Doctor of Philosophy in Music, Emphasis Theory (PhD)


Theories of music describe ways that listeners, composers, and performers conceive of the elements of their art.  Study of theory, then, informs all aspects of musical learning at UBC.  Our faculty include internationally known researchers who contribute to theories and analysis of modernist and contemporary art music, theories of rhythm and meter, performance analysis, and the analysis of both Western art music and world music.

We bring a broad perspective to the basic theory courses required of our undergraduates, and provide flexible and expert supervision for graduate student research.   Students in our graduate programs are mentored professionally through intensive seminars, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and conference participation.  We welcome research of an interdisciplinary nature, involving musicology, ethnomusicology, mathematics, linguistics, and other musically pertinent areas.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Creative and Performing Arts
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Program Components
Faculty of Arts
School of Music


TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

8 students graduated between 2007 and 2012. Of these, career information was obtained for 8 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):

RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
Vanier College
University of Georgia
University of Calgary
Elon University
Cégep Garneau
Queen's University
University of Alberta
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Tsuut'ina Nation
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on
The data show all specializations in Music combined. These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$923.38 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

The following table shows data for all specializations in the PhD in Music combined.
New registrations111 1
Total enrolment1415151718
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 9 March 2018]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

Further Program Information


September 2018 Intake

Application Open Date
25 September 2017
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2017
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2017

Program Information

Application Enquiries

Supervisor Search


Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.