Duke Music Graduate Programs

We offer Ph.D. degrees in composition, musicology and ethnomusicology. Although there is no separate degree track in music theory, students may pursue doctoral research in this area within the context of the musicology program. Performance Practice may also be studied within the context of the musicology program. No graduate degrees are offered in performance, music education, or music therapy. We admit students only to doctoral programs (however, students may earn a Master of Arts en-route to the doctorate).


  • Extensive interaction with members of the faculty for individualized instruction
  • Favorable student-to-faculty ratio
  • Flexible curriculum tailored to your interests
  • Wide choice of courses in music history, ethnomusicology, composition, theory, analysis, and performance practice (including projects with performing artists on the departmental faculty), as well as courses in other disciplines

Time to Completion

The Ph.D. takes between 5 to 7 years, including course work and the completion of a dissertation and/or composition portfolio.

Quick Start Option for M.A. Holders

Students entering with a Master's degree from another institution may receive up to four course credits, thus shortening their course work by a semester.