CGU’s PhD in Musicology provides a thorough grounding in music performance, composition, theory, and scholarship to support your pursuit of a variety of music careers, ranging from the academic to the professional.

This degree program balances music performance with scholarship by employing a curriculum that emphasizes music in its interdisciplinary, cultural, and intellectual contexts. A faculty of highly trained performers and scholars with diverse interests (from musicology to performance to composition) will serve as your mentors as you develop comprehensive training in music literature, historical style analysis, and performance practices with the most recent analytical methodologies. You will join a long list of accomplished graduates who have gone on to varied musical careers, including college and university professors, members of professional ensembles, music directors in churches, and solo performing artists.

Program Highlights
  • The Music Department puts on an array of concerts that offer ample performance opportunities.
  • Studio faculty are drawn from The Claremont Colleges and the outstanding pool of musicians in the greater Los Angeles area.
  • CGU is home to the highly respected music journal Performance Practice Review.
  • Historical performance practice programs connect you with period instruments that include three harpsichords, a fortepiano, a chamber organ, and various stringed instruments.

Program at a Glance

72 units

3–5 years

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring


PhD in Musicology

Featured Courses

Romantic: 19th Century

Addresses the conceptual roots of romanticism, early uses of the term as well as its influence, the period of time customarily assigned to this “era” for the study of music history, and repertory.

20th Century

Surveys concert music literature in Europe and the United States from approximately 1900 to the present, focusing on musical style and structure during this period and the many remarkable changes that occurred in the last century.

Music 499
Doctoral Study

Enables students to complete their dissertations and other requirements for the degree.

Interdisciplinary Music Criticism & Cross-Cultural Aesthetics

Introduces the study of aesthetics, its historical basis and vocabulary of concepts as well as the application of these concepts specifically to music in the late eighteenth century.

Application of Music Technology I

Explores music technology, the basics of MIDI and audio, music notation software, digital audio workstations and sequencing software, and music sample libraries.

Additional Program Requirements

Qualifying Examinations

All music students are required to take written and oral qualifying examinations at regularly scheduled, posted times during the academic year.

Participation and Attendance

All students are encouraged to take part in the performance groups of the Claremont Colleges.

Language and Research Tool Requirements

You can satisfy the research tools requirement by qualifying in:

You can fulfill the language tool requirement by demonstrating competency at translating an approved language into English.

Recitals and Projects

All recitals and projects must be approved by the Music Department.

Capstone Project
For those who write music, the culmination of their CGU music education is the opportunity to present an original composition. Though there is no strictly prescribed form, in most cases, work will involve orchestra or large ensemble (soloists, choral forces, or electronics as additional components are possibilities). Whether you write and perform a symphony or concerto, it’s the best way to test and establish your musical vision.

Faculty & Research

  • Robert Zappulla profile image

    Robert Zappulla

    Professor of Music
    Fred W. Smith and Grace Hobson Smith Chair in Music
    Chair, Department of Music

    Research Interests

    Harpsichord, Historical performance practices, Baroque music

  • Peter Boyer profile image

    Peter Boyer

    Professor of Music
    Helen M. Smith Chair in Music

    Research Interests

    Composition, Conducting, American film music, 20th- and 21st-Century music, American composers

  • Jenny Soonjin Kim profile image

    Jenny Soonjin Kim

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Research Interests

    Piano, Fortepiano, 18th & 19th-century performance practices, 20th century atonal piano compositions, digital keyboard laboratory, the board of directors of Los Angeles Master Chorale: Education Committee and Gala Host Committee

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Musicology program

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Jill Steggall

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1186