Department of Music

Application Requirements

Applicants to the program should submit the online application, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, writing sample and/or documentation of creative work, and transcripts from previous university studies.


The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required for either of the two programs. Our University code is 3094.


The TOEFL test is required for foreign applicants, except those who hold (or will receive) a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English. At Brown, TOEFL requirements are set by the Graduate School, not the individual department, and the Graduate School administers the collection of application materials. Therefore, any questions about waivers should be addressed to the Graduate School. View the Graduate School policy.

Dissertation Proposals

The dissertation proposals in our programs are developed as part of the course of study here and are not required as part of the application process.

Musicology and Ethnomusicology

Applicants should provide a scholarly writing sample of ca. 20-25 pages. You may submit two shorter writing samples that total ca. 20-25 pages, if you feel that they demonstrate more effectively your skills in scholarly analysis. For example, you may prefer to submit undergraduate seminar papers on two different topics in music and/or other humanities and social sciences disciplines. The writing samples should demonstrate your ability to engage with scholarly literature and frame a clear argument.

Music and Multimedia Composition

The two main components for admission are a portfolio of outstanding creative work along with a clear and compelling personal statement. The portfolio should document four examples of your creative work and may include recordings, videos, scores, images, texts, and documentation of installations and performances. A short description should accompany each work, though longer texts about the pieces are acceptable too. In the case of longer duration works, please identify excerpts to view or listen to for the initial rounds application review.

Use the personal statement to describe the background of your creative practice and outline your current and future interests in expanding that practice at Brown. You can include descriptions of your works in support of an overall narrative about your practice, but you don’t need to go into great detail here if they are documented in your portfolio.

A writing sample is required in addition to the personal statement, such as a research paper or other example of writing that includes analysis and interpretation.

Download a detailed supplemental FAQ about the application form and process for the MMC program's application requirements.

Additional Information

Students in the Ph.D. program in Music and Multimedia Composition produce, analyze, and perform original works that may include the use of electronic music, acoustic composition and sound in combination with video, performance, installation and text.
Brown’s Ph.D. program in Musicology and Ethnomusicology allows students to study music of any kind from several perspectives, within a richly interdisciplinary environment.
Brown offers five years of guaranteed support in the form of a full tuition scholarship, health benefits, and a cash stipend that is competitive with that offered by other top-tier programs.