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Jazz History and Research, M.A.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 24 months
University rank #101 (ARWU) Newark, NJ, United States
Founded in 1997, this unique Jazz History and Research program from Rutgers University prepares people to do research, publish, and teach about jazz. 
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The Jazz History and Research program from Rutgers University attracts a diverse range of teachers, performers, scholars, and intellectuals from every background with a shared passion for America’s music. Students are encouraged to approach jazz with a broad lens and develop their own topics, drawing on approaches that include performance; composition; popular music; histories of race, gender, and sexuality; film; world musical traditions; and more. 

Graduates of the program

Graduates of our program have gone on to complete doctorates in musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and related fields. Others teach at community colleges and have used their degrees to enhance their credentials as teachers, performers, or archivists.

The required 12-course curriculum covers topics such as music historiography, jazz analysis, archival research, in-depth studies of individual musicians, and critical approaches drawn from fields such as American studies, gender studies, and critical histories of race. In addition to required courses, many students choose to play in the jazz ensemble. Also, private theory study, one-day writing workshops and/or a semester-long writing seminar may be required, at our discretion, in addition to the required 12 courses. At the end of the coursework each student takes a final comprehensive exam and completes a master’s thesis.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Historiography
  • The Literature of Jazz
  • Jazz Theory
  • Theory
  • Topics: Coltrane
  • Topics: Jazz and Race
  • Thesis
  • Big Bands

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    36 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • One research or analysis paper on any topic as a writing sample. An undergraduate paper is fine, and it does not even have to be about music–the point is to show that you write well in English.
  • A short recording of your playing any kind of music (classical is fine) to demonstrate your level of musical competence.
  • A page of sheet music that they have written or transcribed to demonstrate knowledge of notation. It need not be transcribed–we will teach you how to do that. That is only mentioned as an option. It can be anything that you wrote out by hand or in Finale.
  • In your personal statement tell us about your background in music, and why you want to join our program.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    28194 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 28194 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    11886 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 11886 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Newark

  • 935 - 1600 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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