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Musicology/Ethnomusicology

Master of Arts (MA)

The faculty strongly urge that entering students come prepared to read at least one foreign language, preferably German, French, or Italian; other languages must be approved by the faculty. Students must pass a language exam administered by the division, in German, French, or Italian before the student can be awarded a master’s degree. For the student selecting an emphasis in ethnomusicology, a language appropriate to the research specialization will be acceptable, if it is available for study and testing at the University of Minnesota.

Courses taken in fulfillment of the MA in musicology/ethnomusicology can be applied to the PhD with faculty approval.

Program Requirements

There are two master’s degree programs: plan A (requiring fewer courses and an extensive thesis) and plan B(requiring more courses and two briefer papers).

Plan A Degree Program

24 credits in coursework plus the thesis (10 credits)

1. Two required seminars (these seminars are offered every other year; they are to be taken during the first year of residence if they are being offered).

  • MUS 8644 Seminar: Advanced Research in Historical Musicology: 3 credits
  • MUS 8864 Current Issues in Ethnomusicology: 3 credits

2. Three additional courses in musicology (8xxx) or ethnomusicology (5xxx or 8xxx) taken at the University of Minnesota: 9 credits.

3. One seminar in music theory (8xxx): 3 credits.

4. Six credits in courses outside of music (5xxx or 8xxx); may include music education/therapy.

5. Plan A thesis: 10 credits. The plan A paper is a masters thesis that either summarizes the issues of an area of research within musicology/ethnomusicology or contributes significant new information to the field. Normally, the thesis should also demonstrate some analytical expertise. The thesis should exhibit professional quality and format—as if ready to submit for professional publication in a leading journal within the field. The divisional faculty as a whole will also examine the plan A thesis in its consideration of the student for admission (change of status) into the PhD program.

Plan B Degree Program: 

30 credits of coursework plus the Plan B projects: two papers on topics from two different areas of research or content.

1. Two required seminars (these seminars are offered every other year; they are to be taken during the first year of residence if they are being offered).

  • MUS 8644 Seminar: Advanced Research in Historical Musicology: 3 credits
  • MUS 8864 Current Issues in Ethnomusicology: 3 credits

2. Five additional courses in musicology (8xxx) or ethnomusicology (5xxx or 8xxx) taken at the University of Minnesota: 15 credits

3. One semester in music theory (8xxx): 3 credits

4. Six credits in courses outside of music (5xxx or 8xxx level); may include music education/therapy 

5. Two plan B papers: two article-sized papers are required from two different areas of musicological or ethnomusicological study. At least one of the two must demonstrate music-analytical expertise. The plan B papers may be—and normally are—revisions of papers initially prepared for 8xxx-level musicology or ethnomusicology courses. These two papers should exhibit professional (publishable) quality and format. 

View the requirements for plan A in ethnomusicology, and plan B

Learn more about musicology/ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota.