Degree Programs

Master of Music in Music History

The MM in Music History program, a two-year course of study, is particularly suitable for those who wish to explore further both the content and the methodologies by which the history of music may be critiqued and investigated. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in music or its equivalent.

For general information on the MM program and the curriculum specific to the MM in Music History, please visit:  Music History and Literature MM

Application Procedure:

For your application to be given full consideration for scholarship, teaching and other financial awards, all your application materials must arrive by February 1 (preferably sooner). As such, please make your enquiries without delay and plan on submitting your application as early as you can. Application enquiries should be sent to Questions about writing samples (described below) should be addressed to Professor Jerry Tolson at

Online application may be made at:

In your online application, please include the following as attachments in addition to the other required materials:

  • Letter of intent. This should contain information on your musical background and training, teaching experience (if any), and other information that may be relevant to your application. Specify also if you intent to apply for financial assistance.
  • Curriculum vitae. Please include aspects of your background regarding education, work experience, achievements, and other endeavors.
  • Writing samples. Two writing samples of your work on music history are required. While research papers written for undergraduate music history courses suggest themselves, it is important that you submit your best work regardless of the purpose for which they were written. At least one of the two samples must discuss music in a substantive way. Analytical papers giving a blow-by-blow account of the music are discouraged, as are papers consisting of substantial borrowings from other sources. Each submission should not exceed twenty pages. For exceptions to this page limit, please contact Professor Jerry Tolson at

Music History and Theory Examinations:

All successful applicants to the MM program who have accepted the university’s offer to enroll are required to take examinations in both Music History and Music Theory, typically in the week before classes begin, for the purpose of gauging competencies. Students who do not pass the examinations will be required to take remedial classes in Music History (MUS 500) or Theory (MUS 400) or both, as the case may be. Information about how to prepare for these examinations will be sent in due course.

Undergraduate program 

The Bachelor of Music in Music History degree is especially suitable for students who have academic aspirations and are developing an interest in pursuing the study of music history at the graduate level. In addition to the music history sequence of courses required of all music major students, music history majors take additional seminars in areas of historical and critical study, and develop skills in (among other things) research methodologies. Research techniques and effective written/oral communication skills must be demonstrated by the development and presentation of a senior paper.

Course requirements for the BM in Music History

Students who are interested in areas such as the historical or cultural contexts of music but who do not wish to pursue a music history emphasis should consider the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Music, also offered by the School of Music. This is a more liberal arts-oriented degree, and affords an opportunity to pursue the study of music with more emphasis in a companion field than is possible in any of the Bachelor of Music degrees, including that in Music History. This degree is popular with students who want to continue in medicine, law, or some other area. It is also frequently taken in conjunction with a business degree of some kind.

Course requirements for the BA in Music