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Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology

Two Year Degree (60-21)

Students entering the M.A. program in Ethnomusicology are expected to have or acquire skills equivalent to at least one year of core music history and one year of music theory and ear training.  M.A. students should also have the equivalent or make up the following undergraduate requirement:  an approved survey ofcultural anthropology.  The following guide serves as a typical program of study upon which the Supervisory Committee develops each graduate student's particular program of study. It is the responsibility of the Supervisory Committee to assure an appropriate program of study for each student; it is within the committee's purview to require additional courses that are not listed below, to substitute particular courses for others listed below, and to tailor the program to the needs of the student.  The student needs to be certain that he/she is working directly with the committee and choosing courses that reflect the committee's suggestions and requirements, at all times.  A minimum of 51 credits is required for the degree (at least 30 of these credits must be taken at the University of Washington).  The distribution of credits is given below.

Major Area: 48   
MUSIC 531, Pro-Seminar in Ethnomusicology (3 credits) 3
MUSIC 533 and MUSIC 534, Preceptorial Readings (5 credits ea.) 10
MUSIC 504, Ethnographic Research in Music  3
400-level MUSIC coursework, at least 6 credits, selected from:
        MUSIC 428, 433, 439, 445, 446, 480, 540
MUSIC 543, Music and Community 3
MUSIC 542, Ethnography of Music OR MUSIC 536, Transcription and Analysis 3
MUSIC 512, Seminar in Ethnomusicology, at least 3 credits 3
MUSAP 589 (2 credits ea.) or MUSEN 589 (1 credit ea.), World Music or other approved ensemble : take for 6 quarters 6
MUSIC 599, Adv. Sel. Topics, 1 credit every autumn quarter during coursework or MA Exam preparation 2
Master’s Examination, 9 credits required (see below)  9
Interdisciplinary Studies: 3  
Complete 3 credits of an interdisciplinary elective at the 400- or 500-level from such disciplines/fields as Music History, Theory, Education, Anthropology, Area Studies, and/or other appropriate departments and disciplines.  Propose course to mentor / chair for pre-approval. 3

Total Credits: 51 

  • Pass a graduate reading-knowledge examination in French, German or Spanish
  • Field Language: Students contemplating fieldwork are strongly advised to prepare themselves in a field language.
  • Master’s Examination:
    • Thesis Option: Students must write a thesis approved by a supervisory committee and pass a comprehensive oral examination plus a thesis defense. Students must take at least 9 credits of MUSIC 700 to complete this option.
    • Non-Thesis Option: Take MUSIC 600 for a total of 9 credits.  Submit two major papers, which, once accepted by the Supervisory Committee, must be defended in an oral examination. 

Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.  Only grades of 2.7 and above may be counted toward fulfilling graduate requirements.  Complete all requirements for the master's degree within six years of entering the program.  All graduate students must be familiar with the content of The University of Washington General Catalog Graduate Degree Policies.  A student must satisfy the requirements for the degree that are in force at the time the degree is to be awarded.

Rev. 1/18

Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology Degree Program Sheet (PDF)