CCM Navigation

CCM, Composition, Musicology and TheoryCollege-Conservatory of MusicComposition, Musicology & TheoryUniversity of Cincinnati

CCM, Composition, Musicology and Theory
Students in class

Programs and Majors

CCM offers graduate degrees in music theory at the masters and doctoral levels, as well as cognate studies for currently enrolled DMA students. Use the links below to learn more about individual programs.


Why study Theory?

Music Theory is an area of study that tends to focus on musical materials per se, in order to explain (and/or offer generalizations about) their various principles and processes. It investigates how these materials function (or, in a more speculative vein, how they might function), so that musical “structure” can be better understood (from "Theory," by David Carson Berry, Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed., 2013).


C. Catherine Losada, Ph.D. Faculty Adviser

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

The graduate programs in music theory are of very high quality, blending rigorous academic training with opportunities for specialization in a variety of areas. The music theory faculty consists of nationally and internationally known scholars with diverse academic backgrounds, impressive research trajectories and an exceptionally wide range of interest areas. This range permits offering seminars that expose students to all the major research areas. At the same time, the flexibility of the curriculum and the inclusion of a cognate area allow students the opportunity to explore particular fields of interest in great depth.

The position of this academic program within the context of a major conservatory provides ample opportunities for interactions with high quality performers and composers, which enhances the educational experience.

Teaching opportunities abound, and most TAs gain experience in teaching both theory and aural skills. The high quality of the students creates a unique pedagogical setting. The high-level teaching experiences thus attained give our students a competitive edge as they enter the job market.

Students and alumni are very active presenting their research in major professional venues.  High quality work thrives within a collegial, supportive environment.

Special Programs

The Thinking About Music series brings in top scholars in the field to present lectures and includes several opportunities for students to interact with them and become familiar with their work. A weekly colloquium series provides opportunities to present research, as well as crucial guidance on professional development issues, thus preparing them for successful careers.

Musicology and theory students work together to organize the very high quality biennial University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Music Theory & Musicology Society conference.

Doctoral students at CCM can chose music theory as a cognate area.


  • Pedagogy of Theory (THRY 7015) 3 (offered in the Spring every other year)
  • Set Theory I (THRY 8011) 3 (offered in the Fall every other year)
  • Schenkerian Analysis I (THRY 8015) 3 (offered in the Fall every other year, in alternation with Schenker 1)
  • Electives to complete 12 cognate hours (Any non-required graduate theory course). Recommended electives include:
  • 16th-Century Counterpoint
  • 18th-Century Counterpoint
  • Special Topics
  • Readings in Music Theory
  • Advanced Topics: Rhythm and Meter
  • Aesthetics
  • Schenker 2
  • Set Theory 2
  • A variety of Theory Seminars offered every year

Admission Requirements

For specific admissions information, international student requirements, and application deadlines please visit the CCM Admissions website.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

CCM's founding schools (the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the College of Music of Cincinnati) were both charter members of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The requirements for entrance and graduation in all music programs are in accordance with the published regulations of NASM.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy in Theory

Full-Time Program Duration

5 Years


Uptown Campus West


University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003
Phone: (513) 556-9567
Dr. Catherine Losada