Integrative Studies

The graduate program in Integrative Studies (IS) promotes an engagement with contemporary music activity and discourse that integrates diverse methodologies, experiences, learning styles and resources.

The graduate program in Integrative Studies (IS) promotes an engagement with contemporary music activity and discourse that integrates diverse methodologies, experiences, learning styles and resources. IS respects multiple ways of knowing and seeks to explore connections among ideas and processes in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Students are encouraged to combine their artistic and academic pursuits, to think systematically, critically and reflectively, and to focus on the articulations and points of overlap between specialized and generalized knowledge. Drawing on diverse fields including cultural theory, new media studies, ethnomusicology, improvisation, cognitive science and systems theory, among others, the IS program combines an exploration of contemporary Western and non-Western music-making with an examination of ideas and concepts that are relevant to its nature, creation, production, and reception.

This integrative and interactive environment encourages cross-fertilization and hybridity between diverse musical forms and the theoretical and critical discourses that surround them, often drawing in those who may not fit categories of "composer" or "performer," or those whose work is not constrained by traditional disciplinary boundaries. Core seminars explore multiple ways of thinking about music -including critical, cognitive, and intercultural approaches - in tandem with creative practices that frequently incorporate new technologies and integrate diverse media and forms. Student-generated projects and collaborations are encouraged and promoted with formal juries conducted by the faculty.

The program is comprised of four interconnected specialties: critical studies, ethnomusicology, systems inquiry, and creative practice. IS graduate students initially enroll in introductory courses taught by core faculty members designed to present an overview of each specialty and to generate possibilities for future independent and collaborative research. In subsequent quarters students choose between a variety of focused and revolving topic seminars in each of the four primary specialties. By the end of their first year in residency students declare a primary and secondary specialty within the program. Seminars offered in other departments - for instance in Visual Arts, Literature, Theater and Dance, Anthropology, Communication, Ethnic Studies, Cognitive Science, Psychology, or Computer Science - are encouraged and may fulfill degree requirements, if approved by a student's faculty advisor.

Exposure to a range of disciplines and interdisciplinary methods prepares students to pursue innovative artistic/academic projects and careers. The program teaches students to situate and contextualize knowledge and practices on a broad intellectual and artistic continuum and to recognize the responsibilities and opportunities associated with living in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

Resources
for Graduates