The Master of Arts in

is offered jointly by the University of Geneva (Musicology Unit), the University of Neuchâtel (Institute of Ethnology), and the Geneva HEM. Historically, ethnomusicology, a discipline aimed at encouraging a better understanding of the world through the study of music, combines three dominant approaches: formal parameters identified by musicologists; contexts and social usages of interest to ethnologists; and acquisition of knowledge through musical practice cultivated in conservatories. While specialists now agree that these three approaches are complementary and indispensable, few programs bring them together. The Master's degree in Ethnomusicology is the first in Switzerland, and one of the very few worldwide, to combine these three complementary and indispensable approaches.

Led by a team of experts who closely collaborate with the professional milieu, the program also takes advantage of a broad network of international contacts. With this program, students acquire the theoretical and methodological competencies of ethnomusicology. The program includes a unit of reflective practice of extra-European music as well as an internship or fieldwork.

Programme length

2 years (4 semesters)

Languages of instruction

Knowledge of English is essential.

Conditions of registration

Admission Conditions

Bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education in Switzerland, or a degree judged equivalent. The Master's degree in Ethnomusicology is aimed at three student profiles: musicologists, musicians, and ethnologists. With some targeted complementary studies, it is also open to students with no prior training in one of those three branches.
Admission is based on an application and an interview.


Admission is based on an application (admission form, cover letter, CV, copies of diplomas) that is submitted to the Institution in which the student wishes to enroll. The admission process involves the evaluation of the application as well as an interview.
Deadline for candidates that hold a foreign bachelor's degree: 28 February 2024
(30 April 2024 for candidates that hold a Swiss bachelor's degree at the start of the next academic year AND, according to their nationality, are not subject to a visa for entry into Switzerland for more than 90 days, according to Swiss government requirements and regardless of their current place of residence, or for candidates holding a Swiss residence permit that is valid beyond 30 April.)
Admission examination: en mai 2024

The Master of Arts in ethnomusicology

4 semesters (max. 6 semesters) | 120 ECTS credits
Theory and history of the discipline (24 credits)
Methods in ethnomusicology (24 credits)
Ethnomusicological practices (12 credits)
Thematic module (12 credits)
Internship according to the orientation (18 credits)
Thesis (30 credits)


The Scientific Committee for the Master's degree in Ethnomusicology encourages students to take some of their courses abroad at one of numerous partner institutions.

Professional Prospects

With its multi-disciplinary approach, the Master's degree leads to a variety of career prospects, including teaching non-western music, cultural mediation, preservation or valorization of audiovisual heritage, musical publishing, and positions with cultural institutions (museums, festivals, cultural centers). Graduates will also have access to the fields of artistic creation, cultural journalism, North-South cooperation, academic research, and conservatories of non-western music.

Contact information

Academic Advisors
Ms Sandra Rubal
T. +41 (0)22 379 73 11
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Master Admissions, post-graduate studies, applicants without a Swiss school-leaving diploma, advanced standing
Mr Olivier Frutiger
T. +41 (0)22 379 73 13
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M. Nicolas Fornerod
T. +41 (0)22 379 73 18
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