Music MA Musicology

Program Purpose


This program aims to develop musical understanding of the history of Western musical traditions in a more focused and intensive manner than undergraduate programs. Students in the Master of Arts program in musicology gain an increased familiarity with the history, practice, sociology and aesthetics of the Western musical tradition. They are trained in research techniques that equip them for original research on historical and analytical topics in music.

Curricular Structure

Students must have a music baccalaureate degree or the equivalent as a prerequisite to graduate study in the MA Musicology program. A minimum of 26 course-work hours plus 6 thesis hours (Music 699R) are required beyond the baccalaureate. In addition, students must successfully complete the department language proficiency examination, normally in French or German. Students also pass a comprehensive written examination and conduct a defense of the thesis.

Graduate Catalog

Department Information

School of Music Graduate Handbook

BYU Graduate School Application

Learning Outcomes


Music History

Is conversant with the entire history of Western music, with an in-depth understanding of most of the period styles and traits of that tradition.

Courses that Contribute: MUSIC 483 MUSIC 503 MUSIC 601 MUSIC 602 MUSIC 603 MUSIC 604 MUSIC 605 MUSIC 683
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence
Research and Thesis

Has mastered the research and study techniques that will produce original research suitable for publication in scholarly media. This is evidenced by the production of a thesis on a topic in historical musicology.

Courses that Contribute: MUSIC 601 MUSIC 602 MUSIC 603 MUSIC 604 MUSIC 605 MUSIC 699R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Educational Preparation

Is equipped for success in a doctoral program.

Courses that Contribute: MUSIC 503 MUSIC 601 MUSIC 602 MUSIC 603 MUSIC 604 MUSIC 605 MUSIC 699R
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence

Evidence of Learning


Progress in this program is assessed through examinations, term papers, theses, and evaluation of students' oral abilities both in and out of class.

Direct Measures

Performance on exams, written and assignments, and, especially, the thesis.

Indirect Measures

Placement in doctoral programs.

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


In the musicology division we analyze, evaluate, and seek to improve our performance on an ongoing basis, several times a year, through the forum provided by our regular division meetings. This forum is used to assess progress in implementing the degree program goals. Individual faculty also have access to university-structured course evaluation tools and voluntary evaluation methods offered by the university's Faculty Center.