Music Performance and Composition (PhD)

Department Website

Program Description

New York University is one of the few institutions in the United States that offers a PhD degree in music performance and composition. Students declare a concentration in Performance or Composition and may focus their studies in consultation with their adviser.
Students personalize their course of study around individual research interests, taking courses that support their areas of specialization. Students complete coursework in quantitative and qualitative research methods appropriate to their field of inquiry; engage in collaborative environments with artists and professionals in related fields; broaden their perspectives and relate their own music-making activities to diverse cultural contexts and intellectual traditions; develop knowledge in disciplines applicable to yet outside their field of specialization, including psychology, performance studies, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, media, arts education and technology, and the social sciences; and communicate the results of their original research orally and in writing, in conference presentations and academic publications.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the PhD program in music performance and composition are pursuing careers in performance and/or composition coupled with teaching at the college or university level or professors of music in leading institutions in the United States and abroad.


Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to the following concentrations: