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Certificate in Music Performance

Certificate in Music Performance Program Information


The Certificate in Music Performance is an exclusive non-degree program providing an intensive, two-year period of concentrated study in music performance at the graduate level. It is intended as an alternative to master’s and doctoral degrees for exceptionally gifted and accomplished students who show the potential and the motivation to achieve a successful performing career, but who do not wish to engage in the complete curriculum required in standard graduate degree programs.

Available Areas of Study

Strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, harp, piano, collaborative piano, organ, voice.

Application Deadline

Complete applications must be received by December 1 prior to the year in which Fall-semester entrance is anticipated.


All applications require a high-quality video recording, which will be pre-screened by at least three faculty from the student's area of study. Students aproved in the pre-screening will be invited for a live audition.

A live audition adjudicated by a six-member Certificate Audition Committee is required of all students seeking admission to the certificate program. Recorded auditions or auditions in any other form are not accepted. Live auditions will take place on the Friday afternoon prior to the final regular Moores School of Music audition weekend, in Dudley Recital Hall on the University of Houston campus. Specific times and schedules will be coordinated by the Moores School director of admissions. An accompanist will be provided; prospective students should provide scores for the accompanist as soon as they receive notification of their being accepted for the live audition.

Other Information

  1. Certificate students who earn less than a B- in any semester in applied music will be dismissed from the certificate program, with no probationary period.
  2. Certificate enrollment is for fall and spring semesters only; no summer enrollment is permitted for certificate students.
  3. Residency requirement: Students must complete the program by enrolling in a maximum of four long (fall or spring) semesters in a total period of three years from the date of enrollment.
  4. No transfer credit will be applied toward the certificate. No credit earned while in a degree program will be accepted for credit toward the certificate. No credit earned in the certificate program will be awarded for credit toward another degree at this institution.


Recitals are adjudicated by a committee of at least four faculty from the student’s area of study (or from another suitable area if four area faculty are unavailable). Each student’s committee is appointed by the area coordinator when the student enters the program and is approved by the Director of the School of Music. The committee will remain in place for the duration of the student’s certificate program.

Certificate students will present a pre-recital jury consistent with those required of graduate degree-seeking students.

Recitals are graded individually by each committee member, with standard letter grades. A student’s recital grade comprises the average of the grades submitted privately to the Graduate Office by each committee member. Students earning less than composite B- for any recital will be dismissed from the certificate program.

Faculty have the option to award an incomplete grade for a recital. Students may not accumulate more than one incomplete recital grade during their certificate program.

Two of the four required certificate recitals must be performed on campus. The venue and program for any off-campus recital must be approved by the student’s committee in advance of the event, and students must provide their committees with a high-quality video recording of any off-campus recital.

Certain professional engagements equal in importance and depth to a doctoral-level recital may be substituted for two of the required certificate recitals. The substitution must be approved by the student’s certificate committee.

Scholarship Support

Scholarship support will be awarded to certificate students according to the same criteria applied to degree-seeking students; the minimum credit-hour requirement per semester for scholarship support for certificate students will be 6, not 9, as for degree-seeking students. The Moores School of Music will also define 6 credits as full-time enrollment for the certificate program, however,  international students will be required to meet the same minimum enrollment as any graduate student to qualify for the relevant student visa. 

Note that the Director of the School of Music has final authority on scholarship awards; consideration will be given to recruiting issues, overall benefit to and impact on the school, and other criteria, as appropriate.

Certificate Program Plan

Certificate in Music Performance