For More Information
Graduate Program Chair in Composition and Theory, Yu-Hui Chang
Graduate Program Chair in Musicology, Eric Chafe
Joint MA Advisor in Music & Women's and Gender Studies, Allan R. Keiler
For more information about admissions, financial aid, and student services, please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
The Brandeis Music Department is unique in offering both a one-year M.A. program and a two-year M.F.A. program in musicology. The one-year M.A. program provides an opportunity for students who want to engage in beginning graduate study without making a multi-year commitment, or who may be contemplating a career in performance or in a music-related field (library science, arts administration, program annotation, for example) and wish to develop some advanced research and writing skills. The M.F.A. program involves further in-depth study, including demonstration of a high degree of competence in research writing by completion of a masters thesis or submission of two expanded seminar papers. The M.A. program requires demonstrating competency in German or French; the M.F.A. program requires competency in both German and French. Students who are successful in the one-year M.A. program often choose to continue for a second year to complete the M.F.A.
In either program, students may elect to concentrate in music history or theory and analysis. Course work consists of proseminars and seminars: proseminars typically survey an array of topics illustrating the representative avenues of research and methodological approaches; seminars are intensive investigation devoted to a single topic and stress original research. All students work closely with the Graduate Program Chair in Musicology in choosing courses appropriate to their specific research interest.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Graduate Program Chair in Musicology, Eric Chafe, to discuss which of the two options, M.A. or M.F.A., would be appropriate.
The Slosberg Music Center houses an extensive collection of period instruments including two harpsichords and an historic Viennese fortepiano, which are stored in the Jencks Early Music Room. The Creative Arts Library in the main university library is a first-class research library with strong holdings in scholarly music editions, journals, and microfilm reprints of original materials, as well as the Walter F. and Alice Gorham Collection of Early Music Imprints, 1501-1650. Brandeis also belongs to the Boston-area library consortium, allowing graduate students to use books in major libraries in the area.
The basic requirements for the one-year M.A. in musicology include:
- Six courses at the graduate level: proseminars and seminars in musicology (including an array of courses in different historical periods, in music analysis, and in history of theory).
- Satisfactory completion of the language requirement in German or French, as demonstrated by translation of an excerpt from a theoretical text.
- A seminar paper written during the first semester, expanded with independent supervision of a faculty member during the second semester.
- One year of residency.
- Attendance at departmental musicology colloquia.
The basic requirements for the two-year M.F.A. include:
- Twelve courses at the graduate level: proseminars and seminars in musicology (including an array of courses in different historical periods, in music analysis, and in history of theory).
- Satisfactory completion of the language requirement in German and French, as demonstrated by translation of an excerpt from a theoretical text. Students may substitute another language for French by petition. The German requirement should be satisfied by the end of the first year.
- Thesis: either a thesis that is an analytical or historical study of a topic acceptable to the music faculty or revised copies of two seminar papers that have been certified by the seminar instructor and at least one other faculty member as demonstrating a high degree of competence in research writing. Two copies of the thesis must be submitted to the program chair in final form no later than December 1 for a February degree, or April 1 for a May degree.
- Two years of residency.
- Attendance at departmental musicology colloquia.
Boston Area Graduate Consortium: for cross registration at other institutions
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. For compete information about the consortium, go to: www.brandeis.edu/gsas/teaching_and_learning/cross.html
Partial need-based tuition scholarship is available from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Information about this may be found on the GSAS website: www.brandeis.edu/gsas/financing/index. The Music Department may also recommend additional merit scholarship, determined on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants are asked to apply directly to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences using the online application procedure Apply Online, or by paper application. The deadline for applications for admission to the fall semester is January 15. Application for mid-year admission may also be considered. GRE scores are recommended, as well as TOEFL scores when applicable.
Application Fee: check the GSAS Admissions site for the fee, which must accompany the application. Applications will not be considered without payment of the application fee. Current Brandeis students are exempted from paying the application fee.
Statement of Purpose: in essay form, state your reasons for undertaking graduate study. Please describe your qualifications for the academic program to which you are applying and your objectives in undertaking this program.
Applicants should clearly outline their research interests. The statement should also indicate how the applicant's research interests would complement those of the faculty. Applicants should discuss their plans for their academic and professional career and how the particular graduate program will help them attain their goals.
Two Letters of Recommendation: the members of the admissions committee prefer to receive electronically letters written in support of your application for admission. Please include the complete contact information, including e-mail address, for your referees in your application. GSAS will then contact the referees directly with the electronic link for submission of their letter.
GSAS will continue to accept hard-copy letters of recommendation from those referees who prefer this method.
Transcripts: applicants must provide a final transcript indicating successful completion of an undergraduate degree program before registration. Transcripts for any graduate study should also be provided.
Written Work: please submit a sample of critical writing not to exceed 35 pages; the 35-page maximum may consist of a single critical essay or two shorter essays of approximately equal length.
Graduate Record Examinations General Test: the GRE General Test is recommended, but is not required. The ETS code for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is 3092. For more information about the GRE, visit www.ets.org/gre.
Non-native Speakers of English: all applicants whose native language is not English must prove competency in spoken and written English. The most common method of proving competency is via the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), although results of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) will also be accepted. Applicants who attended school where the primary method of instruction is in English do not need to prove competency.
The minimum acceptable TOEFL score for applicants to all programs is 600 (paper-based test), 250 (computer-based test) or 100 (Internet-based test). The ETS code for the TOEFL is 3261. For more information about the TOEFL, visit www.ets.org/toefl.
The minimum acceptable IELTS score for applicants to all programs is 7. For more information about the IELTS, visit www.ielts.org.
Although it is preferred that all required supporting credentials be received in one package, GSAS will certainly accept credentials mailed separately. Please send all credentials to:
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
MS 031 Brandeis University
PO Box 9110
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
Application Deadline: the deadline for M.A. and M.F.A. applications is January 15. Admission to the program is for the following fall semester. Applications submitted after this deadline or for mid-year admissions may be considered on a case-by-case basis. This should be discussed with the GSAS Director of Admissions.
Tracking the Application: GSAS will provide information for tracking the application online in the form of a checklist. Data is updated daily.
Visiting Brandeis: applicants are welcome, but not required, to visit Brandeis and interview with faculty during admissions time, or at another time during the academic year if more convenient. Interviews can be arranged directly with the individual faculty members by email or telephone. Attending seminars and meeting with current graduate students can also be arranged. A complete list of concerts is available online. Tours of the Brandeis campus are conducted daily.