List of Masters in Ethnomusicology Programs – Campus & Online

Seventeenth-century English music styles are vastly different from modern-day genres of Latin American music, and it’s an ethnomusicologist’s job to discover or dive deeper into why and how those genres, instruments, and styles of music were created. Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its cultural and historical contexts, and is essentially a hybrid of historical and anthropological studies with a focus on music.

Vivek Virani

Masters in Ethnomusicology Podcast Featuring Vivek Virani

Explore Ethnomusicolgy, the crossroads of music and culture, with this episode of the YesCollege Podcast. Scott chats with Vivek Virani, who teaches Ethnomusicology and Music Theory courses at the University of North Texas. Click here to view this episode’s show notes.

 

Where Can I Earn My Masters in Ethnomusicology Degree?

While you’re listening to the podcast, check out our list of schools with ethnomusicology programs in the US. For each school, we provide a few highlights, including program offerings, course breakdown, and accreditation.

Click on the links below to jump to a specific state’s programs. You can also skip ahead to our Quick Facts about a master’s degree in ethnomusicology, or information about degree types and accreditation.

Online

Liberty University
Accredited by SACS

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Liberty University’s M.A. in Ethnomusicology degree program is NASM accredited, and is offered completely online. In this program, students will develop their understanding of music systems in a variety of cultures and communities. Students pursuing this degree can take classes like Anthropology of Music, Arts in Global Engagement, Transcription and Analysis of Non-Western Music, and Field Experience in Ethnomusicology.
Temple University
Accredited by MSCHE

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The Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University has an M.M. in Music History degree program delves into the musical styles of different periods, genres, composers, and issues of performance practice. Students can take classes in ethnomusicology, jazz, digital and analog sound production, and more. This program is designed to prepare students to pursue a musicology doctoral degree.

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Arizona

University of Arizona
Accredited by HLC
Arizona State University offers a MA in Ethnomusicology through the School of Music. Students are required to complete at least 20 credit hours for the program in the field of ethnomusicology or related fields approved by the student’s advisor along with appropriate elective coursework. The program is offered at the Tempe location.

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California

At UC Berkeley, graduate degrees with a primary specialization in ethnomusicology are offered only through the Department of Music. Specialization in ethnomusicology begins at the M.A. level. If a prospective student has already achieved an M.A. degree in a specialization with substantially different course work, ethnomusicology study at Berkeley will lead first to an additional M.A. degree, then on to the Ph.D. program.
The Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Ethnomusicology. The department does not offer a master’s only program. Applicants admitted to the graduate program will be officially entering the Ph.D. program in ethnomusicology.

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Florida

Florida State University
Accredited by SACS
The ethnomusicology program at Florida State University has a near-100% field placement record for Ph.D. graduates. The program provides extensive opportunities in research, teaching, and performance. The program encompasses a broad spectrum of global musicultural traditions – contemporary and historical – with particular strengths in musics of Africa and the African diaspora, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia (especially Indonesia), the Middle East, and Central Asia.
University of Florida
Accredited by SACS
The Master of Music degree at the University of Florida requires students to complete core courses in music as well as courses in an area of specialization. A secondary concentration in ethnomusicology may be added and will require additional coursework. Applicants should have a baccalaureate degree in music or a closely related field from an accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from an international institution.

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Georgia

University of Georgia
Accredited by SACS
The Musicology/Ethnomusicology program at the University of Georgia provides students with training in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and musical analysis. The program’s diverse faculty has research interests in Classical, Romantic, and 20th-century music, popular musics, film music, music history pedagogies, music and religion, and gender studies, as well as regional geographic specializations in North America, Russia, Africa, and Latin America.

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Hawaii

The Ethnomusicology Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has a reputation for excellence in the study of world music, especially the music of Asian and Pacific cultures. The program closely mentors its students, helps them to develop a broad network of contacts, and teaches students to analyze theoretical problems such as the relation of music to social change, globalization, identity, diaspora, politics, commerce, dance, and theater.

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Indiana

At Indiana University, Bloomington, students can earn an MA in Ethnomusicology that requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours including 24 credit hours of coursework within the department and up to 6 credit hours of project/thesis work. Other requirements include a reading proficiency in one foreign language as well as a thesis, project, or exam.

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Kentucky

University of Kentucky
Accredited by SACS
The School of Music at the University of Kansas offers two degrees in Musicology/Ethnomusicology: an M.A. and a combined M.A./Ph.D. The Musicology and Ethnomusicology Division is made up of faculty whose specialties range from the Medieval period to contemporary music, from chant and opera to fiddle tunes, folk songs, and Korean drumming, employing a wide variety of methodological approaches.

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Maryland

University of Maryland
Accredited by MSCHE
The Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology degree program at the University of Maryland is designed to develop students’ understanding of fundamental theories and methods of ethnomusicology by focusing on the anthropology of music, historical and contemporary studies, and training in fieldwork with a hands-on research project. This program consists of a minimum of 35 graduate credits.

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Massachusetts

Boston University
Accredited by NEASC
The M.A. in Musicology degree program at Boston University gives students the opportunity to pursue a concentration in Ethnomusicology, which is designed to prepare students for a doctoral degree or career in the music industry. This program consists of a minimum of 32 credits, and includes classes like Contemplating Ethnomusicology, World Music Ensemble, and Musical Cultures of the World.
Tufts University
Accredited by NEASC
The Tufts University Department of Music has a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology degree program that focuses on increasing familiarity with diverse musical traditions. Students in this program have access to advanced coursework and thesis research support in areas like Western classical music, African-American music, and World Music from Africa, Latin America, and East and Southeast Asia.

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Michigan

Michigan State University
Accredited by HLC
MSU offers two ways for students to earn their graduate degree in musicology and ethnomusicology, a thesis or a research project, both of which consist of a minimum of 32 credits. Students in these programs have studied a variety of music styles and cultures including Cuban, Anglo American fiddling, Korean Christian, Native American, and congregational singing in Mennonite churches.

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Minnesota

University of Minnesota
Accredited by HLC
The Master of Arts in Musicology and Ethnomusicology degree program at UMN is tailored to the student’s interests and career goals. There are two M.A. degree plans that students can choose from; the “Plan A” program requires fewer courses and an extensive thesis, and the “Plan B” program has more courses and two shorter papers on two different research topics.

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Mississippi

University of Mississippi
Accredited by SACS
The University of Mississippi has a Master of Music in Music with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology degree program that consists of a minimum of 31 credits, with 24 of those credits dedicated to ethnomusicology. The curriculum for this program includes standard coursework, a thesis or recital, and an oral or written exam.

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New York

University of Rochester
Accredited by MSCHE
The University of Rochester has a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology degree program that is designed to prepare students for doctoral study, teaching, and public sector careers. Students in this program have access to the expertise of the department faculty, allowing them to concentrate on the music styles of India, Indonesia, Southern Africa, and the United States.

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Ohio

The Master of Music in Ethnomusicology degree program at BGSU is integrated with departments and programs across the campus to give students access to a variety of different subjects. Students in this program can choose degree concentrations like American and global popular music, postcolonial studies, music and media, organology, voice studies, disability studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.
Kent State University
Accredited by HLC
Kent’s Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology degree program is designed to prepare students to pursue doctoral degrees and/or public sector careers in world music. In this program, students focus on regional studies of music style, performance practice, history, and cultural associations, as well as theoretical concerns like sociocultural identity, semiotics, gender studies, politics and power, ritual studies, and globalization.
Ohio State University
Accredited by HLC
OSU’s M.A. of Arts in Musicology allows students to pursue an Ethnomusicology concentration that focuses on providing comprehensive training in ethnomusicological theory, history, and analytical skills. Students also have the option to pursue the program’s sub-specialization in Cognitive Ethnomusicology, which strives to understand how and to what extent cognitive processes in music production and perception are influenced by cultural factors.

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Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma
Accredited by HLC
The Master of Music in Musicology and Ethnomusicology degree program at the University of Oklahoma consists of a minimum of 32 credit hours, and is designed for students who want to earn a doctoral degree. Students in this program can participate in small ensembles for in-depth opportunities to study Native American flute, steel band, and African drumming.

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Pennsylvania

Temple University
Accredited by MSCHE
The Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University has an M.M. in Music History degree program delves into the musical styles of different periods, genres, composers, and issues of performance practice. Students can take classes in ethnomusicology, jazz, digital and analog sound production, and more. This program is designed to prepare students to pursue a musicology doctoral degree.
University of Pittsburgh
Accredited by MSCHE
The Ethnomusicology graduate degree program at Pitt is designed to prepare students to become educators and active in the public sector. Students in this program will gain an understanding of a variety of topics including global popular music, gender and sexuality, media and technology, sound studies, cultural rights and advocacy, sound archives and repatriation, and music, labor, and value.

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Tennessee

The Master of Music in Musicology degree program at UTK provides advance studies in ethnomusicology and historical musicology that focus on analytical techniques, historical styles, theory and methodology, and social, intellectual, and cultural contexts. Students who complete this program are prepared to pursue a doctoral degree in ethnomusicology or historical musicology.

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Texas

University of North Texas
Accredited by SACS
The M.A. in Music, Ethnomusicology Concentration degree program at the University of North Texas gives students the opportunity to study and engage in music cultures, and prepares them for careers in academia and the public sector. Students in this program can take classes like Review of Jazz History, Music of Africa, Anthropology of Sound, and Ethnomusicology Transcription and Analysis.
UTRGV’s Master of Music degree program allows students to pursue a concentration in Ethnomusicology, which focuses on the folk styles, instruments, literature, and music history of Mexico. Students in the Ethnomusicology concentration can take classes like World Music Cultures, History of Border Music and Performance, Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, and Music of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Virginia

Liberty University
Accredited by SACS
Liberty University’s M.A. in Ethnomusicology degree program is NASM accredited, and is offered completely online. In this program, students will develop their understanding of music systems in a variety of cultures and communities. Students pursuing this degree can take classes like Anthropology of Music, Arts in Global Engagement, Transcription and Analysis of Non-Western Music, and Field Experience in Ethnomusicology.

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Washington

University of Washington
Accredited by NWCCU
The University of Washington has a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology degree program that consists of a minimum of 51 credits, and is designed to be completed in two years. Students in this program can take classes like Ethnographic Research in Music, Preceptorial Readings, Music and Community, and Transcription and Analysis.

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Masters in Ethnomusicology Quick Facts

Here is a brief snapshot of what to expect and look forward to with a master’s degree in ethnomusicology.

Quick Facts
Common Pre-Enrollment Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree, GMAT or GRE
Common Core Subjects Covered: Ethnomusicology, World Music, Music History, Ethnographic Research, Anthropology of Music, Transcription Analysis
Non-Classwork Required: Thesis and/or Research Project
Expected Time to Complete Master’s Degree: 2 years
Common Next Steps: Entry/Intermediate-Level Position, Doctoral Degree
Most Common Career Fields: Music, Entertainment, Teaching
 

Exploring Degree Types and Accreditation

Different schools refer to a master’s degree in ethnomusicology in different ways, but most programs are master of arts (MA) degrees. Here are other types of programs/degree names you’ll likely come across in your search:

  • MA in Ethnomusicology – a highly arts-oriented approach to studying indigenous, folk, or other oral traditions from around the world
  • MA in Musicology and Ethnomusicology – an arts-based approach to studying musicology and ethnomusicology
  • MA in Music History and Ethnomusicology – an arts-based approach to music history and ethnomusicology and how they relate to each other
  • Master of Music in Ethnomusicology – a music degree with a focus on ethnomusicology

Accreditation is important for all degrees, ensuring you receive a qualified education. The accrediting bodies featured in our list are:

  • CIHE – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • DEAC – Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • HLC – Higher Learning Commission
  • MSA – Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • MSCHE – Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • NEASC – New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • NCA – North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  • NWCCU – Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • SACS – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • WSCUC – WASC Senior College and University Commission

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