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Cornell awards the Ph.D. for original contributions to the study of music, considered broadly to include a wide range of repertories, traditions, and methodologies. While the program encompasses ethnomusicology, music theory, and historical musicology, Cornell offers a single Ph.D. in musicology.

The musicology program at Cornell is designed to lead to the Ph.D. degree; a terminal M.A. is not offered, but students who enter the doctoral program without having already earned an M.A. receive this degree in the course of their studies. Students accepted into the Ph.D. program are guaranteed five full years of financial support, in the form of two years of fellowships (usually taken in the first and fifth years) and three years of teaching assistantships.

The doctoral program in musicology is uniquely flexible; it is developed individually, in consultation with the student’s Special Committee, and students may combine their study in the Field of Music (historical musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, composition and performance practice) with work in other Fields of study at Cornell. There are no formal course requirements in the Field of Music; nevertheless we generally expect all first year graduate students to take Music 6201 (Introduction to Bibliography and Research), and we strongly urge students to take Music 6101 (Analytical Techniques) and Music 6301 (Introduction to Ethnomusicology).

Usually students will take at least six semesters of courses, decided on in conjunction with the Special Committee. All students are encouraged to take at least one course with each of the musicologists on the graduate faculty and to explore offerings in theory, composition, and performance practice. Students are also encouraged to take courses outside of the department, which may be used to form the basis of a Graduate Minor in another discipline.

For detailed information regarding the Musicology program, please see the one of the Musicology Program pamphlets listed below .

Musicology Program pamphlet (Dec 2016)