General Information for Applicants To Our Graduate Programs (PhD and DMA)
The application period for 2013 matriculation has now ended. We will begin accepting applications for 2014 admission in October, 2013.
(N.B. - Specific advice for 2012 applicants is located here.)
Are you considering applying for our PhD program in Musicology (Historical Musicology, Music Theory, or Ethnomusicology) or our DMA program in Composition?
Prospective graduate program applicants should begin by visiting the "Admissions" section of the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) website. This is the portal for online applications and contains key information regarding requirements and deadlines for applicants.
Columbia offers one of the top graduate (doctoral) programs in academic musicology (including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory) and music composition in the United States. We are seriously committed to the professional development of our students, and expect them to be seriously committed to their own professional goals as scholars, teachers, and composers. In the past decade, and in spite of an often challenging academic job market in the humanities fields, we have placed around 65-70 percent of our PhD and DMA graduates in postdoctoral fellowships and/or tenure track jobs within 2 years of graduation, among the best placement records of any Music graduate program in the United States (for PhDs alone, the number is even higher, as some DMA graduates do not pursue academic careers directly out of grad school).
Admission to our graduate program is extremely competitive, and only strong and well prepared candidates for doctoral study should apply. We normally admit between 8 and 12 new students (all with full fellowship support for 4 or 5 years of study) annually across all four areas of our Department, and receive several hundred applications for these few positions.
Please be aware that we do not offer any graduate degree program in performance or music education (the latter is offered by Teachers College of Columbia University, in a separate department from ours). We also do not offer any distance learning or online programs. Students must be in residence at Columbia for a minimum of 3 years (with Advanced Standing) or 4 years (for most others) before entering doctoral candidacy (with the exception of exchange programs). All newly admitted students begin in the Fall semester (there are no mid-year admissions). We do not offer any stand-alone MA programs. All doctoral students earn the MA by the end of their second year; if you already have an MA in Music, you may be eligible for Advanced Standing.
All admitted students are fully funded, with a combination of fellowships and teaching duties, for five years of study (four with advanced standing) and we do not admit unfunded students. However, we strongly encourage qualified applicants to apply for external funding (such as Javits, Ford, or NSF fellowships).
- Please begin by visiting the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website, and reading the section entitled "Admissions"
- Click here to begin the online application process.
- Official admissions information for the Department of Music is here.
- To arrange for campus visits or discuss program details, after reading the relevant online resources, please contact the Chair of the relevant academic area of the Department by email. For 2012-13 these are:
1) Professor Susan Boynton, Historical Musicology (email@example.com)
2) Professor Aaron Fox, Ethnomusicology (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3) Professor Joseph Dubiel, Music Theory (email@example.com)
4) Professor Fred Lerdahl, Composition (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When you write an email of inquiry to one of these people, or to any other faculty member, please include a Curriculum Vitae (CV, or résumé) detailing your prior education and any academic accomplishments or relevant employment, and include a succinct description of your research interests and your prior scholarly or compositional training.
Visiting the Department/Making Contact:
Prospective graduate applicants are welcome to visit the Department (though application does not require an interview). A visit should be planned well in advance with the adviser of the relevant academic area, listed above. Individual arrangements will have to be made to meet any particular faculty member or audit a class.
A campus visit is not an interview. You are neither required nor expected to visit before you apply. Visiting confers no advantage on any applicant. It is possible you may be contacted for a more formal interview once we have begun to review applications. If you are admitted, we will generally be able to support a campus visit to help you make your decision (usually in early March).
Please see the appropriate area pages, listed under "Academic Areas" in the left sidebar, for further information on the faculty, programs, and resources of each area.
The Department's Director of Graduate Studies for 2012-13 is Professor Aaron Fox (email@example.com). He can answer most specific questions about the application process or forward your inquiry to someone who can, if you cannot find the answer to your inquiry through one of the linked resources below.
Important informational links -- Please read these sources before contacting the Department with questions!
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Home Page
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions Home Page
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions (on Admission) Graduate School of Arts and Sciences International Applicants Information
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Loans, Fellowships, and Financial Aid
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Bulletin Page for Music (PhD and DMA)
MUSIC DEPARTMENT GRADUATE PROGRAMS:
General Information on Columbia's Grad Programs in Music
General Guidance for all Applicants to Our Graduate Programs in Music
Profiles of Our Some of Our Current Graduate Students