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prospective student FAQ

Official department info pages

What is the current application deadline?
For both graduate programs the application deadline will be January 7.

Whom should I contact with questions?
Ethnomusicology: The current chair of graduate admissions, Kiri Miller (2014-15). Email queries to other faculty members will be forwarded directly to the chair of admissions.

Computer Music and Multimedia: The current Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), Butch Rovan (2013-14).

Which faculty members are currently taking on graduate advisees?

Do you offer a terminal MA program?

  • No. We admit students with the expectation that they will complete the PhD. However, it is technically possible to leave Brown after completing the MA (and in rare cases this may be the recommendation of the faculty).

May I arrange a visit to campus to meet with faculty and students?

  • Yes. You should schedule your visit for a time when classes are in session (see the university calendar). Contact the current chair of graduate admissions for Ethnomusicology, or the Director of Graduate Studies for Computer Music and Multimedia (see above) if you would like to propose a date to visit. However, please note that visits are not required and do not increase your chances of admission. Admitted candidates will have an opportunity to visit campus before making a decision on whether to join us at Brown.
  • If you just want to get a feel for the campus and/or you are visiting at a time when classes are not in session, you may participate in a general campus tour without arranging appointments in our department.
  • The Computer Music and Multimedia program hosts an annual Prospective Graduate Student Open House. For fall 2013 the date will be December 13. Please contact the current DGS (see above) for details.
  • To increase your chances of meeting with a particular faculty member, you should visit campus on a day when s/he is teaching a graduate seminar and/or holding office hours. For fall 2014:


  • Kiri Miller – office hours Thurs. 3-4:30, Pembroke 204; fall seminar "Digital Media and Virtual Performance" W 3-5:20
  • Marc Perlman – ON LEAVE 2014-15
  • Joshua Tucker – office hours TBA
  • Dana Gooley – ON LEAVE 2014-15

Computer Music and Multimedia:

  • Butch Rovan: office hours Wednesday, 1pm - 3pm, Orwig 216

How many courses can I transfer in from a previous MA?
Up to 8, but only after completing your first year of coursework at Brown. Here's the form you'll need.

  • Ethnomusicology students: See the Graduate Handbook for details. You'll need to get the current DGS's signature on the transfer form.
  • Computer Music and Multimedia students: See the MEME Graduate Handbook, section 6: "Students with Prior Graduate Degrees"

How does the five years of funding break down in terms of fellowships vs. TA-ships?
It's typically 1 year of fellowship + 3 years of TA-ships + 1 year of fellowship. Fellowships, Teaching Assistantships, and Proctorships each come with a tuition scholarship, health benefits, and a cash stipend of approximately $23,000 per year (as of 2014-15). Summer support is funded for four years at approximately $2,555 per summer (in addition to the academic-year stipend). Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Proctorships in music normally require up to twenty hours of work per week during the school year.

What can I do about funding if it takes me more than five years to finish?
There is some flexibility as to when to use up the final year of fellowship (some people use it to fund fieldwork; others obtain external grants for fieldwork and save the fellowship for dissertation write-up time at Brown). The graduate school offers some financial incentives for obtaining external funding. Depending on available funds, your progress toward the degree, and the department's teaching needs, it may be possible to receive a 6th year of Brown funding (including the standard stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance) by serving as a TA.

What kind of teaching experience will I get at Brown?
You will serve as a TA for a variety of undergraduate courses relevant to your professional development -- mostly courses taught by graduate faculty in your program. (You can browse our current undergraduate course offerings here.) Faculty make an effort to give graduate students meaningful teaching experience (i.e., running discussion or giving an occasional lecture rather than just grading student assignments). You should also take advantage of the resources at the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning.

  • Ethnomusicology: Advanced ethnomusicology students sometimes have the opportunity to team-teach a world music survey course or propose a course in their area of specialization. The graduate seminar "World Music in Theory and Practice" includes many practical assignments related to pedagogy (practice-teaching, syllabus design, etc.).
  • Computer Music and Multimedia: In addition to TA assignments in undergraduate and graduate level computer music courses, MEME graduate students have the opportunity to direct the MEME electroacoustic improvisation ensemble. Advanced students may have the opportunity to propose a course of their own design (MUSC 0210 Topics in Electronic Music & Multimedia). Graduate students will also work as Proctors in the MEME studios, assisting with concert production, studio management, promotion, and documentation.

What is your placement history like?

  • Ethnomusicology: A partial list of alumni careers can be found here.
  • MEME: See the alumni page on the MEME website.

current student FAQ

(feel free to add questions/answers below)

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