Musicology

The Master of Fine Arts program in Musicology is taught by a core faculty—Amy BauerDavid Brodbeck, Stephan Hammel, Nicole Grimes, and Colleen Reardon—whose primary and secondary research interests cover a wide area: vocal music of the Italian baroque, Central European music and culture from the 19th century to the present, experimental music of the 20th century, popular music since 1950, American musical theater, especially that of Stephen Sondheim, and the intersection of theory, philosophy, and culture. We seek students with a strong academic foundation, excellent writing skills, and a desire to develop a research idea into an original thesis. 

In addition to the faculty in musicology, the Music Department at Irvine includes many different performers and composers, allowing for a rich interchange of ideas. The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is home to excellent graduate programs in Dance, Drama, and Studio Art. UC Irvine is a quickly growing campus within one of the nation’s leading research university systems and is located near the coast in Orange County. Langson Library, on the attractive UCI campus, has an excellent music collection, bolstered by easy access through inter-library loan to the 38 million print volumes available throughout entire University of California system. Opportunities to hear world-class performances of music in all genres and from all historical periods can be found at the Irvine Barclay Theater, located on campus, as well as at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, in nearby Costa Mesa, and at Disney Hall and other locations in Los Angeles, about an hour north of campus.

The MFA program is generally completed in two years. Applicants should possess an undergraduate degree in music or an equivalent level of training, and should demonstrate potential for creative research. Students are expected to have reading knowledge of French, German, Italian, or Spanish. Generous financial support is available in the form of fee waivers and stipends in return for working as teaching assistants. Students may also apply for a competitive fellowship established in memory of one of UC Irvine’s founding faculty members, the prominent musicologist William C. Holmes.

The application deadline for admission is January 15. For application information, view Graduate Degrees and Graduate Applicants.