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Master of Music in Choral Conducting

NASM-accredited and in partnership with the CORO Choral Institute

Most of our students want to advance their career or pursue their interests in more depth. If you want to do the same, you’ll fit right in!

We know what our students need and we deliver. You can expect excellent customer service gradmusic@simpson.edu or 515-309-3099

Earn your advanced degree while working full-time.

Be Inspired

In partnership with the CORO Choral Institute, we’re inspired to foster the development and enhancement of choral music in ways that enrich and excite the souls of vocalists, audience members and communities. 

Ideal for working musicians 

  • Inspires the creative and intellectual growth of every student
  • Maintain full-time employment while completing your degree
  • Gain advanced knowledge, training and performance and experience in choral conducting
  • Study coursework that supports your area of specialization, such as music history or ensemble work in 36 credit hours
  • Engage in professional creative work during a variety of choral performances and rehearsals 
  • Complete your degree in an 8-week summer term during each of three consecutive summers while living on campus

Meet the Demands In The Marketplace

Discuss a wide breadth of choral topics and practice and produce advanced, expressive and communicative conducting.

Each requirement is crafted to sharpen your expertise and experience so you thrive in both today’s classrooms as an artist-teacher and live performance spaces as a conductor.


  • Current secondary school choir directors
  • Elementary music educators with an interest in choral music
  • Church music directors
  • Community choir directors
  • Children’s choir directors
  • Performing singers 
  • Musicians pursuing a terminal degree in choral conducting and college teaching 

Who is this program for?

Current secondary-school choir directors, elementary music educators with an interest in choral music, church music directors, community choir directors, children’s choir directors, performing singers and those interested in pursuing a terminal degree in choral conducting and college teaching will all find this degree appealing and uniquely well-suited to them in its quality of instruction and choral experience.

What can I do with this degree?

The degree is designed to prepare musicians for careers in choral conducting. The curriculum and experiences lead to highly qualified and experienced artist-teachers of choral music. You’ll enhance your work in the field as choral conductors and artist-teachers in positions similar to those from which you came to the program.

When and where are classes held?

All coursework takes place at Simpson’s main campus in Indianola, Iowa, and features a schedule of delivery in the summer-only months. Graduate housing in campus’ Washington Apartments is available for less than $20 per day.

COVID-19 update – 2020 has been a year unlike any other. We have been busy keeping up with emerging research and developing contingency plans to keep everyone safe and learning this summer in class and during rehearsals. The safety of students, singers, and the entire community is our guiding principle. Please know that we do plan to gather in person for our learning community during Summer 2021. If you have specific questions regarding health & safety, please know we are happy to speak with you. We also recognize that submitting videos during the application process may pose a unique challenge this year. Please feel free to reach out to Ginger Hermon with any questions about accommodations for your video submissions.


Employment Reimbursement

Des Moines employers have confidence in a Simpson education. More than 60 businesses have contributed to the cost of their employees’ tuition at SC. LEARN MORE


  • Tuition: $800/credit hour
  • Technology: $7/credit hour
  • Recital fee: $500/summer
  • Matriculation fee: $125 (one time)


We defer the cost of each term for 45 days after the end of the term – meaning  you have more time to get your employer reimbursement to us.

One less thing for you to worry about! 

Be connected to numerous professional opportunities in the greater Des Moines area, around the nation and across the globe.

Graduate with an impressive reel of work experience and a deep network as your cohort.

Build on your skills to bring the joy of music to others throughout your life’s work.

Choral Literature 12 credits total

  • MUS 501: Choral Literature 1
  • MUS 502: Choral Literature 2
  • MUS 503: Choral Literature 3

Seminar in Choral Conducting 6 credits total

  • MUS 511: Seminar in Choral Conducting 1
  • MUS 512: Seminar in Choral Conducting 2
  • MUS 513: Seminar in Choral Conducting 3

Music Theory 4 credits total

  • MUS 531: Analysis of Musical Scores

Music History 2 credits total

  • MUS 521: Topics in Music History and Literature

Choral Topics 4 credits total

  • MUS 551: Vocal Pedagogy in the Choral Setting (2 Credits)
  • MUS 552: Choral Diction 1 (1 Credit)
  • MUS 553: Choral Diction 2 (1 Credit)

Musicianship 1 credit total

  • MUS 542: Advanced Musicianship Training

Graduate Choral Ensemble 3 credits total

  • MUS 541: Graduate Choral Ensemble (repeated each summer)

Concert Conducting 3 credits total

  • MUS 561: Concert Conducting – Choral (repeated each summer)

Oral Comprehensive Exam 1 credit total

  • MUS 571: Master’s Oral Comprehensive Exam – Choral