Frequently Asked Questions
The most important documents are
- Transcript of undergraduate degree (MSMT is open to all majors)
- English proficiency IELTS or TOEFL see https://grad.gatech.edu/english-proficiency
- GRE (optional)
- Webpage featuring a music and tech portfolio of the applicant
- 3 recommendation letters
Your portfolio should include links to easily accessible and clearly structured website(s) that contain a variety of items showcasing your relevant background and skills, including but not limited to audio and video recordings, writing examples and publications, research project descriptions, source code, etc. More specifically, the items in the portfolio should give a comprehensive picture of your musical skills (e.g., performance, composition, theory, production), your technical skills (e.g., programming, machine learning, dsp), and scholarly skills (e.g., scientific writing, research projects), as well as all other skills you believe could be relevant to your application/our degree. The goal of the portfolio is to give us a good understanding of your knowledge, experience, and skills beyond grades and statements.
Generally, it is better to show than to tell. For example, show us a source-code repository, or show us the score or a recording of a performance of a piece, rather than just talking about them.
The statement of purpose is your opportunity to tell us why you are interested in studying music technology and why we are the right place for you. Talk about research questions you’d like to explore, ideas for inventions you’d like to design, skills you’d like to acquire, or creative projects you want to realize. Tell us what your career aspirations are.
Try to be specific about how your ideas/aspirations relate to specific faculty members or research labs in the Center for Music Technology. For example, mention specific things like “machine learning,” “music psychology,” “immersive audio,” or “robotic musicianship.”
We look at your transcript, CV, portfolio, and other documents and try to assess, among others, your musical skills (performance, composition, arrangement, production, theory, …), your technical skills (coding, DSP, machine learning, hardware, …), your research experience (publications, writing examples, lab experience, …), and your academic and creative work record. However, more than anything, we assess whether your interests and aspirations fit into our program.
Generally, we want to see letters from professionals who can directly attest to specific skills and experience you mention in your portfolio. This is usually a professor you studied under or an employer you worked for. Obviously, you want people who will speak highly of you, but it is also important that they can say specific things about your skills, so they should (ideally) know you fairly well.
We are looking for students who are passionate about creative applications of music technology and/or the development of new music technology and music science. Do you have ideas for the next amazing music app or hardware instrument? Do you have deep questions about how music is structured, how music evokes emotion, or how different people and cultures use music? Do you have a creative vision that you can’t realize with existing technology? We are looking for you!
Our Masters program is open to anyone with a bachelor's degree, regardless of your major. Many of our students majored in music, electrical engineering, computer science, psychology, education or similar fields, but any major can work.
We are generally looking for students with some combination of musical skill (conventional instruments or modern production), technical skill (coding, math, physics, engineering, etc.), or scholarly/scientific experience (scientific methodology, scholarly writing, etc.). However, you don’t necessarily need to have all three of these things, as long as you are ready and willing to engage with and grow the skills you are currently missing when you join our program.
Generally, our program is not the right place for anyone who is “only” interested in conventional music performance, composition, or production. We are not necessarily the best place to start a career making music, or as an avenue to enter the music industry as an artist or producer. Many of our students do have or pursue music-industry careers, but this is in addition to their more “technical” pursuits.
Music production (recording, mixing, DJing, etc.) is a relatively small part of our program. If your aspiration is to make beats or produce music using existing technology---microphones, mixing boards, Digital Audio Workstations (e.g. ProTools, FL studio)---, we are not the best place for you. On the other hand, if you want to design better microphones or develop your own DAW or DSP plugins, you’ve found the right place.
The MSMT is a two-year program requiring 48 credit hours (16 classes) to graduate. A minimum of 30 credit hours have to be taken in Music Tech, the remaining hours can be taken as electives across campus after approval by the academic advisor. Details can be found here.
Research and creativity are both integral parts of our curriculum, and all of our graduate students work on original research or creative projects. Research/creativity in music technology is very diverse, so there are many possibilities. To get ideas about the work we do, and the work you might do if you study with us, read about our research/creative labs, areas of study, and research opportunities at https://music.gatech.edu/research.
Positions are limited and depend on availability of funding. Most funding is allocated during the application review and acceptance process: Exceptional candidates with the right skillsets and experience will be offered funding at the same time that they are notified of acceptance into the program. Other funding opportunities may arise closer to the start of the semester, or even from semester to semester.
Funded students must work 13 hours a week (typically) as Graduate Research Assistants (GRA) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA). GRA and GTA funding covers your tuition and also pays a small monthly stipend.
All accepted PhD students are fully funded.
Check out these links:
We have also compiled a list of options for additional aid here: https://music.gatech.edu/scholarships-fellowships-assistantships
Thanks to the interdisciplinarity of our program and their individual skills and backgrounds, our graduate students pursue many different career paths and work in many different places. An incomplete list of companies who have hired multiple of our graduate students includes (alphabetically) Amazon, Apple, Bose, Dolby, Gracenote, HARMAN, Microsoft, Netflix, Qualcomm, Samsung, Shure, and TikTok. Many graduates have also pursued careers in education, design, and of course, music production and performance.
A considerable number of graduates also pursue PhD studies either at Georgia Tech or across the world, as our research-heavy curriculum prepares them for and piques their interest in research.