The Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology offers Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Folklore and/or Ethnomusicology. The department accepts students in both areas for graduate work starting in the Fall semester (September) every year. Both programs also offer Ph.D. minors to graduate students in other graduate degree programs at IU. Ethnomusicology also offers a cognate for students in the School of Music. The Ethnomusicology program is a part of the University Graduate School.
If you'd like to plan a visit to the IU Bloomington campus to meet with faculty, sit-in on classes, and explore what Bloomington has to offer e-mail our Admissions Coordinator, Michelle Melhouse.
Deadlines for RECEIPT of Applications and Supporting Documents:
Deadlines are for entry in the fall semester only:
- Domestic applications: January 1st of every year
- International applications: December 1st of every year
Contents of Application Package:
Select a Program:
- When choosing the academic program in the drop-down list of the application, applicants must select "Folklore & Ethnomusicology"; there are not separate choices between the Folklore and Ethnomusicology programs.
- When choosing an academic plan in the 2nd drop-down list of the application, applicants must select either "Folklore & Ethnomusicology M.A." or "Folklore & Ethnomusicology Ph.D."; there are not separate choices between the Folklore and Ethnomusicology programs.
- Please note, if you are an M.A. applicant who wishes to eventually pursue a Ph.D. in the department, please indicate this in your Personal Statement. Do not choose the Ph.D option from the drop down list if you will not already have an M.A. degree by the time of matriculation.
- The 3rd drop down menu will give you the option of choosing your concentration, either Folklore or Ethnomusicology.
- Also, please read our Admissions and Financial Aid booklet for more information.
- The personal statement should be approximately 800-1,200 words and should indicate whether you are applying to the Ethnomusicology or Folklore Institute. Briefly describe your background and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. Explain why you want to study in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at IU (for instance, you might describe what you hope to learn and do while here, and/or your proposed research area and/or project). Applicants for the Ph.D. should include a brief description of your proposed dissertation research. Briefly explain how your proposed plan of study fits with your future professional and/or academic goals.
- Please upload your Personal Statement in .PDF format.
- Submit a sample of your writing (e.g. term paper, thesis, published article, or other piece of written work that indicates applicant's abililty to communicate well in non-fiction prose).
- Upload your writing sample in .PDF format with your application.
Curriculum Vita or Resume:
- Although a c.v. or resume is not required, you may upload it in the appropriate spot in the online application. Please upload your CV or resume in .PDF format.
Three Letters of Recommendation:
- When possible, request letters from individuals familiar with your academic abilities and your ability to do scholarly work.
- Please allow plenty of time for your letters to arrive by the December 1 (International) and January 1 (Domestic) deadlines. Your recommenders will not be notified to submit their recommendation until you fully submit the online application.
- We prefer that your recommender upload their recommendation electronically and in .PDF format to the application, but if they must mail their letter, please have them mail the letter and this downloadable form for mailing, to:
Folklore & Ethnomusicology
504 N. Fess Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47408
Transcripts from all colleges attended:
- Indiana University students, from any campus, do not need to submit Indiana University transcripts.
- Students should have their transcripts sent directly by their colleges to the Department. We will not accept a transcript mailed by the student unless it is in an officially sealed, unopened envelope from the university.
- International students should mail officially sealed, unopened transcripts in a packet to International Admissions. See the International Applicants page of this site.
- All applicants to the Master's program must have a Bachelor's degree (International student's must have the U.S. equivalent of a 4-year Bachelor's degree) in a field related to Folklore or Ethnomusicology (respective to the track the applicant chooses).
- An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better is required, and the degree must be completed by the time of matriculation into the graduate program.
- All applicants to the Ph.D. program must have a Master’s degree in a field related to Folklore or Ethnomusicology (respective to the track the applicant chooses).
- Required for Domestic Applicants, and International Applicants whose native lanuage is English - International Applicants whose native language is not English may submit GRE scores if they wish, but are not required to do so. See below.
- Send electronically - use Institution Code 1324 (only official scores directly from ETS will be accepted). Departmental Code is not needed.
- Scores usually arrive in two weeks, although the score submission process may sometimes take longer so plan accordingly.
- We request a score of 151 for Verbal and 150 for Quantitative. A score of 4.5 or better is requested on the Analytical section of the GRE.
- No subject GRE test is required.
- Click here for the ETS website, which administers the GRE.
Note: If you do not meet the minimum GRE score requirements, your application will not automatically be disregarded.
- Required only for International Applicants whose native language is not English.
- Send scores electronically - use Institution code 1324, Department code 0000 (only official scores directly from ETS will be accepted).
- Due to the time it may take for scores to be transmitted, you should plan on taking the TOEFL at least 2 months prior to the International Deadline of December 1st.
- A minimum score of 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based is required for admission.
- In some instances, an IELTS score of 6.5 or better can be submitted in lieu of the TOEFL.
- Click for the ETS website, which administers the TOEFL.
Please note that if any of the items required for your application do not arrive by the time the Admissions Committee begins to meet to review applications (normally January 9th), your application will not be considered.
If admitted, you will automatically be considered for various graduate assistantships available to first year students in Ethnomusicology and/or Folklore. Click here to view various internal and external fellowships and grants that our students have applied to in the past.
Admissions Criteria and Decisions
Applications are evaluated by faculty members on the basis of a combination of criteria including academic record, GRE scores (U.S. residents), personal statement, academic background and experience, and letters of recommendation.
Formal education in Western classical music is NOT a requirement for acceptance to the Ethnomusicology program.
Admissions decisions will be made after the completion of both domestic and international application deadlines. Applicants will be informed about decisions starting the middle of March via letter, so it is important that a current address is submitted in the application. If a letter does not arrive by the third week of March, contact Admissions Coordinator Michelle Melhouse, 812-855-0389 or mmelhousindiana.edu, for information.
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