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Degree Requirements

MA and PhD academic requirements for our graduate program can be found at Faculty of Graduate Studies—Program Requirements.

Master of Arts (MA) Program

Candidates for the MA degree in Ethnomusicology/Musicology must satisfactorily complete the following:

  1. Courses

Music 5010 3.0: Problems and Methods of Musical Research plus FIVE additional half courses which differ substantially in subject area and/or methodological approach. These electives may include a course in a cognate discipline related to the student’s principal research interests, or an independent study course.

  1. Major Research Paper (MRP)

A research paper (generally 50 to 80 pages) on a topic approved by the program’s graduate executive committee, written under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty in music. The paper will be graded by the faculty member directing the research and by a second reader, appointed by the Graduate Program Director.

Candidates for the MA Degree in Composition must satisfactorily complete the following:

  1. Courses

Music 5005A 3.0: Seminar in Composition I (half course over one term—year 1) and Music 5005B 3.0: Seminar in Composition II (half course over one term—year 2), which combine private lessons and shared symposia; plus FOUR additional half courses offered by the program, including at least one of

  • Music 5110 3.0: Early Twentieth-century Music: Form, Structure and Significance
  • Music 6250 3.0: Musical Analysis
  • Music 6210 3.0: Documentary and Interpretive Studies in Contemporary Music
  • Music 6310 3.0: Musical Acoustics, Psychoacoustics and Formal Perception
  1. Composition and Major Research Paper

A composition and a major research paper (MRP) on a topic approved by the program’s Graduate Executive Committee. The usual form of the composition is an extended musical score (or acoustic equivalent) in combination with an MRP.  The MRP (generally 50 to 80 pages) places the composition in the context of contemporary music with respect to its technical methods and style orientation. The principle guiding the composition major research paper must be distinct and extensive independent work which from the standpoints of its technical mastery, feasibility for performance, the relation of means to aesthetic intention, and its composer’s awareness of sources and influences.

Combined MBA and MA

The Schulich School of Business and the Graduate Program in Music offers a three-year combined program leading to both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts degree. Graduates of this highly challenging program will follow career paths in which knowledge of the arts and of management and business are required. The MBA/MA programs complement each other in focus and offer excellent preparation for those interested in management careers in the arts and cultural sector.

The normal full-time course load in 15.0 credit hours of courses per term. Students who enrol in the combined program should be able to complete it within a 3-year period. In doing so students will meet all of the core requirements in each individual program. Cognate requirements in each program can be filled through coursework in a parallel program.

Students may take two-semester courses in the MBA program from the optional courses related to their specific interest; these courses might include not-for-profit management courses, legal aspects in the arts, exporting the arts, entrepreneurial studies, or management for artistic resources etc.

Courses may, but need not, be taken from the Arts & Media slate. Depending on the specific program and requirement students may be encouraged to take some of these courses during the summer semester.

Year 1

Option 1Option 2
- 27.0 credit hours of the required foundations of management core courses in the 1st year of the MBA program, including Arts & Media 6301.03: Introduction and Media Administration, in the first semester.
- The majority of the required courses are in music. Note: However it is recommended that students complete the MBA required courses before focusing on their specialized studies in music.

Year 2

MBA CoursesMusic Courses
- Strategic Management 6000.03
- Strategic Management Arts & Media Electives (.03)
- Music 5010.06: Research Methods
- three half-courses from Music 5610.03, Music 5100.03, Music 5120.03, Music 5170.03, Music 5190.03

Year 3

MBA CoursesMusic Courses
- Management 6100.03: Strategy Field Study 1 semester course in the discipline.- Major Research Paper

Arts and Media Graduate Diploma
Students may add an Arts and Media Administration  Graduate Diploma to their combined MBA/MA degrees. For more information, please visit the Arts & Media Administration Graduate Diploma page.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Music 6010 6.0
  • FOUR additional half courses
  • Students may apply to take courses outside the program and may fulfil up to two requirements as Directed Reading courses
  • Documentation of minimum competency in two languages other than English. This may be accomplished through taking a course, a language assessment test, or accreditation through private study or proficiency tests. Discuss your plan with the Graduate Program Director (GPD).
  • Those with native fluency in non-English language(s) relevant to their research areas should speak with the GPD about appropriate forms of documenting their proficiency.
  • 18 terms

Year 1

1 half course
1 half course
Directed reading OR Comps planning

Year 2

- 1 or 2 remaining half courses - Establishment of the supervisory committee and Comps questions - Comps questions research

Year 3

- Completion of Comps 1 and dissertation research - Completion of Comps 2 and dissertation research - Dissertation Research

Year 4

- Dissertation research and proposal - Dissertation research - Dissertation Research

Year 5

- Dissertation writing - Dissertation writing - Dissertation writing

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Music at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.