Ethnomusicology at Kent State

Develop research techniques and learn about musical communities around the world while gaining valuable experience performing global music in one or more of our ensembles. Our Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology culminates in one of three tracks based on your individual needs and interests:

  • Write a thesis: prepare for a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology or related field by conducting fieldwork and writing a substantive original paper.
  • Complete an internship: work in an archives, museum, or other public arts space of your choice as you prepare for a career in Applied Ethnomusicology or other public sector work.
  • Create a capstone project: give yourself maximum flexibility by working with our faculty to create your own individualized project that showcases your research, writing, teaching, outreach, and/or performance skills. 

Our graduates have continued on to Ph.D. programs at leading institutions such as the University of California, Indiana University, University of Illinois, Florida State University, and the University of Pittsburgh. They have found work at the Library of Congress and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have been awarded prestigious Fulbright fellowships. 

We also offer a World Music Minor, open to Kent State undergraduate students of any major.  Feed your passion for music by studying Ethnomusicology and performing in our ensembles – no prior experience necessary! Working closely with our ensembles is our World Music Society, a student organization dedicated to supporting our world music ensembles and ethnomusicology program. For more information about the minor or the student organization, please contact Dr. Janine Tiffe (

The ethnomusicology program at Kent State University boasts the first and one of the only Thai Music Ensembles in the United States. In addition, students can participate in the Caribbean Steelband, the Chinese Ensemble, or the African Music Ensemble. Our faculty specializes in the musics of East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.

We welcome applications from outstanding students throughout the world. Information about applying to the program can be found here. For more information, please contact Dr. Jennifer Johnstone ( or Dr. Andrew Shahriari (


Jennifer Johnstone, Ph.D.Eve McPherson, Ph.D.
Janine Tiffe, Ph.D.Priwan Nanongkham, Ph.D.
Denise Seachrist, Ph.D.Andrew Shahriari, Ph.D.



Degrees and Programs


M.A. in Ethnomusicology


World Music Minor

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