Apply in 5 Steps: Music Theory Ph.D.

Already prepared? Go straight to uApply, the online application form.

Step 1: Connect

Contact robert.hasegawa [at] mcgill.ca (Prof. Robert Hasegawa) for more information about the program or graduateadmissions.music [at] mcgill.ca (email our admissions staff) for help applying.

Visit us or talk with our student ambassadors anytime about the university and student life in Montreal.

1a. Find a supervisor

Explore Music Theory faculty profiles to find a supervisor before applying. Depending on your interests, you might want to explore profiles in other areas too. Once you've found someone with whom you are interested in working, contact them to discuss your research interests.

You can find tips about connecting with a supervisor on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) website.

1b. Bookmark admission dates and deadlines

Application opens Deadline to apply for fall admission Admission decisions sent to applicants
September 15 December 1 (all applicants) February to March

If you've missed the deadline, graduateadmissions.music [at] mcgill.ca (email our admissions staff). Late applications may be cancelled without refund and may not be considered for entrance scholarships/financial aid.

1c. Meet minimum admission requirements

Acceptance into this program is competitive and the final admissions decision rests with the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. To be considered, you should have:

  • A master's degree in music theory, or its equivalent, from a university recognized by McGill. 
  • A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 out of a possible 4.0, or a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 out of 4.0 in your last two years of full-time studies.
  • Proficiency in English, the primary language of instruction at McGill.

Step 2: Check costs and funding options

Find out about funding and financial aid opportunities, cost of living and tuition fees.

Step 3: Prepare application materials

You will need to submit the following when you apply:

  1. Online uApply application and application fee.
  2. Transcripts from each college/university-level institution that you have attended.
  3. Two letters of recommendation (if you are currently a McGill student, you are exempt).
  4. Personal statement: Describe your reasons for applying to the Music Theory Ph.D. program at McGill University. Include qualifications, qualities or circumstances that are significant. Outline your educational and professional goals, your expectations of the program and your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses (PDF format, maximum size 5 MB).
  5. Research proposal: Outline the research path(s) you want to pursue during this program (2 pages, PDF format, maximum size 8 MB).
  6. Curriculum Vitae (CV): An overview of your experience and other qualifications, including employment, academic credentials, publications, honours, awards, contributions and significant achievements (PDF format, maximum size 5 MB).
  7. Thesis summary/abstract, if you have completed or are completing a Master's thesis (PDF format, maximum size 2 MB).
  8. Your supervisor preference.
  9. Proof of English language proficiency, if required. 
  10. Samples of most advanced work in harmony (e.g., model tonal composition, melody harmonization, figured-bass realization), and counterpoint (e.g., invention, fugue exposition or other composition). Combine essays into one file and upload to Writing Sample in your application (PDF format, maximum 8 MB).
  11. Two recent analyses (one treating a tonal work and one a post-tonal work). Combine analyses into one file and upload to Music Theory Analyses in your application (PDF format, maximum 12 MB).
  12. One essay (in English or French) on a music history topic. Upload to Written Work in your application (PDF format, maximum 8 MB).
  13. If Schenkerian techniques have been studied, one analytic study that includes voice-leading graphs. Upload to Music Theory Analytical Study in your application (PDF format, maximum 10 MB).
  14. An interview (campus or via Skype) may be requested.

Step 4: Apply online

  1. Get your supporting materials together. You will need to upload them by December 1st, right after you've submitted your application.
  2. If this is your first time using uApply (McGill's online application form), create an account. You will be given a username and password for future use.
  3. Complete the admission application in uApply. During this stage, provide the names and valid institutional email addresses of the people providing your letters of recommendation. McGill will contact them directly. 
  4. Pay the non-refundable application fee of $110.29 online. After this, you will get an email confirming that you have successfully applied and that you can upload your supporting materials.
  5. Upload your supporting material to uApply.
  6. Arrange for submission of proof of English language proficiency to McGill, if required.

Step 5: Accept

Already applied and trying to track your application status? Newly admitted? Take the next steps.