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Master of Arts (M.A.) in Ethnomusicology
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Ethnomusicology


Brita Heimarck
Marié Abe



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Program Description

Boston University’s M.A./Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology is designed to give students the disciplinary grounding, theoretical understanding, and research tools needed to become ethnomusicologists of the highest caliber. Situated within a major research university, we are affiliated with BU’s College of Fine Arts and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In particular, we maintain close ties to anthropology, area studies, and musicology. We are committed to a primacy of scholarship, enriched through performance in world music ensembles. Our graduate program includes teaching, teaching assistant, and ensemble opportunities. Faculty specializations include the music and culture of Southeast Asia (specifically Bali, Indonesia, and Thailand), South Asia, Japan, as well as popular music, tango, and jazz.

Additional Resources

Undergraduate and graduate courses in ethnomusicology and world music; related anthropology, language and interdisciplinary courses.

Consortia and Cross-Registration

Students enrolled at Boston University may take courses at Boston College, Brandeis, Hebrew College and Tufts via the 1972 Inter-University Cross Registration Consortium. Check with your individual college for their particular handling of grades, registration and other errata.

Boston University's Cross Registration Consortium Guidelines for undergraduates.



Course of Study: 8 graduate-level courses (32 credits)

*denotes course required for degree 

4 Graduate Seminars in Ethnomusicology

4 Graduate Courses in Related Areas

Students will choose courses in areas such as Anthropology, Musicology, Music Education, Special Topics in Ethnomusicology, History or specific Area Studies  courses from the College of Arts and Sciences at BU, or BU Consortium courses.

  • *Proseminar in Musicology (MU739) – 3 Credits 

Additional Requirements

  • At least 2 semesters of World Music Ensemble (MU567), either as instructor or participant – .5 to 1 Credit
  • Knowledge of the undergraduate survey course Musical Cultures of the World (MU325), either as a Teaching Assistant, or by auditing the course.
  • Language - Candidates must give evidence of sufficient mastery of at least one foreign language to enable research in their area of study.
  • Master’s Thesis.
  • Time Limit - The program shall be completed within three years after the first registration for study leading to the M.A. degree. Coursework should be completed within the first 2 years, with one extra year to complete the thesis if necessary.  

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