What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for the application, and for supporting documentation to be received in our office, is December 15th.

How can I apply?

Applicants apply using the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission (online only).

The online application becomes available in September for the following fall quarter.

What is needed for recommendation letters and what is the recommendation letter process?

Three letters of recommendation are required. When submitting your online application, you will be required to list one e-mail address for each recommender. Since hardcopies of the letters of recommendation are not accepted, recommendations may only be submitted online.  Once you have officially submitted your application (by paying the fee), an email will be sent to your recommenders.

What academic records are required?

Official Transcripts: In addition to uploading unofficial transcripts to the UCLA Application for Graduate Admission, one official transcript from all colleges and universities attended must be mailed to the department.

International applicants, please submit one official transcript, degree certificate and/or diploma. All documents must bear the actual seal and/or signature of the Registrar. Photocopies are not accepted. Do not send the original of an academic record which cannot be replaced; obtain a properly certified copy instead. All transcripts and credentials are evaluated by the UCLA Graduate Admissions Office in terms of UCLA equivalency.  More information about Requirements for International Applicants can be found on the Graduate Division website.

You may submit the transcripts yourself, or have the institution send them directly to the department.

How many students apply for admission? How may students enroll each year?

The faculty typically reviews 70-80 applications each year. Annual enrollment varies slightly; however, the faculty plans to maintain the size of the incoming class at a maximum of 10 students each year.

Could you provide me with more information about the required writing sample for the MA/PhD application?

The writing sample is a very important part of your application materials. It should demonstrate the clarity of your analytical thinking and its expression. It is taken as a strong indicator of a prospective student's ability to engage with scholarly materials. The material is expected to show originality and creative conceptual thinking, competence in dealing with technical musical issues, writing ability and good communication, and proper documentation. A master's thesis, bachelor's thesis or substantial research paper (English language only) in its entirety is preferred. If, however, you feel your best writing falls into other genre categories, you might consider submitting a couple of essays (each at least 15 pages or 4,000 words in length) to provide a good sense of the character and range of your writing skills.

What are you looking for in the Statement of Purpose for the MA/PhD application?

This section of the application is your chance to tell us what you want to do here in the Ethnomusicology program, and how our program can mesh with your goals. Write clearly and accurately, and include the following types of information:

1) your research interest, area of specialization, and career plans;
2) life and educational experiences;
3) musical skills and musical experiences in general, as well as exposure to world musical traditions;
4) intellectual growth and scholarly interests and concerns;
5) contacts with the field of ethnomusicology, familiarity with the discipline, prior experiences with research in this or related areas, and any relevant foreign language competence;
6) your reasons for desiring to study ethnomusicology at UCLA; what facets of the program and local resources are especially suited to your goals, and what new knowledge and skills do you expect to develop here?

I've recently completed my work at a music conservatory, with an emphasis in performance and/or composition. Would I be a viable applicant to your program?

While students in our program should be good musicians and be able to perform to enhance their understanding of culture, performance is not the focus of study here. The scholarly attributes of your application are of primary consideration for admission.

What are the ways of showing proficiency in music?

Many applicants have a bachelor's degree in Music. In such cases, strong grades in courses related to your major are a good way to show us your achievements in music theory, ear training, and performance. Any extra evidence from relevant musical activities outside your college career should be highlighted as well in the statement of purpose.

For applicants who do not have a bachelor's degree in some field of music, there are several ways to demonstrate your proficiency in the technical aspects of music. For example, you may have completed the full series of coursework in music theory and ear training at your undergraduate institution, or later on at a community college. In such cases, make sure transcripts showing these courses are included in your application materials. In addition, you should be sure to highlight all other relevant musical activities in your statement of purpose.

Alternatively, you may have obtained your knowledge by studying privately, or having performed or composed extensively. In this case, you should attach an addendum to your statement of purpose, describing your situation in detail. A letter of recommendation from a private music teacher who can attest to your level of competence in performance, music theory, and aural skills may be especially important for applicants with this kind of background.

Do you have a minimum GRE score requirement?

The Ethnomusicology Department does not use the GRE for admissions and it is not required.

What scores are required for the TOEFL exam?

International applicants whose first language is not English must certify their proficiency in English when applying to UCLA, and, if admitted, upon arrival.

A TOEFL score of at least 560 on the written exam (220 on the computer-based test), or an IELTS Overall Band score of at least 7.0 are the University minimum requirements for applicants. For the internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT), the minimum total passing score is 87. Applicants who score higher than the minimum University requirement are considered to be more viable candidates for the program.

Because processing, sending, and receiving TOEFL and IELTS test scores often takes several weeks, international students must schedule their examination no later than October in order to meet the Departmental deadlines. Applications are not considered complete without the test scores.

More information about English Requirements can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Have you received my transcripts (or TOEFL scores)?

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to verify receipt of your transcripts or TOEFL scores. Unlike in previous years, the Graduate Division online document tracking site is no longer available. The department will be able to contact applicants for documents or application materials missing or needed. Please do not email or call to inquire about receipt of documents as it will delay our efforts to process application material.

What kind of funding is available for entering graduate students?

Entering students apply for fellowships in conjunction with their admission application. Nominations for campus-wide awards as well as Departmental support are made by faculty and forwarded to the necessary faculty committees for decision. Factors considered include academic strength, creative work, and in some cases, financial need. In general, teaching assistantships and graduate student researcher positions are offered to our continuing graduate students. Unfortunately, we are not able to fully fund all of our students.

Please visit the Graduate Division website at www.gdnet.ucla.edu, which provides extensive financial information for the prospective student.

When would I be notified if I am accepted or not?

The Graduate Division notifies students of their decision status online. Paper letters of admission or denial will not be mailed. For a variety of reasons admission can often take a few months. Generally, applicants are informed sometime in March.

How many units of coursework taken outside of the University can be applied towards the graduate program?

This is something that is considered individually, through faculty advisement. In general, the Graduate Division accepts up to two courses (a maximum of 8 quarter units or five semester units) for coursework completed outside the UC to be applied toward a student's graduate degree.

Is there a way of enrolling in classes without already being admitted to the program?

Opportunities to enroll are based upon space availability and instructor consent through the "concurrent enrollment" program offered through UCLA Extension: 711 Extension Admin Building (310) 206-8456.

Can I arrange to visit to meet with an advisor in person? Would I be able to sit in on some classes, etc. if I do that?

You are welcome to visit our Department and visit classes with instructor consent. You may be better served by contacting one of our faculty members before your visit to arrange a time to meet and/or with specific questions about the particular area of study that you are interested in.