How to Apply

Apply to our program

The Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Folklore and Ethnomusicology. We accept students for graduate work starting in the Fall semester each year. The deadline for applications is December 1.

Components of the application process

The personal statement should be approximately 800–1,200 words and should clearly indicate whether you are applying to the Ethnomusicology Institute or the Folklore Institute. Briefly describe your background and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. For example, you might describe what you hope to learn and do while here, and discuss your proposed research area and/or project. Briefly explain how your proposed plan of study fits with your future professional and/or academic goals.

Applicants for the Ph.D. must have an M.A. by the time of matriculation into our Ph.D. program, and they also should include a brief description of their proposed dissertation research.

Applicants for the M.A. who wish to continue on to the Ph.D. program after completion of our M.A., should make note of that in their personal statement.

Once complete, upload your personal statement as a PDF.

Submit a sample of your writing, such as a term paper, thesis chapter, published article, or other piece of written work that demonstrates your ability to communicate well in non-fiction prose.

Upload your writing sample as a PDF.

Upload your CV or resume as a PDF.

When possible, request letters from faculty members or other professionals who are familiar with your academic abilities and your ability to do scholarly work.

Please allow plenty of time for your letters to arrive by the December 1 deadline. We recommend notifying them ahead of time that you will be submitting an admissions application.

Indiana University students, from any campus, do not need to submit Indiana University transcripts.

Students should have all transcripts from colleges attended sent directly by the schools to the department at 800 E 3rd St., Bloomington, IN 47405. If you are sending official electronic transcripts please use as the recipient email. We will not accept a transcript mailed by the student unless it is in an officially sealed, unopened envelope from the university.

International students should mail officially sealed, unopened transcripts, including English translations in a packet to the Office of International Services.

All applicants to the M.A. program must have a Bachelor’s degree (international students must have the U.S. equivalent of a 4-year Bachelor’s degree) preferably in a field related to Folklore (such as American Studies, Anthropology, English, History, etc.), or Ethnomusicology (such as Anthropology, Global or International Studies, Music, etc.). An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better is required, and the degree must be completed by the time of matriculation into the graduate program.

All applicants to the Ph.D. program must have a Master’s degree in a field related to Folklore (such as American Studies, Anthropology, English, History, etc.), or Ethnomusicology (such as Anthropology, Global or International Studies, Music, etc.). The Master’s degree must be completed by the time of matriculation into the graduate program.

GRE scores are not required.

If you wish to send your send GRE scores, if you do so electronically use Institution Code 1324. A Departmental Code is not needed. Only official scores sent directly from ETS will be accepted.

These scores are required only for international applicants whose native language is not English.

Send TOEFL or IELTS scores electronically. Use Institution code 1324, Department code 0000. Only official scores directly from ETS will be accepted.

Due to the time it may take for scores to be transmitted, you should plan on taking the TOEFL or IELTS at least 2 months prior to the application deadline of December 1st.

TOEFL: A minimum score of 79 is required for admission.
IELTS: A minimum score of 6.5 is required for admission.

Admissions criteria & decisions

To ensure consideration of your application, all of the required items should arrive by the time the admissions committee begins to meet, normally December 1.

Applications are evaluated by faculty members on the basis of a combination of criteria including academic record, personal statement, academic background and experience, and letters of recommendation.

Formal education in Western classical music is NOT a requirement for acceptance to the Ethnomusicology program.

Applicants will be informed about decisions near the end of February via email, so it is important that a current email address is submitted with the application. If you do not hear from us by the first week in March, contact our admissions coordinator for information.

Visiting & Recruitment

If you’d like to plan a visit to the Indiana University Bloomington campus to meet with faculty, visit classes, and explore what Bloomington has to offer, email Program Specialist Toni Arcuri: We also have a student visit day on March 4, 2022.

Read about the Get You Into IU program, which offers minority and under-represented applicants transportation and accommodation for a campus visit to learn more about our graduate program. Please complete the FreeApp request form to find out if you qualify for an application fee waiver.

Learn more about guided or self-tours


If admitted, you will be automatically considered for various graduate assistantships (GAs) and associate instructorships (AIs) available to first-year students in Folklore and/or Ethnomusicology. Visit our financial support page for more information about these and other fellowships and awards for which you may qualify.