For More Information

Graduate Program Chair in Composition and Theory, David Rakowski

Graduate Program Chair in Musicology, Eric Chafe

Joint MA Advisor in Music & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Allan R. Keiler

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 

Grad Student Handbook

Current Graduate Students 

Library Research Resources

Graduate Student FAQ

How important are GRE scores?

GRE scores are highly recommended but not required.  They are taken into consideration along with the entire dossier.

Are international students required to take the TOEFL exam?

International students should visit the international admission section of the GSAS website for information on TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE requirements. The GSAS TOEFL school code is 3261.

I have a Masters Degree and wonder if I can transfer credit for courses taken?

Ph.D. students in musicology who have completed graduate coursework at other institutions prior to entering the program may,
after their first year in residence, apply by petition to the faculty for credit for up to two semester courses. 
No coursework from other institutions or from the M.A. or M.F.A. program at Brandeis may be counted toward the required courses for the Ph.D. in Composition and Theory.

Can I take courses at other institutions in the area?

Brandeis is a member of the Boston Area Graduate Consortium. This consortium allows for Brandeis graduate students to take graduate level courses at Boston College, Boston University, and Tufts University as part of their tuition at Brandeis.  A full-time graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is permitted to enroll in no more than one graduate cross-registered course each term.  This should be viewed as an opportunity to enhance their graduate experience, and not as a substitute for courses already offered at Brandeis.  Graduate students wishing to consider this option must first discuss it with their Graduate Program Chair.

Do foreign language courses count toward the degree credit requirement?

Although one can enroll in language courses to meet the language requirement, these courses do not count for credit toward the degree.

What financial resources are available to graduate students?


Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are offered full tuition and living stipend by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which is renewable based on successful academic progress for a total of 5 years.  GSAS also offers graduate student awards, prizes, and annual travel grants for presenting papers and serving on panels at conferences and workshops.

For M.A. and M.F.A. students partial need-based tuition scholarship is available from GSAS.  The Music Department may also recommend additional merit scholarship, determined on a case-by-case basis.

What are the requirements for the individual programs?

Please refer to the separate web pages for each program, which describes the requirements in detail.

How do I obtain an application?

Applications are available online from GSAS: (APPLY ONLINE)

What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for graduate applications for the Ph.D. programs in music is January 15 for admission to the following fall term. For fall admission to the masters programs the application deadline is rolling until the class is full; classes begin in late August. For spring admission to the masters programs the application deadline is November 15 for the semester beginning in January. 

Where do I send my application materials?

All application materials should be uploaded with your application or via your applicant self-service status. Composition students must also upload all scores and recordings in appropriate file formats as outlined in the application instructions.

Do I need to hold a graduate degree in order to apply?

Having a graduate degree is not required for application to the graduate programs in music.

Can I obtain more than one graduate degree from Brandeis?

Students may obtain both a masters and doctoral degree from Brandeis.  However, only one masters degree in music will be permitted. 

If I complete the M.A. or M.F.A. programs in Music are my chances any better for being accepted into the Ph.D. program?


Completion of either of the two masters programs does not guarantee admission to the Ph.D. program.  A new application must be submitted and will be considered in relationship to the entire applicant pool for that particular year.

Are there performance opportunities for graduate students?

Brandeis music ensembles and chamber music classes are open to all graduate students. Auditions for most ensembles take place during the first week of classes. 

Can I take instrument or voice lessons?

Private lessons are available on a per-semester fee basis.  A list of instructors is found on the Music Department website.

What access will I have to the music building?

Graduate students are given 24/7 access to the Slosberg Music Center via a card swipe system.

Are the computers available in the music building for graduate student use?

There is a shared graduate office in Slosberg with two (Mac) computers and printer capability.  The building has wireless capability.

Can I practice or compose in the music building?

The building has a number of practice rooms and classrooms most of which have grand pianos.

Is there on-campus housing for graduate students?

Generally, there is no graduate student housing on the Brandeis campus. However, many students are able to find convenient rental housing in Waltham that is only a short car or bus ride from campus. For a list of housing/apartments in Waltham, please contact Robin Mancini.  Should you have a documented disability that may require you to be housed on campus, please contact Katharine Linnehan for more information.

How easy is it to commute to and from Boston?

Commuting by public transportation is very easy.  There is a commuter rail stop adjacent to Brandeis with connections to Cambridge and North Station, Boston. For North Station, you can go anywhere in Boston.  Cambridge is approx. 20 minutes; Boston, 30 minutes.  There is also a shuttle bus that goes to Harvard Square and Boston Thursday through Sunday.

For an additional list of FAQ’s for graduate students, click HERE.