General information

Graduate Program Requirements, Musicology


Consideration for program admission requires:

  • A bachelor’s degree comparable to a degree from the University of California in both distribution of academic subject matter and scholarly achievement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores are not required
  • TOEFL or IELTS score (if applicable)
  • A CV and a substantial paper or papers
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0
  • An Office of Graduate Studies online application with fee by the stated admission deadline.
  • Transcripts (UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended.  You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts when you submit your online application.  For more details visit


UC Davis CA residency requirements for graduate students are HERE. First year graduate students who are US citizens but not CA residents must complete the CA residency process before the end of their first quarter.


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.

Transfer Credits

Ordinarily, the master’s degree is completed as part of the Ph.D. program. 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.

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