Graduate Studies

Our graduate program invites students to earn a Ph.D. in composition or musicology, advancing their craft and research within the inspiring interdisciplinary, immersive spirit of the Princeton University campus. With an average of 24 students in each area of study at a time, our graduate program allows for fully-funded, focused study with a stellar faculty, and within an intimate community that celebrates the intersection between the creation, study, and performance of music. Regardless of their area of concentration, all students are welcomed and encouraged to take courses with world-renowned composers, musicologists, and musicians; take instrumental or voice lessons in the private studios of top professionals; and enjoy or even participate in the vibrant performance scene across campus. As an extension of this integrative approach, graduate students can also apply for a joint doctoral degree through the Interdisciplinary Humanities program, or through the Neuroscience program.

Long at the vanguard of the art of music composition, Princeton’s Graduate Program in Composition considers it essential for composers to build their own vision based on their strengths and passions, while remaining actively open to new musical experiences shared by the community. The program embraces many kinds of musics, engaging with diverse musical languages and creative practices. At the heart of our creative endeavor is the public concert series Princeton Sound Kitchen, in which both faculty and graduate students have their new works workshopped and premiered by some of the world’s finest professional musicians and ensembles, including the Cone Artist Ensemble in Residence, Sō Percussion. The program also provides cutting edge resources for computer/electronic music research, facilitates interaction with visiting composers through the colloquium series, and supports collaborations involving dance, theater, and film through the Lewis Center for the Arts

With a long tradition of excellence and innovation, the musicology program at Princeton University encompasses historical, theoretical, cognitive and ethnographic approaches. Graduate students become part of a vibrant scholarly and artistic community. In addition to working closely with our renowned musicology faculty as seminar leaders and advisers, musicology students can explore Princeton’s rich offerings in the humanities and sciences, have access to the excellent Mendel Music Library, and—with subsidized private studio instruction and the opportunity to participate in the Music Department’s superb ensembles—are encouraged to make performance an integral part of their lives.  With Sō Percussion in residence, the Princeton University Concerts series, Princeton Sound Kitchen, and the many performances by our many ensembles, musicology students can partake of a rich and eclectic concert life.