Graduate Studies in Music at Columbia University
For detailed requirements, policies, and procedures, please see the Graduate Handbook:
Prospective PhD/DMA students should visit the Info for Graduate Program Applicants page:
Through the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Department of Music offers degrees in Musicology (M.A., leading to M.Phil., and Ph.D.) and Composition (M.A., leading to D.M.A.).
The Musicology program incorporates three areas: historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory. Within these areas, research and teaching focus on a wide range of topics, including music history in the West, non-Western musics and cultures, popular and urban musics, jazz, analytical methods, music cognition, music aesthetics, and the philosophy of music. Application is made to one of these areas, each of which also has its own degree requirements, specified in detail in the Graduate Handbook links on the right side of this page. The Musicology program is supported by a first-class library, the Gabe Wiener Music & Arts Library, located in Dodge Hall, as well as the extensive sound archives of the Center for Ethnomusicology. The department is home to the oldest and most prestigious academic music journal edited by graduate students, Current Musicology.
The program in Composition offers instruction to a small number of highly qualified candidates working in a variety of contemporary styles and media. Its degree requirements are specified in detail in the Graduate Handbook links on the right side of this page. The Composition program is enhanced by its association with the renowned Columbia Computer Music Center, which includes state-of-the-art facilities for working in electroacoustic music. Columbia Composers, a student-directed organization, offers opportunities for public performances of compositions in various concert facilities in New York City. Other opportunities for students to hear their work are available through the professional ensembles.
Useful Handbooks and Links
This is the official publication that you should consult regularly as your primary source of information. It is available online and from 107 Low Memorial Library. The GSAS Bulletin gives information on many matters that concern you: the academic calendar and deadlines, admissions and financial aid, registration and expenses, awards, loans and employment, general and departmental requirements. Additionally, it lists those courses given from time to time by each department for a two-year period. For each course it gives the course number and title, and points (units) of credits, and where possible the name of the instructor and a brief description of content.
General tuition, financial aid, fellowship information, student employment possibilities and other information relevant to graduate students. Important phone numbers for offices that deal with aspects of tuition, financial aid, transcripts and health services are located on the back of this booklet.
You should also refer to Student Services Online for account balances, refunds, address changes, grades, holds, and transcript orders.
Complete scheduling information for all courses offered during the semester. All Class schedules are available through the Columbia University web page.
The GSAS Teaching Center provides support to Teaching Fellows. It offers a number of useful workshops throughout the year as well as a number of other useful resources; be sure to check out its graduate school survival tips as well as its grant proposal writing tips.
This FAQ page answers many questions that Graduate Program applicants will have.
Important information for international Graduate Program applicants to review.
More About Music Department Graduate Programs
- Composition Area Home Page
- Composition Grad Program Specifics
- Music Theory Area Home Page
- Music Theory Grad Program Specifics
- Historical Musicology Area Home Page
- Historical Musicology Grad Program Specifics
- Ethnomusicology Area Home Page
- Ethnomusicology Grad Program Specifics
- Ethnomusicology Grad Program - Frequently Asked Questions
- Language Examinations Information
- Profiles of Our Current Graduate Students