MA Music Theory

Degree Type

  • Graduate


  • In-Person


  • On-Campus
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The Master of Arts in Music Theory degree at BU School of Music is  is designed for students seeking to acquire a secure foundation in scholarly music theory prior to entering doctoral study. This foundation can be crucial to success in graduate school and beyond, bridging the gap between undergraduate curricula and advanced PhD programs. Through a series of graduate courses and seminars, students develop a close familiarity with essential approaches and techniques for the theory and analysis of tonal and post-tonal music. Emphasis is also given to secondary fields of interest such as musicology, composition, and performance. MA candidates benefit from the greater surroundings of a major school of music, its distinguished faculty, and a close connection with the wider community of students and faculty in the Composition and Musicology graduate programs.

Curriculum requirements for the MA in Music Theory can be found on the Academic Bulletin.

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Program of Study

A small department, the Composition & Theory program instills an open, collaborative, entrepreneurial sense both inside and outside the classroom.

Students join an international community of faculty and alumni who are music theorists, performers, conductors, and composers. This is an environment that encourages individual creative work and collaborative projects.

As part of a top-tier Music school in a major University, students have an expanse of opportunities including participating in Time’s Arrow, the new music ensemble, as both composer and performer, as well as collaborating with the College’s theatre and visual arts programs, such as in dramatic productions and installations. Boston’s vibrant music community offers countless possibilities to work with ensembles as well as in Lenox at Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Featured Faculty

Associate Professor Ketty Nez Awarded Fulbright to Teach in Hungary

Associate Professor of Music in Composition and Music Theory Ketty Nez had the experience of a lifetime teaching contemporary orchestration and musical analysis to advanced composers at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. And this was just one of many things that made Ketty’s Fulbright Award memorable. The Composer/Pianist, who has been teaching at BU since 2005, shares what her time was like in Hungary and what she’s brought back to the States to apply to her teachings.

read Q&A with Ketty Nez

Ketty Nez across from the Hungarian Parliament Building

Next Steps for Applicants

The best way to determine if BU is right for you is to explore our admission requirements, financial tools, and resources to determine if the program is the right match.

Reach out to Graduate Admissions at with any questions along the way or to request information. We are happy to discuss your educational interests and career goals.

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