Stanford Master’s in Music Science & Technology

Stanford University is located south of San Francisco in Silicon Valley. The school was founded by Leland and Jane Stanford. The couple lost their only child, Leland, Jr., to typhoid fever at the age of 15. They decided that since they could no longer do anything for their own child, they would use their financial resources to help other people’s children achieve their goals. The cornerstone for Stanford University was laid in May of 1887. The first students started classes in October of the same year.

From the start, Stanford was a different kind of university.

It was coeducational, for one thing. Unlike most other institution of higher learning established at the time, Stanford was not affiliated with any particular religious faith. Students who choose to attend Stanford University have the opportunity to take advantage of the low (6.4-1) faculty to student ratio to interact with their instructors.

The Master’s degree program in Music, Science and Technology offered by Stanford is one year in length. This is a good choice for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree in science or engineering. This program was developed to provide engineers with additional training to prepare them for careers where they need a good understanding of music perception, music related signal processing and controllers, and synthesis.


The following are examples of the types of courses students majoring in Music, Science and Technology would take:

  • Advanced Sound-Recording Technology
  • Composing, Coding, and Performance for Laptop Orchestra
  • Composition and Performance of Instrumental Music with Electronics
  • Composition for Electronic Musicians
  • Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Spatial Processing
  • Foundations of Sound-Recording Technology
  • Fundamentals of Computer-Generated Sound
  • Human-Computer Interface Theory and Practice
  • Introduction to Digital Audio Signal Processing
  • Musical Acoustics
  • Musical Information: An Introduction
  • Perceptual Audio Coding
  • Psychophysics and Music Cognition
  • Signal Processing Models in Musical Acoustics
  • Software Design and Implementation for Computer Music

Applying to Stanford

Stanford accepts online applications for graduate school. Each department sets its own deadlines for submitting forms and supporting documents. In the case of prospective graduate students in Music, an applicant must have obtained the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in Music. The school starts processing applications in early September each year for admissions the following year in September.

The deadline for submitting applications is December 15 at midnight.

Along with the application form, official transcripts must be provided. They must be forwarded directly from the school in a sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the Graduate Admission Department will request that the applicant forward another copy.

GREs are also required. Stanford doesn’t have a minimum level for consideration, but the test results must be provided. Students whose first language is not English are asked to take the TOEFL test.

If the TOEFL test is a computer-based one, the minimum score required for admission is 250. For Internet-based tests, the minimum is 100. Applicants who have written paper tests must have obtained a score of 600 or higher. The test should have been taken during the past 18 months.


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