Why Ethnomusicology @ Memorial?

The MA and PhD programs in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University offer unique opportunities for individuals who are interested in researching music as a cultural practice. Course work in the programs provide instruction on contemporary approaches to theory and method in ethnomusicology, as well as deep engagements with ethnographic and historical studies of music and culture. Graduate study in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University is interdisciplinary, with courses offered through both the School of Music and the Department of Folklore. Our program features media production courses in radio and video. The programs are housed at the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP), which boasts a Sundanese gamelan degung. MMaP draws world-renowned scholars through its Music & Culture Lecture Series, scholar-in-residence program, and international conferences. Many students enjoy active participation in the vibrant St. John’s traditional music scene.

Description of programs

  • MA – The MA program offers core research training with an emphasis on the development of skills in ethnographic fieldwork. In addition to courses that ensure foundational breadth of knowledge, students undertake independent research that is original in design but manageable in scope.
  • PhD – The PhD program is designed to train individuals who envisage a career in scholarship, either as professors in the academy or as cultural animators of various types in the public sector. The program centres on in-depth explorations of key intellectual issues and theoretical directions in the study of music as a cultural practice. Coursework and comprehensive examination preparation ensure a strong knowledge base for the undertaking of a major independent research initiative.

Contact a faculty supervisor

Graduate applicants interested in research-based programs are strongly encouraged to connect with a faculty supervisor at the time of application. Visit the Ethnomusicology program website for a list of faculty members, their research interests, and contact information. You may also use the Yaffle search application to find a supervisor you may wish to work with.

The School of Graduate Studies offers advice on how to search for and contact potential supervisors. Need more help? Try attending one of our webinars and information sessions for prospective graduate students.

Minimum admission requirements

  • MA – Bachelor's degree (minimum ‘B+’ standing) in Music or an appropriate area of study in Humanities or Social Science
  • PhD – Master’s degree in Music or an appropriate area of study in Humanities or Social Science with minimum ‘B+’ standing in graduate coursework
  • Applicants from a discipline other than Music will be expected to demonstrate the following skills: (1) competent performance in any musical tradition, as judged by a musician knowledgeable about the tradition, (2) knowledge of culturally appropriate language for discussion of performance techniques in that tradition, and (3) ability to discuss musical details on the basis of aural and/or written sources, as appropriate to that tradition

 Note: All figures are in Canadian dollars and subject to change. Fees are approved by the University’s Board of Regents. In the event of a discrepancy between the fees approved by the Board and those published on this website, the fees approved by the Board will prevail. Financial policies are enforced through the Department of Financial and Administrative Services. For the complete and official list of all fees and charges, visit

Program Information
Degrees Offered:



course, thesis

Duration (Full-time students):

MA: 2 years
PhD: 4 years


St. John's

Application Deadline:

January 15 for Fall admission


MA: $10,000-$13,000 PhD: $12,000-$20,000

More funding information

Tuition (NL students):

MA: $635-$953/semester
PhD: $888/semester

Tuition (Other Canadian students):

MA: $826-$1,239/semester
PhD: $1,154/semester

Tuition (International students):

MA: $1,074-$1,611/semester
PhD: $1,499/semester

More tuition information

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