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Graduate Programs: More Information

Application Requirements

Master of Arts in Music (Composition, Ethnomusicology, Musicology, or Music Theory)

One Annual Application Deadline: January 15 for September program start. Notification of admission decisions will be made by March 15 for applications that are received by the deadline.

GRE General Test scores required.

Applicants intending to focus on Ethnomusicology, Musicology, or Theory should submit a representative writing sample.

Applicants who would concentrate on Composition should submit at least one representative score (and a recording of that score) along with a work list.

All applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in music, or the equivalent as determined by the admissions committee. Provisionally accepted students may be asked to complete remedial courses if their preparation is considered inadequate.

Program Requirements

The ten academic courses (minimum) required to complete the two-year Master of Arts in Music follow the general rule that five courses will be taken within a concentration (including capstone project, which typically is taken as a course in the first or second semester of the second year), and three outside the concentration. In other words, composers might be encouraged to sample courses such as African Music Systems, Research in Musicology, and Contemporary Concert Music in addition to four semesters of Composition Seminar and Thesis. In like fashion, ethnomusicologists, musicologists, and theorists will be encouraged to synergize with serious, related ideas outside their concentrations. Tufts University is unusually strong in the areas of music cognition, linguistics, sociology, and the anthropology of music; students are invited to sample from these and many other offerings along with their core courses.

All concentrators are heartily encouraged to participate in one or more of the any performance ensembles that are a lynchpin of our Music Department, although only one performance course credit may be applied toward the graduate degree (others may be taken officially for no credit). There are also ample pportunities for intellectual and musical engagement on an informal basis at Tufts, including an auspicious Monday Colloquium Series and periodic Graduate Discussion Groups that address areas of interest across the sub-disciplines.

The Master of Arts in Music program requires reading proficiency in a foreign language. This requirement can be fulfilled by successfully completing certain approved courses or by taking a proficiency exam (approximately two hours in length). Foreign language exams are scheduled in September, January and April. Arrangements for taking an exam may be made by contacting gsas@tufts.edu.

Graduate Studies Website

  • Admissions
    Information about visiting, the admissions process, application deadlines, requirements & policies and more.
  • Tuition and Financial Aid
    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) provides resources to departments to offer, on average, a half tuition scholarship to each accepted student. Students who receive half scholarships pay tuition for the first year and not the second. Students can be accepted with full tuition scholarship or with none. The GSAS also provides a fund to departments to offer stipends to graduate students for teaching assistantships. The Music Department typically offers annual stipend amounts ranging from $3000 to $6000 as compensation for graduate student teaching assignments. These funds are separate from tuition scholarships. Some students do not receive teaching assignments, especially in the first semester of the program. Assignments are made according to interest/concentration and ability, and according to departmental needs.
  • Graduate Student Handbook
    Published annually, the Graduate Student Handbook contains important dates, policies and procedures, requirements, and graduation information concerning current Arts, Sciences, and Engineering graduate students.
  • Research Support
    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers competitive opportunities for travel funds (for conferences) and research funds (field projects, travel to research institutions, etc.)

Contact Us

Director of Graduate Studies –
Stephan Pennington, Associate Professor of Music, 617-627-2619 or email stephan.pennington@tufts.edu.

For application inquires or to request further information, contact Julia Cavallaro at 617.627.3564 or email julia.cavallaro@tufts.edu.

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Department Info:
Main Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9 am – 5 pm

Box Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11 am – 4:30 pm

Department of Music
Granoff Music Center
20 Talbot Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
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