Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication opens its doors to Shanghai Normal University Music College students

Irene Nesbitt

Chinese students from Shanghai Normal University Music College will be allowed to complete an accelerated master’s degree in music at CSUN beginning this fall, after CSUN signed an agreement with the college last week.

The program is designed to help SHNU students excel in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication music department master’s program, said Maureen Rubin, associate dean of the college.

“Foreign students were struggling in the graduate music program because they didn’t know about the history of Western music and music theory, so they had a very hard time succeeding in the master’s program,” she said.

Only 20 to 25 freshmen students at SHNU Music College will be accepted into the 3+1+1 program, which stands for undergraduate, graduate preparation, graduate program, Rubin said.

“The Mike Curb College will prep the foreign exchange students before they are accepted in the grad program,” Rubin said.

SHNU students will be “prepped” in Western music theory, intensive English and learn a music history review. Students also have an option in enrolling in a summer English and cultural experience program during their undergraduate year.

Before beginning the program SHNU students will have to complete all undergraduate academic requirements.

Students must successfully complete SHNU’s recital, have been enrolled in English classes throughout their undergraduate studies at SHNU, and taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language-Internet Based Test (TOEFL-IBT) before being considered in the program.

“Once the students complete all the requirements they will (be) conditionally admitted into the Master of Music Program,” Rubin said.

Students who are freshmen at SHNU during the 2011-2012 academic year will be the 3+1+1 program’s first official cohort.

SHNU students will begin their graduation preparation year in the fall semester of 2014 and graduate by the fall of 2016.

During their “grad prep year” students will meet with a graduate advisor and enroll in all required preparatory upper-division graduate coursework recommended by an academic advisor.

Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication said that students will also have an opportunity to engage with other students and enjoy a rich cultural experience.

“This kind of a partnership is very enriching for our own students and faculty,” Bucker said.

SHNU students are responsible for paying international student fees for graduation preparation year and graduate coursework in the department of music.

Students must cover all costs associated with travel, study, living, field trips, and health expenses.