The Ph.D. program admits superior candidates for scholarly studies in musicology (historical or ethnographic studies and theoretical studies, with individual programs subject to explicit orientation and certification in one of these two major directions). The program is designed to provide thorough training in the techniques and applications of musical research and analysis. The dissertation is expected to demonstrate a capacity for doing research which enhances or qualifies existing bodies of knowledge, or which presents important new interpretations of prevailing materials and methods.
Areas of scholarly research emphasis pursued by faculty include Renaissance sacred polyphony; source studies in the music of Bach and other major composers; Reformation and Counter-Reformation; nineteenth-century topics (program music, form, harmony); twentieth-century American music, Second Viennese School; issues in rhythmic analysis; theory construction and analytical method; computer-based analysis; aspects of modern and contemporary music and musical life; and music of East Asia (especially China and Bali). The faculty in performance and composition includes many figures well-known throughout Canada and beyond for their work in concert, on radio, and on CDs.