Music Theory

The theory program consists of a core curriculum devoted to the theory and analysis of tonal and 20th-century music, complemented by seminars in a wide variety of topics. The topics reflect musicological as well as theoretical interests. 

Degrees Offered

Undergraduate - Bachelor of Arts (BA) with an emphasis in Western Art Music

Learn more about the BA degree with an emphasis in Western Art Music in the Music Department, Undergraduate Program section of UCSB's General Catalog

Graduate - Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Learn more about the MA and the PhD Music Theory degrees in the Music Department, Graduate Program section of UCSB's General Catalog.


Lee Rothfarb | Professor
Benjamin Levy | Associate Professor
David Paul | Associate Professor
Janet Bourne | Assistant Professor

Graduate Students

Graduate Student Successes

The Theory Program at UCSB is proud to have a long list of distinguished alumni who have gone on to active careers in music and who currently hold academic positions at institutions across the country.  
Joel Hunt (Ph.D., 2016), Assistant Teaching Professor, Pennsylvania State University, Behrend
Rachel Short (Ph.D., 2016), Assistant Professor, Shenandoah University, Conservatory of Music
Laura Emmery (Ph.D., 2014), Assistant Professor, Emory University
Michael Vitalino (Ph.D., 2014), Associate Professor, Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam
Malia Roberson (Ph.D., 2012), Lecturer, California State University, Channel Islands
Ramin Haghjoo (Ph.D., 2010), Tutor, Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe (Galway, Ireland)
Andre Mount (Ph.D., 2010), Associate Professor, Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam
Russ Knight (Ph.D., 2008), Lecturer, Pomona College
Sara Overholt (Ph.D., 2006), Adjunct Assistant Professor, Hunter College, CUNY
Gordon Root (Ph.D., 2006), Associate Professor, SUNY Fredonia
Susan de Ghize (Ph.D., 2003), Associate Professor, Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Ildar Khannanov (Ph.D., 2003), Professor, Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University
Mark McFarland (Ph.D., 1997), Associate Professor, Georgia State University
John McGinness (Ph.D., 1996), Professor, Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam
Ann Stimson (Ph.D., 1996), Lecturer, Ohio State University, Kenyon College

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