Ph.D. On Campus

Music (Composition, Music Education, Musicology, Music Technology, Sound Recording, Theory)

McGill University

48 months
16750 CAD/year
2726 CAD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The PhD in Music (Composition, Music Education, Musicology, Music Technology, Sound Recording, Theory) at McGill University is offered in six different topic areas: Musicology, Music Theory, Music Technology, Music Education, Sound Recording and Composition with the possibility to conduct research in an interdisciplinary way.


Students admitted to the PhD; Music (Composition, Music Education, Musicology, Music Technology, Sound Recording, Theory) program who have a master’s degree other than a master’s degree in music from McGill University may be required to successfully complete one or more undergraduate courses before completion of the doctoral degree.


A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. 

The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Language Reading Requirements

No foreign-language reading examinations required in Sound Recording, Interdisciplinary Studies and Music Technology.

Composition/Music Education/Music Theory

One foreign-language reading examination required. Students whose mother tongue is French are exempt from the French Reading Exam.


One foreign-language reading examination required in one language other than English (or French for francophone students) as determined in consultation with their supervisor. All students who intend to do dissertation research on music in the European tradition are strongly advised to acquire reading knowledge of German in addition to the language requirement related to their research.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • Colloquium
  • History of Music Theory
  • General Examinations
  • Doctoral Composition Tutorial

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 48 months

Start dates & application deadlines


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
GRE admission requirements GRE®

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A master's degree in music performance, or its equivalent, from a university recognized by McGill. 
  • A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 out of a possible 4.0, or a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 out of 4.0 in your last two years of full-time studies.
  • Proficiency in English, the primary language of instruction at McGill.
  • Transcripts from each college/university-level institution that you have attended.
  • Two letters of recommendation (if you are currently a McGill student, you are exempt).
  • Personal statement
  • Research proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Two recent essays
  • Thesis summary/abstract
  • Your supervisor preference
  • Requirements vary for each specialisation

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    16750 CAD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 8375 CAD per semester during 48 months.
  • National

    2726 CAD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 1363 CAD per semester during 48 months.


McGill University is committed to provide financial support for graduate education. Through Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and other academic units, McGill is working to increase the number of student fellowships and scholarships, exploring new avenues for student support, and making it easier to disburse existing funds. Our competitive funding support offers, coupled with Montreal’s low cost of living, makes graduate studies at McGill a wise educational investment.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Music (Composition, Music Education, Musicology, Music Technology, Sound Recording, Theory)
McGill University


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