The graduate program in music at Penn affords students the opportunity to focus their studies within four sub-fields, including composition, music theory, musicology, and ethnomusicology.
Please click on "Programs" in the sidebar for descriptions of the individual programs.
The goal of the graduate program is not to entrench these disciplinary distinctions, but rather to seek out productive and innovative means of placing them in dialogue with each other. This orientation toward holding all of the sub-disciplines in view is reflected in the graduate curriculum as well as in the multiple colloquium series that animate departmental life.
The curriculum is designed with flexibility in mind—designed specifically to offer students the freedom to craft a path of study that best addresses the research needs and methodological concerns of their particular dissertation projects. It combines the wide range of courses offered by the world-class faculty in the music department with the possibility of enrolling in seminars in other Penn departments and taking classes at consortium schools such as Princeton, Yale, and Columbia.
We also offer the possibility to earn joint degrees, for example with the Departments of Africana Studies and of Anthropology (please address inquiries to the Graduate Chair).
Our colloquium series provides another means of engaging in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary conversations. In addition, workshops, public performances, and working papers presented by graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty offer a wide range of perspectives on musical practice and scholarship, focusing variously on public lives in music, current research, craft and compositional issues.