Program focuses on musicology and ethnomusicology as well as composition, giving particular but not exclusive emphasis to North American music, including jazz and urban popular music, religious music, concert music, and folk music in rural and urban localities.

Special prominence is given to ethnomusicology, contemporary concert music, jazz music, as well as popular music.

Our professors include ethnomusicologists, music historians, music theorists and composers.

You'll have access to a wide range of specialized facilities and resources including: analogue and digital piano labs; piano/practice modules; ethnomusicology and jazz archives, York’s Sound & Moving Image Library; and popular music archives.

Stream and Specializations

  • Ethnomusicology
  • Musicology
  • Composition
  • Popular music
  • Jazz

Degrees Offered


Program Length (Full-time)

4 term(s)

Program Length (Part-time)

8 term(s)

Program Component(s)

  • Major Research Paper (MRP)

Minimum Required GPA


Fall Entry

  • Full-time
  • Part-time

Deadline - Fall (Domestic Applicants Only)


English Proficiency Requirement

Minimum TOEFL (Paper-based)600
Minimum TOEFL (Internet-based)100
IELTS (Academic Module)7.5
YUELIAcademic Program Level 9 with Distinction
YUELI Graduate Studies Preparation Program (GSPP)Graduate with distinction
CAELOverall score of 70, no component score less than 60
Minimum CPE ScoreC
Minimum CAE ScoreB
PTE Academic76


PhD program intake for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years is paused. Please note that applications will be closed during this time.

Additional Admission Requirements

Number of Recommendation(s)

  • 3 recommendation(s)

Other Requirements

  • MA
    • Statement of intent (500 words), including Grad Course List
    • Two samples of scholarly writing
    • Resumé/CV
  • PhD
    • Statement of intent (500 words), including Grad Course List
    • Two samples of scholarly writing
    • Resumé/CV

Composition applicants for both MA & PhD, must additionally submit a portfolio (minimum two pieces that are representative of applicant’s style). To upload any audio visual files, please provide a link to YouTube or some other web-sharing service in one of their uploaded supporting documents.

Your Resources

Common Questions:

Depending on the graduate program, York University graduate funding can be designed to cover most of your tuition, offer employment and/or Faculty enhanced funding awards. In addition, each York University graduate student is eligible to receive up to $2000 in funding to support research/scholarly activity through the Academic Excellence Fund. Funding packages are not designed to cover the cost of rent, utilities, transportation, or food.
Absolutely. Please indicate in your statement of interest you are not seeking a funding package. To note, you will be responsible for not only funding the cost of your degree, but also the cost of living in the Greater Toronto Area for the length of your degree.
Please visit York International to find out more information on VISA requirements for studying in Canada.
Common questions about Graduate Admissions

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Student Recruitment & Admissions
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