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Master of Arts (MA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Deepen your skills through intensive study in all aspects of music, including history, theory, practice, electroacoustic media, musicology, multimedia, sonic arts, sound spatialization, and more. The program encourages students to explore integrated approaches to performance practice, interdisciplinary research and creative activity. The School of Creative and Performing Arts holds over 80 concerts per year. Students will have a unique opportunity to experience and perform music in the Rozsa Centre`s Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, one of Western Canada's premiere recital facilities.

Completing this program

  • Diagnostic Tests: Diagnostic tests in music history and theory will be given at the start of the program.

  • Core Courses: Students must complete a graduate course in either Music Theory, Composition, Sonic Arts or Music History and Literature. Students must also take courses in Research Techniques and Bibliography of Music.

  • Additional Courses: Topics may include musicology, composition, electroacoustic music, computer music, theory and others.

  • Language: Students will be required to demonstrate reading knowledge of one or more languages other than English (German is recommended).

  • Comprehensive Exam: Students will complete a comprehensive oral exam encompassing all areas of the chosen field, following the completion of course work.

  • Thesis: Students will complete a substantial research project in the form of a thesis.


  • Musicology


Music Teacher, Professor, Instrumental Clinician, Researcher, Performer (soloist, ensemble or orchestral), Conductor, Director, Composer, Technologist, Computer Music Programmer/Designer, Arts and Media Computing, Arts Event or Policy Management.

A master’s degree in music will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Two core courses and six electives

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full time; four years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Allan Gordon Bell

    Allan Gordon Bell

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. Laura Hynes portrait by Brooks Peterson

    Laura Hynes

    Accepting Inquiries
    Voice, Alexander Technique
  3. Photo of Jani Parsons

    Jani Parsons

    Seeking Students
    Music Performance, Chamber Music, Piano Pedagogy and Education
  4. Laurie Radford

    Laurie Radford

    Accepting Inquiries
    Composition and Sonic Arts
  5. Rod T. Squance

    Rod T. Squance

    Accepting Inquiries
    Music Performance, Ethnomusicology

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Bachelor of Music degree (or equivalent).

Work samples

A research essay or paper of approximately 10-15 pages on a topic in music history or theory prepared during or subsequent to the applicant’s undergraduate course work.


 A one page letter detailing the applicant's reasons for pursuing graduate study

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

School of Creative and Performing Arts

Craigie Hall CHD 100
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts (Fine Arts)

Social Sciences Building, Room 102
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website

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