Recital (without Capstone credit)

With the approval and support of the applied instructor, students may perform a senior recital outside the purview of the Capstone. Students must register for 2.00 credit units of primary applied music during the semesters before and during the recital and have approval to perform a recital from their applied instructor. 

[updated: May 14, 2024]