Master of Sacred Music - MSM

The Master of Sacred Music Program in Choral Conducting, Organ or Voice

Applications and Pre-screening Materials for the Masters of Sacred Music (MSM) program are due on December 1, deadline extended through December 15, and auditions will take place on Sunday, February 9 and Monday, February 10, 2020.  If you are unable to make any of these deadlines please send an email to



The Masters of Sacred Music program offers students the entire wealth of choral, vocal, and organ performance opportunities available on the Notre Dame campus and its environs. The MSM program not only trains professional musicians for work in Christian churches, but also provides students with the foundation to pursue doctoral studies and careers in performance.

The MSM program is broadly ecumenical, while giving specific attention to Roman Catholic traditions and practice. The MSM takes full advantage of Notre Dame's distinguished faculty in Liturgical Studies, Music History / Ethnomusicology, Music Composition / Theory, and Music Performance, giving students superior training in all of these areas. 

The MSM degree is a two-year, 48-credit-hour degree, consisting of courses in applied music, sacred music, and liturgical studies. Students are admitted into one of three concentrations: (1) Choral Conducting; (2) Organ Performance; or (3) Vocal Performance. Mastery of the chosen concentration is required, and students are encouraged to gain expertise in secondary areas as well. Each graduate is expected to be a well-rounded musician, possessing the requisite skills in playing, conducting, and singing to shape music programs in churches and the community-at-large. 

A unique strength of the program is the emphasis on work with children's choirs, through assistantships with the Notre Dame Children's Choir. The program also includes a bi-annual study and performance trip to Europe, funding for degree recitals, and free language instruction during the summer.

Three areas reinforce one another in each student’s curriculum:

  • Students develop performance skills in the studios of distinguished artist faculty.
  • Students take classes with distinguished academic faculty in the Department of Music, several of whom specialize in sacred music. Students also learn from Notre Dame’s superb liturgical scholars in the Department of Theology.
  • Each student has an assistantship that puts them in interaction with musical and liturgical communities. Students are mentored by experienced practitioners in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, local churches, and the Notre Dame Children’s Choir, while the community is enriched by the presence of exceptionally talented and service-oriented student musicians.

Admission Requirements and Financial Support

Frequently asked Questions about the MSM Program

For additional information concerning the Master of Sacred Music - MSM Program, please contact us.