M.A. Degree

Master of Arts in Musicology

Degree Requirements

General Admission Requirements

  1. 3.0 minimum grade point average in undergraduate and graduate work to date.
  2. Three letters of recommendation.
  3. A sample of written research, such as a term paper or a senior thesis that demonstrates how you both explain, and respond to, research questions. 
  4. A personal statement describing the student’s musical and academic backgrounds, research interests, and how they envision their work at Iowa will support their professional goals. We use the personal statement to assess the ability of our program to support the student and the student’s research agenda, so prior experience with music research and interests in our particular program should be emphasized.

For further admission information, see Graduate Admission.

Language Requirement

Proficiency in the ability to read musicological literature in a language chosen in consultation with the advisor and approved by the musicology faculty. The requirements fro the language must be satisfied before taking the final exam. 

The language requiprement can be met in one of the following ways:

  1. Successful completion of one semester of a graduate-level reading course approved by the musicology faculty.
  2. Two years of course work inthe language with passing grades in the last ten years.
  3. Successful completion of a standardized exam administered by a language department or program, as approved by the musicology faculty.
  4. Written examination administered by the musicology faculty. The exam will consist of a short article in the designated language, which the student will summarize and from which he/she will translate a short excerpt.

Final Examination

The final examination will be written and will cover general knowledge of musicology, theory, pedagogy, and the student's anticipated thesis topic. The examination committee will consist of three faculty members chosen in consultation with the advisor and approved by the musicology faculty. At least two committee members must be from the musicology area.

Thesis (2 s.h.)

Before the end of the second year of residency the student must present a thesis topic to the musicology faculty, along with the name of the advisor. When the faculty have approved the topic and the advisor, the student and advisor together will choose a committee, which will consist of three faculty members, with at least two from the musicology area (including the advisor) The student then will submit to the committee a formal proposal, which will include a review of previous research in the topic, a justification for further work, an outline or table of contents, and a selected bibliography. The thesis must be completed within one year of passing the Final Examination.