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Doctor of Philosophy
Music Performance and Composition: Performers

Prepare for a career in music performance and music research by working closely with our faculty of internationally recognized performing artists. With a flexible curriculum, you can personalize your program of study for your specific interests and goals. You'll also develop and complete a dissertation and perform two recitals.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

PhD in Music Performance and Composition: Performers

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

PhD Students in Composition and Performance will personalize their course of study around individual research interests, taking courses that support their areas of specialization. They will be able to

  • Perform artistic research by developing quantitative and qualitative research methods appropriate to their field of inquiry.
  • Engage in a variety of collaborative environments with artists and professionals in related fields
  • Broaden their perspectives and relate their own music-making activities to diverse cultural contexts and intellectual traditions
  •  Develop foundational knowledge in disciplines applicable to yet outside their field of specialization, including psychology, performance studies, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, media, arts education and technology, and the social sciences.
  • Communicate the results of their original research orally and in writing, in conference presentations and academic publications.

You’ll take a range of courses in the foundations, cognate areas, and specialized research methodology, as well as private lessons and a departmental seminar in chamber music. You’ll also take course work in neighboring fields like psychology, performance studies, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, media, arts education and technology, and the social sciences, allowing you to broaden your perspective and understand your own music-making activities in relation to a variety of cultural contexts and intellectual traditions. You’ll gain expertise not only as a top-caliber performer, but as a scholar, educator, and entrepreneur.

You must have a master's degree in order to be considered for admission to this program.

As a student in this program, you'll be an active performer, both as a soloist and in concerts with NYU performing ensembles and more. You will also have opportunities to collaborate with performers, dancers, actors, and multimedia applications. Within our department, there are very active collaborations with the Music Technology, Jazz Studies, and Music Composition programs. In addition, we have a very active collaboration with musicians and other artists throughout New York City.

Funding for Full-Time PhD Students

NYU Steinhardt offers a competitive funding package for PhD students who study full time. Learn more about our funding opportunities.


If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact the Program Director for your area of study: 

Brass Studies - Wayne duMaine
Jazz Studies - Dr. Dave Schroeder

Percussion Studies - Jonathan Haas
Piano Studies - Dr. Marilyn Nonken
Strings Studies - Dr. Cyrus Beroukhim
Vocal Performance - Dr. Ana Flavia Zuim
Woodwind Studies - Matt Sullivan

Concert Composition - Dr. Julia Wolfe
Screen Scoring - Dr. Ron Sadoff