Artist Certificate

The Artist Certificate program allows a student to study intensely in music performance. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Artist Certificate recognizes successful completion of a two-year (four-semester) full-time program of concentrated study in music. It does not lead to a degree.

While the total number of credits (29-34) is approximately equal to most master’s degrees in music, the distribution of credits differs significantly. For example, the certificate program requires a substantial number of hours of applied study and rehearsals, comparable to the recognition of laboratory hours in the health and science fields. Certificate students are expected to spend 40-50 hours per week in such activity. Artist Certificate study plans are created by the Assistant Director on a case-by-case basis, by granting special permission to enroll in music coursework.

For specific course requirements for each area, see below.

  • Admission Requirements

    Prospective certificate students are expected to have an undergraduate degree (GPA minimum is 3.25) or the international equivalent. In the absence of a degree, a candidate must demonstrate advanced performance skills, at the level generally expected of an applicant for graduate study in music performance. Click for detailed instructions: Artist Certificate Application Process

    Note: This certificate is not available to graduate or undergraduate music performance majors except as post-graduate study.

  • After You Apply

    After your materials have been received at the School of Music, it may take several months to process them. If you are admitted, you will receive an official letter of admission from the School of Music, and the Special Students advisor will send the paperwork you may need to apply for a visa (if you are an international student). Because this process can take a long time, apply no later than January 4 for Fall admission.

    Unfortunately, no scholarship or fellowships are available for Artist Certificate students through the School of Music.

    Upon their arrival on campus, international students must check in with the International Student Services Office, 716 Langdon Street, Room 217 (Red Gym). Please take time to read the helpful information on their website:

  • Contact Information

    Benjamin Schultz, Assistant Director
    Phone: (608) 263-4018
    Mailing address:
    School of Music, 3561 Mosse Humanities
    455 N. Park Street, Madison, WI 53706

Below are the course requirements for the Artist Certificate by area:


A total of 30 credits is required.

  • 16 credits of Applied Lessons
  • 8 credits of Chamber Music/Ensembles/Organizations
  • 4 credits of Recital (2 2-credit recitals)
  • 2 credits of Pedagogy (660-798)


A total of 32 credits is required.

Study in jazz is limited based on availability of faculty to teach applied lessons.

  • 8 credits of Applied Lessons
  • 4 credits of UW Jazz Orchestra (large ensemble)
  • 4 credits of Little Big Band or Black Music Ensemble
  • 2 credits of Jazz Keyboard and/or Digital Applications
  • 6 credits of Composition and Arranging
  • 6 credits of Jazz Improvisation
  • 2 credits of Recital


A total of 29-30 credits is required.

  • 16 credits of Applied Piano (501+ level)
  • 5 credits of Chamber Music (with instruments and voice)
  • 2-3 credits of Seminar in Keyboard Literature; OR Seminar in Voice and Piano Literature
  • 6 credits of Recitals (3 2-credit recitals)


A total of 31-32 credits is required.

Candidate must be proficient in languages (French, German, and Italian) and diction. Deficiencies must be rectified in addition to the requirements below.

  • 4 credits of Opera Workshop
  • 3-4 credits of Acting (150, 250, 920-911) or pedagogy, repertoire, history, theory, dance, or movement
  • 16 credits of Applied Voice (400+)
  • 4 credits of Performance of Opera Roles (including 2 major roles or 1 major and 2 supporting roles)
  • 4 credits of Independent Study (2 2-credit semesters) to learn a total of 2 major and 2 supporting roles, or 4 supporting roles


A total of 29-30 credits is required.

  • 16 credits of Applied Lessons
  • 5 credits of Chamber Music/Small Ensemble/Large Organization
  • 2-3 credits of Pedagogy, Literature, History or Theory
  • 6 credits of Recitals (3, 2-credit Recitals)


A total of 33-35 credits is required.
  • 16 credits of Applied Lessons
  • 4-6 credits of Pedagogy, Literature, History, or Theory
  • 5 credits of Chamber Music/Small Ensemble/Large Organization
  • 2 credits of Chamber Recital (1 2-credit recital)
  • 6 credits of Solo Recitals (3 2-credit recitals)


A total of 29-31 credits is required.

  • 16 credits of Applied Lessons
  • 3-4 credits of Pedagogy, Literature, Music History, Theory, Dance or Movement, Care of the Voice
  • 3-4 credits of Language or Diction
  • 2 credits of Small Ensemble/Large Organization/Opera Workshop
  • 4 credits of Recitals (2 2-credit Recitals) OR 1 Recital and a solo performance or opera role
  • 1 credit of Independent Study (Song Cycle, Major Oratorio, or Secondary Opera Role)


A total of 29-30 credits is required.

  • 16 credits of Applied Lessons
  • 4 credits of Small Ensemble
  • 3 credits of an Academic Course
  • 2-3 credits of Large Ensemble
  • 2 2-credit Recitals