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About The Program

Along with Music History and Literature, the Department of Music Theory forms the academic backbone for all music degrees at UNC. The School of Music offers both master's and doctoral degrees in Music Theory Concentration. Every music student must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in music theory and aural skills as essential tools for a 21st-century musician. 

  • Degree Overview

    Once undergraduate music students master a core sequence that includes aural skills, sight-singing, voice-leading, form & analysis, and 20th-21st century materials, they will be prepared to specialize in music theory at the graduate level. Master's students may study and conduct research based on areas of interest and work closely with published and world-class faculty. The area of Music Theory offers a secondary emphasis within the Doctor of Arts degree, which includes a focus on music theory pedagogy.

    Meet the Faculty

  • Beyond the Classroom

    Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory

    RMSMT is the professional society for music theorists serving the Rocky Mountain region, which covers the U.S. states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

    Learn more about the Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory

  • Curriculum

    Master of Music in Music Theory

    Outstanding students of music theory have the opportunity to take graduate theory courses and have published their research in UNC's Undergraduate Research Journal; several of our students have gone on to pursue music theory at the graduate level. Graduate students select from a variety of courses in tonal and post-tonal theory as well as Music Theory Seminars featuring specialized topics. 

    Learn more about the Master of Music in Music Theory

  • Applications and Scholarships


    In addition to completing the UNC Undergraduate  or Graduate Application, students will be asked to submit more information to complete application process. To learn more about the application process visit the music theory applications page to find requirements.



    The College of Performing and Visual Arts awards over $1.8 million in scholarships annually to undergraduate and graduate students in the arts. There are multiple scholarship types offered to students, including talent scholarships and foundation scholarships. To learn more, visit the PVA Scholarship page.

    PVA Scholarships


Questions? Get In Touch!

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Application Dates
  • Fall semesterAugust 1*
  • Spring semesterJanuary 1*
  • Summer semesterMay 1*
*Note: Application dates may vary depending on student status. Learn more.

Music Theory | School of Music

Music Theory | School of Music

Music Theory | School of Music

Music Theory | School of Music