WITH A LONG TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION, the musicology program at Princeton University is broadly conceived, and includes historical and ethnographic investigation, as well as music theory, hermeneutics, and criticism. Graduate students, who are fully funded for five years, become part of a vibrant scholarly and artistic community. In addition to working closely with our renowned musicology faculty as seminar leaders and advisers, musicology students can explore Princeton’s rich offerings in the humanities, have access to the superb Mendel Music Library, and—with subsidized private studio instruction and the opportunity to participate in the Music Department’s superb ensembles—are encouraged to make performance an integral part of their lives. With Sō Percussion in residence, the Princeton University Concerts series, Princeton Sound Kitchen, and the many performances by our many ensembles, musicology students can partake of a rich and eclectic concert life.
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Seminar offerings focus on the musicology faculty’s current research, introducing students to a wide variety of repertories, sub-disciplines, and methodologies. Students take twelve graduate seminars during their first two years, normally graded P/F, and design their program in consultation and with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The typical course load is three seminars per semester. Students can also take advantage of course offerings in the Music Composition Program, and may also wish to explore interdisciplinary studies through Princeton’s rich offerings across the humanities. Students also have the possibility of taking courses through neighboring universities through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium.
A reading knowledge of two languages is required. The language requirement is normally satisfied by examinations administered by the appropriate language department or, if necessary, the musicology faculty. Both requirements must have been passed before a student can be admitted to the general examination. Students are urged to satisfy at least one of the language requirements during the first year of graduate study. Students may wish to avail themselves of the reading courses in French, German, and Latin offered at Princeton during the summer.
First-year students are required to take a diagnostic theory exam early in their first semester, and to submit, on the first day of classes during the second semester, a written paper based on work done in one of the fall term courses.
The general examination for students of musicology (whether concentrating in history, theory, or ethnomusicology), normally taken in May of the second year, is in six general fields, chosen during the first three terms in consultation with and with the approval of the faculty. Fields are chosen to present a broad range chronologically, methodologically, and theoretically; it is expected that some fields will expand and complement work done in seminars, while others will cover areas studied independently. A student whose general record and performance on the general examination are satisfactory is admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy and is earned after a student successfully completes all required course work (with no incompletes), the first-year paper, and the language requirements, as well as passing at least half of the general examination. It may also be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program, provided that these requirements have been met.
Students normally complete a draft of their dissertation proposal during the fall semester of their third year. Students are expected to defend their dissertation proposal during the second semester of their third year. Readmission to the fourth year of study is contingent upon approval of the dissertation proposal.
Dissertations are directed by a supervisor and also are read and must be approved by a second reader. Under special circumstances, outside readers may be brought in to provide expertise in areas not covered by the current musicology faculty.
Ideally, the doctoral dissertation is written during the student’s official last year in residence to ensure full and frequent consultation with the supervisor and other faculty members. When the dissertation has been completed, reviewed by two readers, seen by the entire department, and accepted, a final public oral examination is scheduled; upon its successful conclusion, the student is recommended for the Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Donnacha M. Dennehy
Elizabeth H. Margulis
Simon A. Morrison
Daniel L. Trueman
Barbara A. White
Rob C. Wegman
Ju Ri Seo
Michael J. Pratt
Jeffrey O. Snyder
Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.