The Department of Music at the University of California, Irvine invites applications to the PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT). The program is taught by a core faculty whose work embraces diverse forms of music making, challenging conventional distinctions between classical composition, computer music, improvisation, and jazz. Students will receive close personal attention from faculty, and are encouraged to work on interdisciplinary projects. We seek students with a strong foundation who wish to develop new creative work integrating a wide range of contemporary music and ideas.
In addition to the five core ICIT faculty, the Music Department includes many other performers, musicologists, theorists, and historians, making for a rich environment in which to develop critical skills that are essential for the 21st-century musician. 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. Located near the coast in Orange County, Irvine is an hour south of Los Angeles, a major art world center with vibrant contemporary music scenes.
The Department of Music admits a small number of full-time ICIT PhD students each fall. The department covers the cost of tuition and fees for all ICIT students, and also provides them with a part-time, salaried Teaching Assistantship that includes health insurance. This funding commitment is for a maximum of four years (12 quarters), which is the normative time to degree for the ICIT PhD degree. Typically, students take three years (9 quarters) to complete their required courses, pass the Qualifying Examination and advance to Candidacy, after which they spend their final year (3 quarters) completing the dissertation.
All applicants should possess an undergraduate degree in music or an equivalent level of training, and should demonstrate potential for creative and innovative work. Applicants who already hold a masters degree or have completed prior graduate study may request upon admission that specific course requirements be waived based on equivalent graduate coursework completed at other institutions, up to a maximum of 12 units.
Applications are due December 1st of each year, and application instructions are on the Department of Music website. Prospective applicants are also invited to join an open Zoom livestream held each fall, in which the core ICIT faculty members answer questions posted by attendees joining by video, audio or text chat. For 2022, that session was held on Friday, Nov. 4 and the recording is available here.
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