The school of music offers PhDs in three subject areas: ethnomusicology, music – composition, and musicology. For each program, students conduct original research and file a dissertation. We encourage you to explore student dissertations, listed below, beginning in 2007, for our Musicology and Ethnomusicology programs. And, while you are here, please meet some of our graduate students to learn more about current research underway across the school.

Meet Our Graduate Researchers

Lucas Avidan
Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Cultural aesthetics and transmission in popular music in Tanzania
Anthony Constantino
Composition – Writes music for ensembles ranging from chamber to orchestral, vocal, and electroacoustic
Notable Research & Publications
Professor Elisabeth Le Guin Awarded 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship
Elisabeth Le Guin, chair of the musicology department, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a community-project based in Santa Ana, California, called El Cancionero de Santa Ana. The project aims to reflect, translate and enhance the complex cultural life of the largely Mexican immigrant community in which Le Guin has lived since 2014.
Research and Scholarly Events Advance Knowledge of Field of American Jewish Music
During the summer of 2018, two graduate student researchers were kept busy by the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music. One researched composers and their interrelationships across generations. The other focused exclusively on one composer, Max Helfman. 
Musicologist Jessica Holmes explores connection between Beethoven’s deafness and Ninth Symphony
INTERVIEW: “Musicology has tended to undervalue the role of the body in the performance of western art music,” said postdoctoral musicology scholar Jessica Holmes in Artsfile.