Programs

The Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania offers Ph.D. programs in four fields of study: Musical Composition, History of Music, Theory of Music, and Ethnomusicology. See the graduate handbook for detailed information regarding each program.

By design, the student body is small. We admit between five and eight graduate students per year, and all are fully funded. Generally, our community numbers no more than 25-30 graduate students in the combined programs. Of these, however, fewer than half are actually taking courses in a given year. The faculty-student ratio is a most favorable one; small seminars and individual attention are very much the rule. At present, our faculty includes three composers, two theorists, three ethnomusicologists, and three musicologists. This distinguished group of scholars and composers has received numerous fellowships and awards, among them a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowships, NEH and NEA Fellowships, and book and article prizes from the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society, and the Society for Ethnomusicology. The Faculty has also been recognized for the excellence of its instruction and includes several award-winning teachers. 

Penn graduates are also a distinguished group, presently teaching at universities and colleges that include Yale, Michigan, Chicago, Haverford, University of Texas, Pomona, Pittsburgh, and Northwestern. [Penn Ph.Ds in Music History, Music Theory, Ethnomusicology and Music Composition]. Our placement record continues to be outstanding, even in the face of the difficult academic job market. Penn graduates include recipients of NEH and NEA fellowships, Guggenheim fellowships, ASCAP and BMI prizes, and a Pulitzer Prize.

Our graduate students regularly present papers at national and international meetings as well as in their own colloquia series and have been highly successful in national fellowship competitions, including AMS 50, ACLS, Fulbright, AAUW, SSRC, and Javits fellowships. Graduate student composers have been the recipients of both BMI and ASCAP awards.