Doctor Of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The PhD in Music offers exemplary academic training in music studies. Our doctoral program is extremely diverse, welcoming students from around the world who are working in a variety of research areas at the cutting edge of music studies. Doctoral students can expect to complete course work in which they will train with faculty in music theory, ethnomusicology, popular music & media studies, and musicology. A distinguishing feature of our Ph.D. program is that the Academic Area faculty work closely with each other and with students in research projects, teaching, and community engagement. Following successful completion of candidacy examinations and a thesis proposal, the program culminates in the dissertation, a substantial work of original scholarship.

Students entering the Ph.D in Music must already hold an M.A. in Music, M.Mus or a M.A. in a related field of study. The Department of Music Ph.D. requires at least 18 credits, including:

  • Three out of four proseminars:
    • MUSIC 614 Proseminar in Musicology
    • MUSIC 650 Proseminar in Music Theory
    • MUSIC 665 Issues in Ethnomusicology
    • MUSIC 670 Proseminar in Popular Music and Media Studies

As requirements are often subject to change, we encourage you to visit the University Calendar for current information on program course requirements. Note that you will need to search by your admission year (drop-down menu on the top right of the page).

The student's selection of courses may exceed 18 credits; course selection will be determined in consultation with an interim advisor, selected to support the student until a supervisory advisory committee is formed by the end of the first year. Ph.D. students must demonstrate proficiency in one approved language other than English.


Prospective Ph.D. students normally hold an M.A. degree in a suitable area of study. On occasion, the department may make an exception and accept an applicant into the Ph.D. program. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Please consult the Application Checklist for complete details. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to first consult Academic Area Faculty pages to explore individual areas of research expertise, and to contact them in case you still have any questions before submitting your application.