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Graduate Program Chair in Composition and Theory,
Yu-Hui Chang

Graduate Program Chair in Musicology, Eric Chafe

Joint MA Adviser in Music & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Eric Chafe

For more information about admissions, financial aid, and student services, please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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Music Department Course Requirements 

Music Graduate Student Handbook

Current Graduate Students 

Library Research Resources

Graduate Programs Overview


The department of music offers graduate programs in two areas: composition and theory, and musicology.

Musicology faculty and students actively participate in the American Musicological Society of New England. Click here for their schedule of meetings:

Composition and Theory
There are three degree programs in composition and theory: M.A. (normally one year), M.F.A. (normally two years), and Ph.D. (normally two or more years following the completion of M.F.A. requirements). The programs are designed to help students develop a command of the craft of composition. That objective is supported by studies in theory and analysis and in electro-acoustic music. Student's compositions are performed on the New Music Brandeis concerts and by ensembles-in-residence.

There are three degree programs in musicology: M.A. (normally one year), M.F.A. (normally two years), and Ph.D. (normally two or more years following the completion of M.F.A. requirements). The programs offer an integrated approach to the understanding of the nature, structural basis, and historical development of music. Students may elect to emphasize or concentrate in music history, or in theory and analysis. In the music history program, a variety of techniques and methodologies, including source studies, style development, and historiography, are applied to different repertories and historical problems. The theory and analysis program features work in the history of theory as well as analytic work in the context of theory construction involving the evaluation of pretonal, tonal, and contemporary analytic models. Courses consist of proseminars and seminars: proseminars survey an array of topics illustrating the representative avenues of research and methodological approaches and seminars typically concentrate on a single topic.

Music & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
For doctoral students (only) we offer an interdisciplinary program with Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, leading to a joint M.A. in passing in music & women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Topics include feminist theory, gender studies, cultural history, and the investigation of work by and about women.