Brandeis University

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Music: Composition and Theory or Musicology


415 South Street, MS 084

Waltham, MA 02453

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Brandeis University music department's graduate programs concentrate in two areas: Composition and Theory or Musicology. The department also offers, in conjunction with the program in Women's and Gender Studies, a Joint M.A. in Music & Women's and Gender Studies. The department offers three degree programs in both musicology and 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 one-year MA program provides an opportunity for students to engage in beginning graduate study without making a multi-year commitment. The two-year MFA program offers more in-depth study, including the writing of a master's thesis in the form of an original composition. Generous scholarships and fellowships are available. Successful applicants to the Ph.D. programs are offered full tuition waivers, a stipend, and health insurance allowance. Most of our master’s students receive generous scholarships in the form of merit- and need-based aid. COMPOSITION and THEORY The graduate program in composition and theory offers composers the time and means to develop a secure command of the craft of composition. Students acquire greater facility with structure and syntax of tonal music, as well as contemporary music, through analysis and writing in pro-seminars and seminars. We also offer a Master of Arts in Music & Women’s and Gender Studies. Students also have the opportunity to pursue creative work in electro-acoustic music by working in the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio (BEAMS), and to work toward performances of their music on the New Music Brandeis concert series, which provides the opportunity to work with professional musicians from in and around the Boston area. In addition to the on-campus opportunities, numerous contemporary music ensembles reside in Boston, with each giving three to four concerts per season. Boston’s thriving musical culture includes both contemporary and traditional musics, greatly enriching the lives of our students. While living in Boston, you will find yourself immersed in a musical atmosphere virtually unrivaled in the United States. MUSICOLOGY Students may focus on an area of their choice ranging from early to contemporary music. Our program provides exceptional training by distinguished scholars and integrates the understanding of the nature, structure, and historical development of music---a unique program in which music history, music theory and analysis, and the history of theory are amalgamated. Coursework consists of proseminars, which survey an array of topics illustrating the representative avenues of research and methodological approaches, and seminars, intensive investigation devoted to a single topic and stress original research. The Slosberg Music Center houses an extensive collection of period instruments, including two harpsichords and an historic Viennese fortepiano. JOINT MA IN WOMEN'S and GENDER STUDIES The music department offers an interdisciplinary Joint Master of Arts program in Music & Women's and Gender Studies that integrates the study of women's experiences and gender roles with the music course of study. Topics include feminist theory, gender studies, cultural history, and the investigation of work by and about women.


New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: A variety of loan programs, including the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the TERI Continuing Education Loan, may be available to Graduate Professional Studies students who meet this criteria.

Locale: Midsize Suburb

Find Schools