Music (Musicology), MA

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Do you want to dive deep and focus on the scholarly study of music, musical meaning in human experience, musical terminology, music's reception, historiography, biography and transdisciplinary topics? Join the musicology program to expand your skill set as a musicologist.

In the MA program in music, faculty members provide and participate in multisensory learning experiences concerning musical genres, styles and forms, performance and listening practices, instruments, spaces, philosophies, musical infrastructures and geographic locations.

The faculty comprises leading scholars specializing in western and non-Western music, particularly traditions in the Americas and Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, USSR), and music of the Middle East, Central Asia, Latin America, and Indonesia as well as Medieval music cultures, the long nineteenth century, jazz, music in popular cultures, musical modernism and experimentalism, intellectual property law, cultural policy, improvisation, sound studies, ecomusicology, dance and embodiment, and music's role in well-being.

The student must submit a final project that demonstrates advanced competence and professional capability in research and writing in musicology or ethnomusicology. The culminating project may be a thesis, a series of special papers or a written work of equivalent scope and depth.

At A Glance

Music (Musicology), MA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (14 credit hours)
MHL 532 Music Bibliography (3)
MHL 691 Seminars (6)
music theory (5)

Electives (8 credit hours)
music electives (5-8)
open electives (0-3)

Other Requirement (2 credit hours)
performance ensembles (2)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
MHL 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Completion of diagnostic exams in musicology and music theory is required of all new graduate music students prior to enrollment in courses for these programs through the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre. This is tracked internally within the academic unit.

At least 20 credit hours of this program must be in the field of music history and literature.

Appropriate elective coursework is reviewed and approved by the academic unit prior to inclusion on the student's plan of study. Students may not apply more than three credit hours of ethnomusicology courses toward their plan of study.

A passing grade on the foreign language exam in French, German, Italian or Spanish is required for graduation.

Additional information on degree requirements for all graduate music programs may be found on the check sheets:

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an institution in another country that is officially recognized by that country.

Applicants must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee:
  2. School of Music, Dance and Theatre application (including a resume, personal statement and writing sample):
  3. official transcripts
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The School of Music, Dance and Theatre does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances. In order to meet English proficiency requirements, students should have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT), or an IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5, or a Pearson Test of English score of at least 60.

A bachelor's degree in music is not required for admission to a master's program. However, all applicants without a bachelor's degree in music should contact for information on potential remedial courses. Remedial courses may be taken at ASU, another accredited university or a community college before or after admission to this program, but they must be completed prior to starting graduate-level course requirements in music history and music theory.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines.

Information about this program

Visit the School of Music website for full details.