The graduate program in musicology offers rigorous and broad training in the intellectual history of the field. Students benefit from collaboration with faculty and students in ethnomusicology and composition, and also from opportunities to take occasional seminars at other UC campuses. Ratings a few years ago by the National Research Council identified us as one of the strongest departments in the country.
Recent seminars have included such diverse topics as cover songs, improvisational practices, opera and national identity, and the music of Debussy. Completed dissertations have included studies of music and culture in the 16th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Many students have gone on to good jobs, including the University of Texas at San Antonio, and recent hires at the University of New Mexico, Florida State University, and our own department (Professor Carol Hess).
The small size of our graduate program allows close relationships between students and advisers. Davis is considered by many to be an ideal college town: 65,000 inhabitants, 80,000 bicycles, and many great places to meet your colleagues in the evening. Berkeley can be reached by car, train, or library shuttle. San Francisco is, depending on traffic, 75-90 minutes away. The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts is one of the great concert venues in North America.
Musicology students must successfully pass an exam in two foreign languages, one of which must be a language relevant to the student’s fieldwork / research.
After the second quarter of the second year, students take comprehensive examinations, and then draft their dissertation proposal. At the end of the third year, they take a qualifying examination. Upon successful completion, students advance to candidacy.
Ordinarily all work for the master’s degree is done in residence on the Davis campus. However, with the consent of the graduate adviser and the dean of Graduate Studies, some work taken elsewhere may be credited toward the degree. The limit for such transfer credit is six units from another institution or up to one-half of the unit requirement if earned from another campus of the University of California, provided the units were not used in satisfaction of the requirements for another degree. Students may transfer up to 12 units of work from the Concurrent Courses program offered by University Extension.
Candidates are required to present and successfully defend a dissertation in a final public exit seminar. The doctoral dissertation is to be an original and significant contribution to the field of musical scholarship. The dissertation is supervised by the faculty and approved by a committee named by the Office of Graduate Studies. The final submission conforms to the requirements described by the Office of Graduate Studies.
Length of study
Typical time to complete the Doctor of Philosophy degree is five years. Candidates must be in residence for at least six quarters.