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Music - Graduate

Prospective Students

Music has a long history at the University of Calgary. Our faculty has always been actively engaged locally, nationally and internationally in a wide range of research interests and creative practices including: theory, composition, performance, conducting, electroacoustic media, musicology, music history, multimedia and sound spatialization, sonic arts and more.  The School of Creative and Performing Arts holds over 80 concerts per year and boasts one of the premiere recital facilities in Western Canada: the Rozsa Centre`s Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall.  The following graduate programs are offered in Music at the School of Creative and Performing Arts:

Composition (MMus, PhD) – This program emphasizes the development of an individual composition craft and a comprehensive knowledge of 20th and 21st century and contemporary techniques and repertoire. Students are encouraged to compose for various genres, ranging from chamber to interactive and electroacoustic music. In addition, candidates for the degree are expected to engage scholarly material in writing and public presentations.

Music Education (MMus, PhD) - The graduate program in Music Education is research-based, providing students with opportunities to engage in research that relates to, and is informed by, their own experiences as educators.  Students may pursue any path of research within the vast field of music education, whether it be elementary or secondary education in schools, music teaching in community settings, or special topics such as popular music, technology, social justice, or disability studies.

Musicology (MA, PhD) – Our programs are research-based, leading to advanced work in both historical and systematic musicology. From critical theory to analysis, the study of genres, composers and styles, our program allows for narrowly focused research as well as the critical investigation of broad themes.

Sonic Arts (MMus, PhD) – Core skills in Sonic Arts are hands-on knowledge and expertise in the electroacoustic studio, involving audio, audio software and programming, and knowledge and understanding of the aesthetic basis of sonic arts, encompassing its history, repertoire and creative practice. Sonic Arts takes a multi-faceted approach, integrating aspects of composition, improvisation, performance, audio programming, sound design and theory.

Computational Media Design – Please visit the CMD website for more information regarding this interdisciplinary program.


Vocal and Instrumental (MMus) – This program offers advanced study on an instrument or voice culminating in two public recitals of professional quality. Students have many opportunities to perform solo and in ensemble, as well as taking part in the rich performing activity around the city of Calgary.

Conducting (MMus) – Under the guidance of a faculty conductor, this program offers practical experience with a choral or band/wind ensemble. Rehearsal techniques and knowledge of repertoire are viewed as important components of this program. Because of the one-on-one mentorship, enrollment is limited to one or two students per year.  While the Music Division does not offer an orchestral conducting program, conducting students may be provided with the opportunity to conduct one or more short works with the orchestra with special approval from the orchestra director.

Apply Online
Graduate Calendar
Tuition and Fees
International Students
Info Sheet (PDF)
PhD Candidacy Requirements

Current Students

Graduate Conference

Graduate Colloquia – These meetings provide an opportunity for graduate students to meet and discuss their projects. Grad students are expected to present at least once during the course of their program. Colloquia are organized two or three times per academic year.

If you have questions regarding your degree, room bookings or resources etc, please stop by the School of Creative and Performing Arts office, located in Craigie Hall D100. Questions concerning program content or other concerns can be addressed to Alison Schmal or to Dr. Friedemann Sallis (Graduate Program Director CHF222).

Music Grad Handbook

Other helpful resources:

Application Requirements

Students must meet the Graduate Studies guidelines for admission, including:

  • A four year baccalaureate degree from a recognized university
  • A recognized Master’s degree if applying for a PhD program
  • A degree from an institution that the University of Calgary recognizes as instructed in English or the English Language Proficiency requirement

For more information, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

Application Form

Applications are normally accepted for Fall admissions ONLY. The application deadline for both the Masters and Doctoral program is January 15. The online application is available here.

A non-refundable application fee is required for each application to a graduate degree program. The application fee is CDN $125 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and CDN $145 for international students who will be attending on a Study Permit. Cheques or money orders in Canadian funds must be made payable to the University of Calgary. Applications will only be processed if the fee has been paid

Supporting Documents

  • Official transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions with official translations if the transcripts are not in English.
  • Two professional reference letters. The reference forms must be done online (information emailed to the referee once the application has been submitted) or mailed in with an official Graduate Music Reference form accompany each reference letter.
  • Official English Language Proficiency score (if required)
  • Program specific requirements (see below)

*The supporting documents can be submitted online through the Student Centre website once the application has been submitted. Having problems? Contact the Graduate Program Administrator at

Program Specific Application Requirements

MA (Musicology)

A research essay or paper approximately 10-15 pages on a topic in music history or theory prepared during or subsequent to the applicant's undergraduate course work.

MMus (Performance)

A live audition or a video recording. Repertoire for the audition must contain representative works from a variety of historical periods and must demonstrate an advanced level of technical accomplishment. Videos should be approximately 20-30 minutes in length. Live auditions will be held in early February, please enquire with the Graduate Program Administrator at (403) 220-5422.

MMus (Conducting)

A Bachelor of Music degree, including study in conducting. A demonstrated competence on a major instrument or vocal ability. Student must also demonstrate ability in an audition. This can be met in two ways:

  1. A video of approximately fifteen minutes
  2. A rehearsal of a University ensemble (during Fall or early Winter).

MMus (Music Education)

Admission to the Music Education program requires:

a) A completed Bachelor of Music degree (or equivalent).

b) Normally, two years of successful teaching experience or equivalent professional involvement in music education.

c) An essay on a topic in Music Education prepared during or subsequent to the applicant's undergraduate work.

MMus (Composition)

A portfolio of at least three recent compositions, together with recordings when available. Applicants wishing to specialize in electroacoustic composition must submit recordings.

MMus (Sonic Arts)

A completed Bachelor of Music degree (or equivalent) with a major, minor or concentration in Electroacoustic Music, Sonic Arts, Digital Audio Arts or similar field. A portfolio of recent creative and/or research projects in sonic arts, and a research paper.

PhD (Composition)

A portfolio of works, together with recordings, if available. An extended research paper and a statement that outlines your research interests, accomplishments and reasons for applying to the University of Calgary is also required. This statement should be typed and double-spaced.

PhD (Music Education)

One or two extended research essays. A statement that outlines your research interests, accomplishments and reasons for applying to the University of Calgary and a curriculum vitae. 

PhD (Musicology)

Two extended research essays. A statement of 2-3 pages that outlines your research interests, accomplishments and reasons for applying to the University of Calgary. This statement should be typed and double-spaced.

PhD (Sonic Arts)

A portfolio of creative and/or research projects in sonic arts, and an extended research paper.   A statement of 2-3 pages that outlines your research interests, accomplishments and reasons for applying to the University of Calgary. This statement should be typed and double-spaced.

Funding and Scholarships


Graduate Award Competition
The Graduate Award Competition (GAC) is a chance for students to receive significant scholarships, we encourage all our current students to apply. Information regarding the Graduate Award Competition as well as the online application can be found here. The deadline to apply for the GAC is February 1st.

SSHRC Scholarships
We strongly encourage prospective and current students who are eligible to apply for graduate scholarships offered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Named Scholarships
The Division of Music has a number of named scholarships. Music nominates students automatically for these, no application is necessary.

Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarships (FGSS) is for research directly related to the student's research. No teaching or service duties are required of graduate students who hold an FGSS. FGSS awards are tenable only for those in full-time attendance at the University of Calgary although provision may be made for off-campus tenure where this is essential to the student's research. Music automatically divides their allocation based on need and academic merit. There is no application procedure.

Graduate Assistantships (Teaching/Non-Teaching)
Each year teaching departments have available varying numbers of graduate assistantships awarded on the basis of merit. The stipends as indicated are subject to change without notice. Music has Graduate Assistantships Teaching (GAT) and Non-Teaching (GANT). There is no application procedure. No more than the equivalent of twelve hours per week of service may be required of GA’s.
(i) Graduate Assistantships (Teaching) to assist with the instructional responsibilities of Music.
(ii) Graduate Assistantships (Non-Teaching) to assist Music and/or its professors with non-teaching responsibilities (e.g., research for a faculty member).

For information regarding the Music’s Graduate Funding Policy, please refer to this document.

International Students

Music welcomes applications from qualified students outside of Canada. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or another exam as listed on the English Language Proficiency page. Additionally, International students in Music are eligible for partial visa differential reimbursement. For more information please visit the following links: