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)

• Due March 29: PhD Program (Clinical Neuroscience, Hearing Sciences Department, University of Nottingham, Glasgow, Scotland, UK) - The Link Between Prediction during Speech Listening and Conversation Behaviour

• Due April 16: Research Scientist (PhD Student) in Acoustical Signal Processing (Signal Processing Division, Collaborative Research Centre Hearing Acoustics at the University of Oldenburg, Germany). 

• Due April 25: PhD Position (Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt/Main, Germany) - The Research Group Neurocognition of Music and Language (headed by Daniela Sammler) explores the multiple links between music and language in perception and production using neuroscientific methods and various populations (healthy adults, neurological patients, professional musicians etc.).

• Due May 2: PhD Candidate Positions, 2 available (Department of Cognitive Neuroscience/Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands) - funded by the ERC consolidator grant of dr. De Martino focusing on understanding predictive human hearing using laminar fMRI, MEG and computational modeling.

• New MA Program in Music and Science (Music Department, Durham University, UK) - Music and Science Open Day - Friday, 26 March, 2021


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