Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

​Hone your talents under the direction of distinguished faculty members at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. The school provides a wide range of opportunities for intensive study in composition, electroacoustic media, musicology, music history, multimedia, sound spatialization, sonic arts and more. Students are encouraged to explore an integrative approach 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

  • Core Course: Research techniques and Bibliography of Music.

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

  • Composition, Musicology and Music Education Specializations: Require an interdisciplinary course designed by the student and supervisor.

  • Sonic Arts Specialization: Requires Advanced Topics in Electroacoustic Music and Advanced Project in Computer Music.

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

  • Thesis: Students specializing in Composition and Sonic Arts will complete a substantial creative project with an accompanying research paper or document. Students specializing in Musicology and Music Education will complete a substantial research project.


  • Composition
  • Music Education
  • Musicology (not presently accepting applications)
  • Sonic Arts


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 PhD in music is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

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

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six 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. Adam Patrick Bell

    Adam Patrick Bell

    Accepting Inquiries
  2. Allan Gordon Bell

    Allan Gordon Bell

    Accepting Inquiries
  3. Laurie Radford

    Laurie Radford

    Accepting Inquiries
    Composition and Sonic Arts

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

A recognized Master's degree or equivalent.


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

Work samples

  • Composition: A portfolio of works, together with recordings, if available, and an extended research paper.
  • Musicology: One or two extended research essays of approximately 25 pages in length.
  • Music education: One or two extended research essays.
  • Sonic arts: A portfolio of sonic arts creative and/or research projects, and an extended research paper.

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:


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

Related programs

If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other UCalgary programs.