Society for Music Perception and Cognition
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Academic Programs in Music Cognition

Navigate: Current News | Academic Programs in Music Cognition | Graduate School Search Resources | Career Advice/Mentorship

Welcome to our academic programs page. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our field, most of our researchers and members have degrees in multiple fields or work in various departments.

In general, if you wish to research music cognition, we suggest choosing a related major that you're interested in (psychology, music, neuroscience, etc.). Then search the Map of SMPC Music Cognition Labs for labs in your area or chosen institution and reach out to ask about options for joining the lab.

  • In many cases, you can work at a lab as a major in music, psychology, neuroscience, or related fields. Most of these institutions will have a faculty member that can advise you on a research project, will teach one or two courses in music psychology, and can get your started on your way. 
  • At some schools, the degree titles may be generic (i.e. BA in Psychology) but due to a heavy emphasis on music cognition research at the school, you are able to take a variety of courses related to music cognition or create your own specialization.

Specialized degrees in music cognition have been emerging, which are listed below under Academic Programs in Music Cognition. These programs will have highly interdisciplinary coursework and often require fulfilling the requirements of either a psychology or music degree.

(To add a listing, please email the SMPC webmaster: webmaster [a]


(Posted by descending due date; Postings without due dates posted last)

• Posted May 17:  PhD student (Acoustic and Haptic Engineering, TU Dresden, Germany) - Measurement of the indoor climate by means of acoustic time-of-flight tomography (PI: Sebastian Merchel)

Research associate / PhD student / Postdoc for acoustic time-of-flight tomography. The position is limited for 3 years. Subject to personal qualification employees are remunerated according to salary group E 13 TV-L.

Tasks: The work includes research activities in the field of measurement of the indoor climate by means of acoustic time-of-flight tomography. These signals are influenced by the climatic properties present on the propagation path. For example, the air temperature influences the speed of sound. Using tomographic methods, the spatial distribution of temperature will be reconstructed from the influences on many such travel paths. The goal is a location-dependent measurement of the indoor climate, e.g. in a server room or office. Within the scope of the project, measurements in the range of audible sound and ultrasound are to be carried out. Subsequently, room influences as well as suitable tomographic algorithms are to be investigated. The DFG project is carried out in cooperation with the Chair of Building Physics at the Bauhaus University Weimar. The results obtained are to be presented and published in meetings, at conferences and in the form of scientific papers.

Requirements: above average university degree in the area of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, computer scienceand other related fields; solid knowledge and experience in the field of acoustics and/or signal processing; high motivation and autonomous and scientific working style; open-mindedness for interdisciplinary collaboration and very good English skills. Candidates who can communicate in both English and German language fluently are preferred. Experience in the field of electro acoustics, room acoustics, ultrasonic measurement technology or building climatology are advantageous.

Please send your application as a single PDF to

• Posted June 8: MSc and PhD Positions (Di Liberto Lab, School of Computer Science and Statistics, The University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland) - Auditory Neuroscience and Neural Data Analysis (PI: Giovanni Di Liberto)

• Due June 10: PhD Fellowship (Music Information Retrieval, Telecom Paris & CentraleSupelec, Paris, France) - computational music analysis, audio indexing, and machine learning to start in Fall 2021 (Coordinator: Slim Essid). 

• Due June 11: PhD Position (Institute of Sound Recording, University of Surrey, UK) - Acoustic Room Modeling (PI: Enzo De Sena)

• Due June 1: PhD Studentships X2 (Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP), University of Surrey, England) - AI for Sound project on 1) Automatic sound labelling for broadcast audio and 2) Information theoretic learning for sound analysis (PI: Mark Plumbley).

• Due August 8: PhD Research Fellow (Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway) - Our lab studies the neural foundations of emotional processing from various social and environmental signals using a variety of neuroscientific methods (fMRI, EEG, intracranial recordings, psychoacoustic experiments, etc.) - PI: Sascha Frühholz.

• Due September 1: Multiple PhD Positions (Centre for Applied Hearing Research, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark) - PI: Torsten Dau.

• PhD scholarship in Computational Modeling of the Perceptual Consequences of Individual Hearing Loss
• PhD scholarship in Characterizing Listener Behaviour in Complex Dynamic Scenes 
• PhD scholarship in Communication and Interaction in Adverse Acoustic Conditions 


Listed below are programs that lead to a title/specialization in music cognition and related fields.


• McMaster University (Hamilton, ONT):

• BA in Psychology/Neuroscience/Behavior with Music Cognition Specialization (Psychology Department)
BM in Music Cognition (Music Department)
BSc in Psychology/Neuroscience/Behavior with Music Cognition Specialization (Psychology Department)


Northeastern University (Boston, MA): BS in Music and Psychology (College of Arts, Media, and Design)

• Northwestern University (Chicago, IL):

• BM in Music Cognition (School of Music)
• PhD in Music Theory and Cognition (School of Music)

Continental Europe

Aalborg University (Denmark): MsC in Sound and Music Computing (Engineering Department)
• Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain): Master in Sound and Music Computing (Department of Information & Communication Technology)


• University of Leeds: BA/MA Music and Psychology (School of Music)
• Durham UniversityMA in Music and Science (Music Department)
Goldsmiths University of London: MsC in Music, Mind & Brain (Psychology Department)
Queen Mary University of London: MsC in Sound and Music Computing (Department of Computer and Data Science)

Royal College of Music London:

• MsC in Performance Science (College of Music and Centre for Performance Science)
• PhD in Performance Science (College of Music and Centre for Performance Science)

The University of Sheffield:

• MA in Psychology of Music (Department of Music)
MA in Psychology in Education, Performance, and Wellbeing (Department of Music; Distance Learning)
PhD in Psychology of Music (Department of Music)

• The University of York: MA in Psychology of Music (Department of Music) 



• Map of SMPC Music Cognition Labs
Society for Education, Music, and Psychology Research (SEMPRE) Courses and Studies Directory
• International Society for Music Information Retrieval: Research Laboratories
Sound and Music Computing: Research Centers

• Academic Jobs Wiki: Dissertation Fellowships Database



The Professor Is In 
Berklee College Careers in the Performing Arts Database
• Society for Music Theory: Professional Development Committee
IEEE Signal Processing Society Students & Young Professionals Community

Minority Mentorship Programs

• Women in Music Information Retrieval
Society for Music Theory: Committee for the Status of Women Mentoring Programs
Society for Music Theory: Committee on Race and Ethnicity Mentoring
Disability Studies at the American Musicological Society and Society for Music Theory Support Networks
Black in Neuro