Men and women who are college graduates and who possess a general Jewish background, including knowledge of Hebrew, Bible, Jewish history, the prayer book, and customs of the synagogue, but who are not interested in the diploma of hazzan, may, nevertheless, apply for admission to the degree programs of the College of Jewish Music.
Admission is determined by the admissions committee on the basis of entrance examinations and personal interviews held at JTS in December and in the spring. Those whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
All inquiries regarding admission should be addressed to the director of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music at (212) 678-8037, or through our information request form.
Master of Sacred Music
The College of Jewish Music offers the master of sacred music degree in Jewish music. Normally this degree is offered in conjunction with the diploma of hazzan. Candidates who wish to acquire a master of sacred music degree without a diploma of hazzan will be considered by the faculty only in special cases, and an admissions interview for this arrangement is not unconditionally guaranteed. Candidates for this degree must demonstrate a knowledge of Hebrew language as well as competence in general and Jewish music.
A minimum of 32 credits of graduate work in the College of Jewish Music and the submission of a satisfactory essay or project, prepared under faculty supervision in nusah, musicology, music theory, or the history of Jewish music, are also required.
Candidates must demonstrate a mastery of Hebrew and may be required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of one or two European languages. They must pass oral and written comprehensive examinations in their major and related fields of study. Recitals appropriate to the field of specialization may also be required.
Regular class attendance is required. Instructors shall have the right to stipulate attendance requirements and to indicate the penalties that may result from failure to comply with these requirements within the first two weeks of the semester.
The ideals and practices of Conservative Judaism are an integral part of the lifestyle and program of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School. All students in the cantorial school are expected to be committed to and live an observant Jewish Life. Standards of personal and professional conduct and interpersonal relations are a significant part of the tradition to which the school is committed. Accordingly, the director of the cantorial school reserves the right to deny admission, registration, readmission, or investiture to any student who in the judgment of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School faculty committee is determined to be unsuitable to the profession of the cantorate.
Letter grades indicate the following: A, excellent; B, good; C, fair; D, poor; F, failure; and R, auditor.
A letter grade is assigned for each course unless it is indicated at registration that a course will be graded only on a Pass-D-Fail basis, or a request for Pass-D-Fail grading is submitted in accordance with the procedure outlined below.
Students may register for Pass-D-Fail grades for elective courses not including Hebrew language, with a maximum of one course per semester.
Students electing to take courses on a Pass-D-Fail basis must indicate their preference at registration or on the appropriate form which must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than two weeks after the first day of classes, the exact date to be indicated on the academic calendar. After this date, students may not alter the basis under which they have registered for their courses that semester.
Instructors will not be informed which students have elected to take their courses on a Pass-D-Fail basis. At the end of the semester, the instructor will submit letter grades for each student; the registrar will transcribe letter grades for students who requested a Pass-D-Fail option as follows:
The grade of R will indicate that a student has registered for the course as an auditor and agreed to do all course work except a written paper and/or final examination. Such a course will neither yield academic credits nor meet departmental requirements in the cantorial school.
Once a grade has been received in the registrar's office, it may be changed by the course instructor only upon written application by the instructor to the director. The director's approval is required.
Letter grades will be assigned for each course. No credit will be given for the grades of D or F, and any student who receives one grade of D or F or two grades of C in any one semester will be placed on academic probation. Students are not permitted to request the grade of incomplete during the semester of their probation.
A student on academic probation will be required to take all measures necessary in order to be restored to good standing. A student who is on academic probation for more than one semester may be dismissed from the school. Students who are placed on academic probation can receive financial assistance for only the first semester of their probation.
Once a grade has been received in the Registrar's Office, it may be changed by the course instructor only upon written application by the instructor to the director. The director's approval is required.
A student who, for compelling reasons, finds it necessary to postpone the submission of required course work may petition for the grade of incomplete (INC). The student must obtain a Request for Incomplete form. This form must contain all information requested, including a description of the work to be completed and the due date, which cannot be later than the date specified in the academic calendar. The form must be signed by the student, instructor, and director. The form should be returned to the registrar's office. The last day to request an incomplete and submit the form is indicated in the academic calendar.
All outstanding course work must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the date specified in the academic calendar. Generally, this date is six weeks from the end of the final-examination period.
The registrar shall record that the work has been submitted and provide a written receipt to the student for the work received. The registrar will transmit the completed work to the instructor. No work should be sent or given directly to the instructor by the student. The student is advised to retain a copy of all work submitted to the registrar's office.
The grade of INC shall remain on the student's transcript until a grade has been submitted by the instructor.
If a student fails to submit the outstanding work to the registrar's office by the specified due date, the grade of INC will be converted to the alternate letter grade that was previously submitted by the instructor. This alternate grade reflects the instructor's assessment of a student's performance, taking into account the fact that work is missing. Students should be aware that the missing work may have been counted as an F (or 0) in the computation of the final grade for the course.
In special circumstances, the director has the authority to grant an extension for the submission of overdue work as long as it is agreeable to the instructor. This extension must be sent in writing by the director to the registrar's office.
Students may not request an INC for any course during the semester of their graduation.
Absence From Final Examinations
A student who, because of illness or personal emergency, cannot be present for a scheduled final examination, must inform the instructor as soon as possible to indicate the reasons for the absence. The student must arrange with the instructor for a makeup examination if the student still cannot be present for the regularly scheduled makeup examination day.
Students may not request incompletes in advance for an in-class final examination. The student must take the makeup examination as soon as possible, but no later than the date indicated in the academic calendar governing the completion of outstanding work.