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:

M.A., M.F.A,

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Brandeis University's Department of Music offers graduate programs Musicology and Composition & Theory. We offer an integrated approach to the understanding of the nature, structural basis, and historical development of music, with three degree programs in both musicology and composition & theory:

  • M.A. (normally one year)
  • M.F.A. (normally two years)
  • Ph.D. (normally two or more years following the completion of the MFA requirements)

The one-year M.A. program provides an opportunity for students to engage in beginning graduate study without making a multi-year commitment.  The two-year M.F.A. program offers more in-depth study, including the writing of a master's thesis in the form of an original composition. 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. 

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.  

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.


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

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