PhD in Music (Length, meaning, benefits, programs)

PhD in Music

Once one talks about a PhD in Music, it goes beyond simply learning Music; a lot of research and more teachings are carried out for one to be certified as a PhD holder in Music. This article will explain everything you need to know about PhD in Music. 

What is PhD in Music?

PhD in Music is an entire research-based course that focuses on finding each facet of Music deeply and researching something new in it.

It focuses on creating recent musical works for aspiring composers and orchestral arrangers. PhD in Music is one of the best educational degrees within the field of Music. The program in Music includes areas like Historical musicology, composition, analysis, music composition, etc.

This degree is ideal for those curious about changing into Professors in music theory, musicology (the study of Music as an academic subject) or ethnomusicology (the study of the Music of different cultures), and it’s offered at each conservatory University. The candidates finishing the course typically become music educators and researchers.

Candidates who have completed their Master’s degree in Music with 50% minimum scores are eligible for the course. At the same time, candidates going for the program ought to possess quality music skills as well.

PhD in Music needs forty-two credits further than the Master’s degree. PhD students, however, should write and defend a treatise to graduate. 

How long does it take to get PhD in Music?

In as much as studying PhD in Music is to gain further knowledge in Music, it is not a day work; it requires some time. PhD in Music is studied for three to five years depending on the college one applied to.

It is so because it is more teaching and research-oriented, and it is pursued full time. Candidates who study full-time sometimes complete needs for the PhD degree in around three or four years, whereas those who study on a part-time basis typically end their studies in five years.

In most cases, candidates for music degree programs should have a bachelor’s degree and sometimes a master’s degree from an authorized faculty or University, ideally in Music or a related field. 

Benefits Of a PhD in Music

One would possibly wonder, what are the advantages of getting a PhD in Music? Is it worth it? Is it not a waste of one’s time and money?. Well, it’s not. There are several benefits of having a certificate of PhD in Music.

Here we will look into a number of those benefits and possibly change one’s mind to get one. Some of the benefits of getting a PhD in Music include;

  • A PhD in Music is analysis-based and teaches the power to undertake research works and translate them for application within the music arena.
  • A doctorate degree in Music helps students to become freelance learners and researchers in Music. The course focuses on developing the leadership skills to play active roles at a global level.
  • A PhD in Music helps students enhance their skills in Music, work on their analysis and publish their findings in journals. 
  • PhD in Music helps students to be trained to organize displays on Music and deliver them.
  • PhD courses are versatile for students; they help to endure internships in research and teaching. It provides experiences to students with desired skills in varied areas of music to become equipped for his or her professional life.

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Additional benefits:

  • A doctorate in Music helps students to present themselves to a large audience and be understood.
  • PhD in Music offers a large number of employment opportunities such as being a Music lecturer or a Music Professor in a University, Musician, music composer, music therapist, sound technician, radio producer, broadcast assistant, broadcast engineer, artist representative, artist agent or manager, or music app developer.
  • PhD holders become specialists in their field that mechanically makes a PhD holder in Music a specialist in his or her field. 
  • A PhD holder in Music will take his or her music career to a future level.
  • A PhD in music holder or Professor will earn a salary of $89,763 to $110,941.

Phd Programs in Music

There are some varieties of programs one can study to acquire a PhD in Music. Some of those programs include;

  • PhD in Musicology or Music Theory 
  • PhD in Music Theory and Education 
  • PhD in Historical musicology 
  • PhD in ethnomusicology 
  • PhD in Musical arts- Composition
  • PhD in Musical arts- Performance
  • PhD in Musical arts- Conducting
  • PhD in Instrumental Conducting 
  • PhD in creative music practice
  • PhD in Jazz Composition

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Best Universities To Study A Phd In Music

There are large varieties of Universities to get a PhD in Music from. However, some schools are considered the best in acquiring a PhD in Music. Some of the best schools to get a PhD in Music include; 

  • University of California Irvine 
  • The University of Minnesota- Duluth
  • Texas A&M University- College Station
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago
  • CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
  • Vassar College
  • University of California- Riverside
  • University of California- San Diego
  • University of Minnesota- Twin cities
  • Buffalo State SUNY
  • SUNY College at Oswego
  • University of California- Berkeley

More Universities for PhD in Music:

  • University of California- Davis
  • Westfield State University
  • SUNY College at Oneonta
  • Appalachian State University
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Saint Cloud State University
  • Wayne State College
  • California State University- Long Beach
  • McDaniel College
  • Winona State University
  • SUNY at Albany
  • Stony Brook University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Florida
  • Berea College
  • SUNY at Binghamton
  • Harvard University, Cambridge
  • Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Bloomington, India
  • Rice University Shepherd School of Music, Houston, Texas
  • New England Conservatory of Music, Boston
  • University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Ann Arbor
  • University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Los Angeles
  • The Juilliard School, New York
  • Yale University School of Music, New Haven
  • Cornell University Ithaca, New York

There are many more good universities to study PhD in Music which you can get their names online if you have no interest in any of these universities listed above.


PhD in Music could be an excellent program to pursue if one is musically inclined. Hope when reading this, you will attempt to get one.

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