About the department

Founded in 1946, the Department of Music enriches the cultural and intellectual life of Washington University and the St. Louis area. Our distinguished research faculty publishes widely on concert and popular musics. We offer graduate and undergraduate degrees, as well as courses designed for non-majors. Any Washington University student may enroll in private music lessons or participate in a variety of ensembles. Student composers are a special focus of our curriculum. The department sponsors over 80 concerts and lectures annually - including our Great Artists Series, which brings internationally-known classical music performers to campus.

Our Community

Each semester, over five hundred students participate in music at Washington University. Our concerts and events draw an annual combined audience of ten thousand. We invite you to join our musical community - including membership in the Friends of Music, an organization that supports student music making.


Yihan Li playing the piano

Yihan Li performs the Prelude from Claude Debussy’s 'Pour le Piano'

Yihan Li, a senior majoring in biochemistry and in music performs the Prelude to Debussy’s musical manifesto in the 560 Music Center’s historic E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall.

PhD Programs in Music

We are a supportive community of faculty and graduate students located on a beautiful campus in a musically-rich city. With a low student-to-faculty ratio, individual attention is a hallmark of our department. All students accepted for the Ph.D. program receive generous six-year funding packages, with additional support for language study, research, and conference travel.

More information about our graduate programs

The Music Department at Washington University

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