Musicology Ph.D.

Program overview

This program is for students interested in developing original research projects that bridge traditional methodologies with new critical and/or digital approaches in musicology.  The area's humanistic orientation emphasizes the importance of political, social, and cultural history, while also encouraging students to hone their skills in musical analysis, their sensitivity to different styles and performance, and their awareness of issues in aesthetics.  Inter-disciplinary links are encouraged.  

An option exists for specialization in:

Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

This program option is open to doctoral students who are interested in cross-disciplinary research that focuses on issues centrally related to gender, sexuality, feminist theory, and/or women’s studies. The Musicology Ph.D. requirements are augmented by participation in a Research Methods course and a Graduate Feminism Symposium that engages with a diverse array of critical and empirical perspectives.

The program draws on the resources of the McGill Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies that includes faculty and graduate students from across the University. Supporting music faculty have interests in Opera, film studies, aesthetics, theory of performance, and popular/jazz studies.


Students receive guidance from leading scholars whose internationally acclaimed research ranges from medieval and renaissance music to the popular music of today. 

For a complete list of Musicology Area faculty members, visit the area's webpage.

Resources and Opportunities

Students benefit from:

  • Cutting-edge research and performance facilities;
  • Valuable pedagogical training through teaching assistantships and instructorships in undergraduate music history courses;
  • Comprehensive exams that prepare for teaching careers, while laying the foundation for original dissertation research;
  • Inter-disciplinary research opportunities through ground-breaking team projects.
  • Network of connections that link to other areas such as IPLAI, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy, Communications, Literature, Film Studies, and Centre for Interdiscplinary research in Music, Media, and Technology, among others;
  • Faculty mentoring, support, and preparation for presentations at leading international conferences.
  • Program writing internship supported by Schulich School of Music awards. 


Students have benefitted from Schulich Graduate Excellence Awards, Stern, SSHRC, Vanier, PBEEE, Fulbright, BANQ  fellowships (among others); they have also received the McGill Equity Award, Scarlet Letter, K.B. Jenkes Dissertation Award (among others).


Graduates have academic careers in North American, European, and New Zealand universities.  Others have gone on to do post-doctoral work or pursue careers in teaching, research, arts management, journalism, publishing, library science, among others.

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