Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy


In the five-year Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Ethnousicology, students have the opportunity to acquire the appropriate tools and methods of research in both historical musicology and ethnomusicology, and to study the history of music from the remote past to the present as well as the nature and function of music in the cultures of the world. This program prepares students for positions in college teaching, research, music criticism, and, with additional training, library work.

NOTE: As of the 2017-18 academic year, the ethnomusicology program at the Butler School of Music is direct-to-doctorate and no longer offers an independent master's degree. All students interested in studying ethnomusicology should apply to the Ph.D. program.




Administrative Contacts
Role Contact Person
Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Advisor  James Buhler
Graduate Coordinator Marina Martinez
Graduate Admissions Coordinator Daniel Seriff
Scholarships & Assistantships Coordinator Anne Hall
Registrar Stephen Wray
HR Coordinator Aaron Pyle
Operations & Scheduling Page Stephens


Musicology & Ethnomusicology Division Contacts & Faculty
Role Contact Person
Division Head & Musicology Faculty Luisa Nardini
Area Counselor, Musicology Hannah Lewis
Area Counselor, Ethnomusicology Stephen Slawek
Ethnomusicology Veit Erlmann
Ethnomusicology Robin Moore
Ethnomusicology Sonia Seeman
Ethnomusicology & Musicology James Gabrillo
Musicology Charles Carson
Musicology Andrew Dell’Antonio
Musicology Alison Maggart
Musicology Guido Olivieri
Director, African American Vocal Ensemble Charles Carson
Directors, Conjunto Ensemble J.J. Barrera & Joel Guzman
Director, Hispanic Caribbean Ensemble Robin Moore
Director, Indian Classical Music & Javanese Gamelan Ensembles Stephen Slawek
Director, Mariachi Ensemble Mónica Fogelquist
Director, Middle Eastern Ensemble Sonia Seeman



Degree Requirements 

The Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology requires 60 hours of registered coursework, a specialized comprehensive examination, two language proficiency examinations, and a dissertation. 

Major Coursework 

Major Coursework for the Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology
Hours Course Number Course Title/Description
9 MUS 381J 

Topic 1: Foundations of Musicology 
Topic 2: Foundations of Ethnomusicology 
Topic 4: Ethnographic & Analytical Methods in Ethnomusicology 

9   Courses for the area of specialization from the School of Music and/or other relevant departments such as anthropology, history, sociology, area studies, communications, etc. 
18 MUS 385J 

Graduate seminars on specific topics in musicology/ethnomusicology, including two primarily historical (6 semesters) 

Students may substitute one MUS 380 world music course (Topic 7, 8, or 9) for an ethnomusicology seminar. 


ANT 389K 
ANT 391 
ANT 392M 
ANT 392N 
ANT 392P 
ANT 393 
ANT 394M 

Graduate level courses in anthropology (2 semesters) 


May include one appropriate upper-division anthropology course 

3 MUS 395W  Writing about Music 
9   Electives; may include one appropriate upper-division anthropology or area studies course as well as music performance studies in MUS 284P and/or ENS 186x 
6 MUS 399R/W  Dissertation 

Language Proficiency Examinations  

Ethnomusicology students are required to pass a language proficiency examination in one major world language (e.g., Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic) and a second foreign language related to the area of research, both to be approved by petition to the division. Additional language study may be necessary, depending on the focus of the student’s research. The first language requirement should ideally be fulfilled by the end of the second semester in residence. The second language requirement must be fulfilled before advancement to doctoral candidacy, ideally by the end of the fifth semester in residence. 

Comprehensive Examination  

The Ph.D. specialized comprehensive examination consists of long-form answers to questions chosen for each student by a faculty committee. 



Advising & Registration

For information about course registration, deadlines, adding and dropping courses and other policies, visit the Graduate School Academic & Registration Policies webpage.

Students who wish to take an independent study course need to fill out a Consent Form. Once the faculty member and Graduate Coordinator have approved your request, the bar to register for the course will be lifted.

To be eligible for fellowships, scholarships and assistantships, graduate students are required to be enrolled full-time (at least 9 hours).

All international students are also required to be enrolled full-time during each long semester, regardless of whether they receive funding from the Butler School of Music.

Transferring Coursework

A new doctoral student may petition to substitute up to twelve credits of graduate level coursework completed at another institution for degree requirements at the University of Texas, subject to approval by the Butler School Graduate Studies Committee. This process must be completed during the first semester of enrollment, before the close of the fall advising period.

Courses approved for substitution typically fall into the areas of music history, theory, literature, and pedagogy, as well as chamber music.

Under normal circumstances, transferred coursework should have been completed within the four academic years prior to the start of the doctoral work at UT. The GSC will consider on a case-by-case basis whether coursework completed more than four years prior to the start of doctoral study at the Butler School can count toward the program of study.

Coursework completed for a master's degree at the University of Texas at Austin may be included in the course work for the doctoral degree without a petition form, but is subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee chair in Music, the candidate's supervising committee, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.



Graduation Timeline

Semester-by-Semester Overview

Prior to 1st semester

  • Take the diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory.

Semester 1

  • Review degree requirements and milestones agreement form with advisor.
  • For students who completed an MM degree before coming to UT-Austin, course transfer requests must be submitted in the first semester. If they have not been submitted by at least the advising period for spring classes (i.e. late October), the student’s registration will be barred.

Semester 2

  • Complete all required, formal coursework.
  • Successfully complete comprehensive exams (some students may wait until the 5th or 6th semester).
  • Defend dissertation prospectus.
  • Successfully complete two foreign language exams (no later than the 4th semester).

Semester 5

  • Form doctoral committee and advance to candidacy (may take place later if the comprehensive exams are delayed).
  • After an individual’s candidacy is approved, all Ph.D. students must see the Graduate Coordinator to add MUS X99W to their registration.

Semester 10-12

  • Schedule and complete final oral defense. The defense may not take place in the last week of classes. The defense must be officially scheduled with the graduate school using the Request for Final Oral Exam application.
  • After the final defense, students must obtain all committee signatures on the Report of Dissertation document supplied by the graduate school and return it to their office by the deadline listed on their website, along with any required pages.
  • All students must apply to graduate by the deadline.

For a more detailed list of program requirements and timelines, see the Milestones for each Ph.D. degree program.




BSOM Graduate Handbook 2022-23


Office of Graduate Studies
Including fellowship, employment, and TA and AI information

Texas Global, International Student Scholars

Graduate Catalog

Academic Calendars

Graduate Writing Center

Registration, course schedules, registration bars, etc


Consent Form for independent study or other restricted individual instruction courses

One-stop shop for tuition bill, your course schedule, etc….


Texas One-Stop

Office of Financial Aid

Merit-Based Music Scholarships

Graduate Student Travel Award Application

School of Music Travel Award Application

TA and AI Assistance – Tuition Reduction Benefit

Living in TX as a new student

Establishing Residence in Texas

Campus Housing

On-Campus Procedural Info

Butler School Internal Operations Website

Parking & Transportation
UT parking permits, maps, shuttle routes, etc.

Information Technology Services
UT EID help

Health & Wellness


UT Health Services

Musicians’ Health

Career Assistance

COFA Career Services



For Master's students

For DMA/PhD students

For Artist Diploma students

General forms