General information

What makes UC Davis special?

Ranked as one of the top graduate music programs in the country by the National Research Council (2010), the Department of Music at UC Davis offers an environment where graduate students engage with a highly regarded faculty, fellow graduate students and a range of exceptional visiting artists and scholars.

A distinctive feature of graduate study in music at UC Davis is its integrative approach, which is designed to prepare students for today’s job market. All doctoral students take three core courses (the MUS 210 series) in musicology and criticism, ethnomusicology, and theory and analysis. The rest of the coursework is tailored to individual interests and reflects the specialized training required for each program. Students are encouraged to participate in departmental ensembles

Ethnomusicology and musicology graduate students and faculty participate in a weekly ‘ology forum, which features distinguished visiting scholars from our Valente lecturer series, opportunities for graduate students and faculty to try out and get feedback on conference papers, and career-related workshops. Composition graduate students and faculty also participate in a weekly forum in which visiting composers, as part of the Valente lecturer series, present their music. This forum also allows opportunities for both graduate students and faculty to present and obtain feedback on completed works or works-in-progress.

The music department faculty has a strong commitment to mentoring, which is reflected in the extraordinary successes of our students. UC Davis Music Department graduate students have received national and international grants and awards (Fulbright, Nippon Foundation, Mellon, AMS 50, American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, BMI, NACUSA), presented work at prestigious music festivals (New Music on the Point, Aspen, ECCE, SICPP, June in Buffalo, Cortona Sessions for New Music), and national conferences (American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, Society for American Music).

Finally, Davis is a great place to live, considered by many to be an ideal college town: 65,000 inhabitants, 80,000 bicycles, and many places to meet your colleagues in the evening. The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts is one of the great concert venues in North America, and is now joined by two impressive new additions to the campus arts scene: the Ann E. Pitzer Center and the Manetti Shrem Museum. Davis is centrally located in the Central Valley: Berkeley can be reached by car, train, or library shuttle; San Francisco is, depending on traffic, 75-90 minutes away, Lake Tahoe a little farther.

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