Music Theory

The Master of Music in Music Theory offers students an excellent opportunity to hone the scholarly, pedagogical, and presentational skills necessary to thrive in a competitive academic field. The degree offers a full complement of courses and seminars that encourage engagement with both traditional and more current lines of research in the discipline.

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Student Accomplishments

The M.M. in Music Theory at BGSU is broad-based, offering extraordinary opportunities in the area of contemporary music. The resources of the Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music enrich the learning experience with visiting artists and especially with the internationally renowned New Music Festival. Further, the College of Musical Arts-with around 500 students and 56 full-time faculty members—offers students the resources and experiences of a large university with the feel of a more intimate setting.

M.M. in Music Theory students therefore enjoy exceptional mentoring opportunities: they receive individual attention, assistantship assignments, and professional guidance that at other schools are typically reserved for doctoral students. Additionally, BGSU is located near several major cities with a vibrant professional music culture, including Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Chicago.

As a student in the M.M. in Music Theory program, you will gain a solid foundation on which to build a career as a music theorist, researcher, and educator. Fundamental analytical techniques for music from the early modern period through the twenty-first century are stressed within the context of current scholarly thought.

We have an excellent record of placing our graduates in top Ph.D. programs, recently including Yale University, Florida State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Program strength and uniqueness 

  • Individual attention 
  • Teaching opportunities in the first year 
  • Mentorship in both research and teaching 
  • Excellent record of placing graduates into top Ph.D. programs 
  • Flexible culminating experience—students choose to write a thesis or submit a portfolio of work 
  • Wide-ranging faculty interests 
  • Resources of a large research university 
  • One of the top contemporary music programs in the country 

Special Resources

Bowling Green State University features specific library collections in music and popular culture. The Sound Archives contains largest collection of popular music in North America.

The College of Musical Arts houses the Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music, which sponsors the largest annual New Music Festival in the Midwest. Contemporary music is a special strength in the College, which offers a DMA in Composition, Conducting, and Performance tracks.

The Arts Village (AV) is a unique living/learning community dedicated to the arts on the campus. The Arts Village hosts numerous world music events and is strongly interrelated with the World Music and Ethnomusicology programs.

Financial Resources

Resources are available to assist student workshop participation, research, and conference attendance. In addition, several assistantships are offered to Master’s students for graduate study. Check the departmental page listing assistantship opportunities for more information.