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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2013-2014 Program Descriptions Music MUSI
Music - MUSI
Contact Information

Location: Craigie Hall D 100
Faculty number: 403.220.5313
Fax: 403.282.6825
Email address: musicgs@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: http://music.ucalgary.ca/graduate/prospective

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


  • Musicology
  • Composition
  • Music Education

Master of Arts (MA)


  • Musicology

Master of Music (MMus) thesis-based


  • Performance
  • Conducting
  • Composition
  • Music Education

*The Computational Media Design specialization is no longer available. See the Calendar entry for the Computational Media Design program.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires that all applicants submit:

a) One-page letter detailing their specific reasons for pursuing graduate study.

b) Two reference letters.

Other requirements are outlined below and based on the degree being pursued.

Master of Music (Performance)

A live audition or video/audio recording. Repertoire for the audition must contain representative works from a variety of historical periods and must demonstrate an advanced level of technical accomplishment. Recordings should be approximately 20-30 minutes in length.

Master of Music (Conducting)

a) A completed Bachelor of Music degree, including study in conducting.

b) Demonstrated ability in an audition, which can be met in two ways:

  • A video of approximately fifteen minutes
  • A rehearsal of a University ensemble (during Fall and Winter)

c) Demonstrated competence on a major instrument or voice.

Master of Music (Composition)

a) A completed Bachelor of Music degree (or equivalent), including study in composition.

b) A portfolio of at least three recent compositions, together with recordings (where available). Applicants wishing to specialize in electroacoustic composition must submit recordings.

Master of Music (Music Education)

The Department is not currently accepting applications to the Master of Music (Music Education) for the 2013-2014 academic year.

a) Normally, two years of successful teaching experience or equivalent professional involvement in music education.

b) An essay on a topic in Music Education prepared during or subsequent to the applicant’s undergraduate work.

Master of Arts (Musicology)

A research essay or paper of approximately 10-15 pages on a topic in music history or theory prepared during or subsequent to the applicant’s undergraduate course work.

Master of Arts or Master of Music (CMD)

a) A completed Bachelor of Music Degree (or equivalent) including study in sonic arts or computer applications in music.

b) A single page statement of interest and a portfolio of recent work, both of which are described in full in the Admission Requirements for the Computational Media Design (Interdisciplinary) in the Graduate Calendar.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) A recognized Master’s degree or equivalent.

b) Composition - a portfolio of works, together with recordings, if available, and an extended research paper.

c) Musicology - one or two extended research essays of approximately 25 pages in length.

d) Music Education - one or two extended research essays.

e) CMD - a portfolio of creative or design work and an extended research paper, in addition to the requirements in the Computational Media Design (Interdisciplinary) section of the Graduate Calendar.

3. Application Deadline

The deadline for the submission of complete applications for both Master’s and doctoral program is January 15 for September admission.

For students wishing to pursue a Master of Music in Performance, an audition of approximately thirty minutes will be arranged on an individual basis from December 1 to April 15. Specific dates and times can be arranged by contacting the Graduate Administrator at 403.220.5422.

For consideration for university scholarships, complete applications (including the audition and the required TOEFL score, if applicable) must be concluded by January 15. Departmentally-administered funding (such as graduate teaching assistantships and research scholarships) will be decided after April 15.

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department, excluding qualifying courses, requires:

Master's Degrees

Master of Music (Music Education): Music 631, 637 and three full approved graduate-level courses.

Master of Music (Composition): Music 613, Music 631, Music 641.01, 641.02 or 653 and three half approved graduate-level courses.

Master of Arts or Master of Music (CMD): satisfy the program/course requirements in the Computational Media Design (Interdisciplinary) section of the Graduate Calendar, wherein the requirement for “one graduate level course in Design or Art” will be met by Music 631. In addition, the “two other graduate level courses” will include one of Music 651 or 653.

Master of Music (Performance): Music 621, 623, 637, 631, one half course at the graduate-level in Music Theory and Composition or Music History and Literature and three other approved half course options.

Master of Music (Conducting): Music 637, 631, Music Performance 632 or 634 and two full approved graduate-level courses.

Master of Arts (Musicology): Music 637, 631 and three full approved graduate-level courses.


No more than one full course for the Master of Music and Master of Arts degrees may be taken in an area other than Music, except in the specialization of CMD.

Students in the PhD program with a specialization in CMD will satisfy the course requirements found in the Computational Media Design (Interdisciplinary) section of the Graduate Calendar, which shall include one of either Music 751 or 753.

Doctor of Philosophy

Students entering the PhD program will normally be required to complete at least six half courses:

a) An interdisciplinary half course designed by the student and supervisor.

b) Five additional approved graduate-level half courses. Students in the Doctor of Philosophy (Composition) program must take Music 631 unless this course (or its equivalent) has been completed as part of a Master's degree.

6. Additional Requirements

Diagnostic examinations in music history and theory will be given to all entering students in order to determine if qualifying work in these areas is required.


Master’s Programs

Master of Arts (Musicology)
Applicants are required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of a language other than English—normally German. In practice, this requirement and any other linguistic competence that may be deemed necessary for the student’s proposed research area must be met before the thesis topic will be approved.

Other Master’s programs
While there are no formal second-language requirements for the various programs of the Master of Music degree, students may be required to attain proficiency in a language other than English where this is deemed appropriate for the proposed thesis/project.

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy (Musicology)
Candidates are required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of two languages other than English. German is recommended as one of the required languages.

Doctor of Philosophy (Composition), (Music Education) and (CMD) Candidates are required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of one language other than English.


Graduate students in the MMus Performance program are required to participate in one of the large ensembles for the duration of their degree. Pianists are required to accompany two hours per week in a vocal or instrumental studio if they do not participate in an ensemble. Another option for pianists is to accompany a Junior or a Senior recital. The head of the performance area will make all ensemble or accompanying assignments. Students in graduate programs other than performance are not required to participate in an ensemble, although such participation is encouraged.


Master’s Programs

All Master’s degree programs require a thesis or recital or project equivalent (see below), prepared under the guidance of a supervisor and approved by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department.

Master of Music (Performance)

The thesis is interpreted to be two public recitals featuring solo performances and chamber music. At least one Canadian work should be included in one of the recitals. The examining committee will evaluate the candidate’s performance in both of the recitals. Recital proposals are to be submitted to the Graduate Co-ordinator for approval by the Graduate Committee at least two months before each performance.

Master of Music (Conducting)

The thesis is interpreted to be two public performances, on or off campus, with University or community ensembles.

Master of Music (Composition)

The thesis is interpreted to be either a substantial creative project and an accompanying descriptive essay related to the project, or a portfolio of creative work, the majority of which must have been created in the second year of residency, and an accompanying descriptive essay related to the portfolio. Normally, the project or portfolio will have been presented in a public recital prior to the thesis defence.

Master of Arts or Master of Music (CMD)

The thesis will satisfy the requirements described in the Computational Media Design (Interdisciplinary) section of the Graduate Calendar.

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy (Composition)

The thesis is interpreted to be a substantial creative project and an accompanying analytical/research paper approved by the supervisory committee.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Not applicable.

8. Time Limit

Maximum completion time is five years for the Master of Music programs and four years for the Master of Arts (Musicology). Maximum completion time is six years for the doctoral program.

9. Supervisory Assignments

The Graduate Co-ordinator will function as the interim supervisor for all newly admitted students during their first term. This arrangement will allow students to use their first term as an opportunity to meet with faculty and to secure a permanent supervisor.

10. Required Examinations

Master's Degrees

Master of Arts (Musicology), Master of Music (Music Education) and Master of Music (Composition)
A comprehensive oral examination encompassing all areas of the chosen field is required. This examination will take place following the completion of coursework and must be satisfactorily completed before the submission of the thesis/project.

Master of Music (Performance) and (Conducting)
A comprehensive oral examination based upon the literature of the instrument and more extensively upon the repertoire of the approved recital programs is required. This examination must be satisfactorily completed at least four weeks before the date of the second public performance required for the degree.

Doctor of Philosophy

This degree requires a candidacy examination with a written and an oral component upon completion of course work, but no later than 28 months after initial registration.

Questions on the research proposal will be included in the oral candidacy examination.

Final thesis oral examinations of written theses are open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

Research proposals must be submitted to and approved by the Department's Graduate Studies Committee at least two months before the student intends to defend or perform.

The proposal should include:

  • A detailed description of the area of investigation.
  • A clear statement of the approach to be taken and the research method to be utilized.
  • An account of how the work will be presented.
  • An indication of how the project will make an original contribution to the student’s field of study.
12. Special Registration Information

Students should consult the Graduate Co-ordinator before registering.

13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar.

For scholarship applications, see Application Deadlines.

14. Other Information

International applications will not be considered unless the applicant has completed and passed the TOEFL examination (or equivalent) before the application or scholarship deadline. Students must apply for the Open Scholarship Competition by January 15.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Current faculty members and their areas of interest can be found at http://music.ucalgary.ca/contact-us/directory.