UCLA's Department of Musicology is one of the most successful graduate programs in American musicology. Recent alumni of the department teach at the University of Michigan, UT Austin, UC Irvine, Michigan State, Dalhousie University, Bates College, and other schools across the nation and the world. Our intellectual community is strikingly diverse, with U.S. graduate students from all regions of the country, international students from Canada, Mexico, Holland, Bermuda, Guatemala and Korea, and visiting scholars from as far away as China and the Ukraine. UCLA graduate students are highly professional, running both a respected online journal, ECHO, and the department's Distinguished Lecture Series.

In academic year 2010, the department completed a thorough-going revision of its curriculum, including a reconsideration of our signature core courses in Scholarship, Historiography, and Criticism (Musicology 200A-C). We have also liberalized the structure of examinations and requirements, seeking to streamline further the individualized, flexible degree program that has been our hallmark. UCLA's graduate seminars are extremely varied, with topics ranging across the entire history of music, through music theory and analysis, popular music, critical theory and music, social theory and music, and performance studies.

The Department of Musicology accepts applications for the Fall quarter only. Admission to the department is based on acceptance by the UCLA Graduate Division and a faculty review of the applicant's work. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited US institution or comparable international institution, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the final two years of upper division coursework.

The Department does not offer a master’s only program.  All applicants admitted to the graduate program will be officially entering the PhD program, with the prospect of completing a doctoral degree in Musicology.  Applicants who have not previously earned a master’s degree in Musicology or a closely related field will earn the MA degree while completing the requirements for the PhD.


Applicants must submit the UCLA Graduate Division Application for Graduate Admission by December 1 at 11:59 PM PST.  The application includes the following components:

  • Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose should describe the applicant’s scholarly and research area(s) of interest, experiences that contributed to preparation in the field, and the applicant’s plans for study at UCLA and beyond.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required.  The letters should be written by former instructors and/or professionals with whom the applicant has worked.  Applicants must enter the names and contact information of three recommenders within the application.  Electronic recommendation requests will be sent to recommenders, and recommendation letters must be submitted via these requests.
  • Writing Samples: Applicants should submit two to three writing samples that demonstrate sound scholarship, intellectual vigor, and the ability to analyze musical and cultural complexities. Applicants should submit their MA thesis, if applicable.
  • Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants will upload unofficial copies of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.  Community college transcripts are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on the undergraduate transcript. 
  • GRE Scores (optional): Submitting GRE scores is recommended but not required.  Applicants should report scores within the application, and an official score report should be sent to UCLA.  The UCLA GRE school code is R4837, and the Musicology department code is 2303.
  • Personal History Statement (optional): This optional statement describes the background, accomplishments, and life experiences that led the applicant to pursue this degree.  Applicants should only complete a Personal History Statement if there are elements of their personal history that they feel are not adequately addressed elsewhere in the application.

Campus Visit

Following review of the application materials, select applicants will be invited for a campus visit with department faculty.

International Applicants

Academic Records: Please see the Graduate Division website for information about the official academic records international applicants are required to submit with the application.

English Language Requirements: All applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency in order to be eligible for admission.  Proficiency can be demonstrated in two ways:

1) Holding a bachelor's or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) and the medium of instruction


2) Submitting scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

If admitted, applicants may also be required to confirm their English language proficiency upon arrival.  Please see the Graduate Division website for more information.


Official transcripts are not required at the time of application.  All applicants must submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended within the UCLA Graduate Division Application for Graduate Admission.  Applicants who are admitted and submit a Statement of Intent to Register to UCLA must submit official transcripts.  Official transcripts should be sent from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended either electronically to , or by mail to 

Graduate Admissions - Musicology
2520 Schoenberg Music Building
445 Charles Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1616


Please contact with any questions about applying to the Musicology graduate program.