In a program devoted to music in all its aspects and contexts, the music department awards the graduate degrees of MA and PhD in music. The program comprises the four subdisciplines of music scholarship— ethnomusicology, musicology, and composition and theory, and jazz studies.

We are a relatively small program within a large university. We regard each student as an individual and maintain a supportive environment in which students can explore the multifaceted world of music while making use of the offerings of the many departments, centers, and programs of the university at large. We aim for the highest quality of scholarship and creativity while providing a nurturing environment for our students.

Our graduate faculty engage in ground-breaking research and apply that research to real-world situations. Whether creating music history resources for secondary schools, presenting the latest fieldwork through a world music concert, or expanding the boundaries of the concert repertoire through a new composition, theory and practice—ideas and experience —come together in a unique way through the work of our graduate faculty.

Find out more about graduate studies in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences »

Download the Graduate Study Handbook »


The Department of Music at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for its graduate program in Music. View Graduate student admissions information.

Financial Aid

The Department offers financial assistance for graduate students. Assistantships and fellowships are awarded on a merit basis. 


View a list of courses carrying graduate credit.


 Musicology faculty are at the forefront of developing critical, inclusive approaches to studying music and musical pasts, near and far. Our faculty's expertise spans Western music history and criticism (especially the 16th-19th centuries, opera, and American, British, and French music); global music history; early modern studies; postcolonial, feminist, and queer critique; Continental philosophy of music; and film studies. We encourage students to develop a wide and deep knowledge base, while nurturing bold, creative, and socially responsive musical thought.


Ethnomusicology faculty at Pitt study and teach courses on some of the most exciting and timely areas of music research today including: (1) global popular music; (2) music, labor, and value; (3) gender and sexuality; (4) media and technology; (5) sound studies; (6) cultural rights and advocacy; and (7) sound archives and repatriation.

Composition & Theory

Students in composition and theory combine private composition lessons with seminars in composition, analysis, orchestration, and related topics. Residencies by professional new music ensembles, in conjunction with the department's new music series Music on the Edge, provide additional opportunities for the reading and recording of student works.

Jazz Studies

The PhD Concentration in Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh produces jazz scholars and academic leaders through rigorous training in jazz research, composition, and performance.