The Tufts University Department of Music has a growing and innovative graduate program and offers a Master of Arts degree in the field. Graduate students in the Music Department have the unique opportunity to study broadly across four exciting sub-disciplines –composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, and theory–while receiving a focused training in one of them. Advanced course work and thesis research support is strong in Western classical music, African-American music, and World Music (Africa, East and Southeast Asia, and Latin America).
The department’s small size allows you the ability to create a tailored program of study specific to your academic interests and future goals, including interdisciplinary projects that don’t easily fall within traditional lines. The program encourages both the immersion in a chosen field as well as creative thinking across disciplines and exploration of the relationships between music, sound, and culture.
The Music department is housed in the beautiful Perry and Mary Granoff Music Center which has classrooms, rehearsal spaces, a music library, a world-class recital hall, a world music room, a music technology lab, and dedicated spaces for graduate students to work and socialize. The world music room houses not only a gamelan, but also a significant and impressive collection of Ashanti drums used by Kiniwe, Tufts’ African Music and Dance Ensemble. The Lilly Music Library boasts the historically important Frédéric Louis Ritter Collection, which contains approximately 2500 books, scores, and periodicals on a wide range of musical interest from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The facilities help foster a strong sense of community among students and faculty, creating a collaborative and engaging learning community.
Members of our faculty have national and international reputations in a broad range of subjects and have held leadership positions in academic societies and academic journals. We also value teaching and mentor our graduate students in teaching through Teaching Assistantships when available. Additionally, our relationship with the New England Conservatory and our membership in the Graduate Consortium means that students may also take courses at the New England Conservatory, Boston University, Boston College, and Brandeis University. Students may also take advantage of Tufts membership in the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality. The opportunities at Tufts are expansive and exciting.
If a Ph.D. is your ultimate goal, we have a stellar record of placing students in their top-choice doctoral programs. Over the past five years students have been accepted to Yale, Princeton, Harvard, the University of Chicago, UCLA, University of Virginia, King’s College London, University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Toronto, among others. Our master’s program also prepares students for non-academic careers; our graduates have gone on to careers in K-12 teaching, music management, music librarianship, and the non-profit sector.
The ten academic courses (minimum) required to complete the two-year Master of Arts in Music follow the general rule that five courses will be taken within a concentration (including capstone project, which typically is taken as a course in the first or second semester of the second year), and three outside the concentration. In other words, composers might be encouraged to sample courses such as African Music Systems, Research in Musicology, and Contemporary Concert Music in addition to four semesters of Composition Seminar and Thesis. In like fashion, ethnomusicologists, musicologists, and theorists will be encouraged to synergize with serious, related ideas outside their concentrations. Tufts University is unusually strong in the areas of music cognition, linguistics, sociology, and the anthropology of music; students are invited to sample from these and many other offerings along with their core courses.
All concentrators are heartily encouraged to participate in one or more of the any performance ensembles that are a lynchpin of our Music department, although only one performance course credit may be applied toward the graduate degree (others may be taken officially for no credit). There are also ample opportunities for intellectual and musical engagement on an informal basis at Tufts, including an auspicious Monday Colloquium Series and periodic Graduate Discussion Groups that address areas of interest across the sub-disciplines.
The Master of Arts in Music program requires reading proficiency in a foreign language. This requirement can be fulfilled by successfully completing certain approved courses or by taking a proficiency exam (approximately two hours in length). Foreign language exams are scheduled in September, January and April.
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Last updated March 15, 2018