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Office of the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies

McMaster Academic Planner (MAP) - Faculty of Science

Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour – Music Cognition Specialization

The Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour – Music Cognition Specialization is unique among North American universities, providing students with a combined background in cognitive neuroscience and music. Such training prepares students for interdisciplinary research into the cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience of music, as well as applied careers in audiology and music therapy.

Coursework builds both a strong foundation in musicology (including music history, harmony, and music analysis) and an equally strong foundation in psychology (including memory, cognition, sensation and perception). The Music Cognition Specialization prepares students for a wide variety of professional careers integrating music cognition, cognitive psychology, and the science of performance.

Program Type

Honours of Bachelor of Science

Degree on Graduation

Limited Enrollment

Learn More About Level 2 Program Types

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program requires Advanced Rudiments (or Grade 2 Rudiments) from the Royal Conservatory of Music (a grade of 80% or above, within the last two years), or MUSIC 1C03 (with a grade of at least B), or a grade of 65% or above on a qualifying music theory exam administered by the School of the Arts (SOTA).

Enrolment in this program is limited.

Admission is by selection but requires, as a minimum, completion of any Level 1 program with a Grade Point Average of at least 5.0 including:

  • 1 course from PSYCH 1XX3, 1FF3 with a grade of at least 7.0 (B-)
  • 1 course from MATH 1A03, 1LS3
  • BIOLOGY 1A03, 1M03
  • 1 course from MEDPHYS 1A03, CHEM 1A03, PHYSICS 1A03, 1C03
  • 1 course from MUSIC 1A03, 1AA3
  • 3 courses from the Science 1 Course List

Typical Second-Year Courses


Human Perception & Congition


Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology


Animal Behaviour & Evolution


Integrative PNB Through Scientific Writing


Description Statistics and Research Methods


Perspective in PNB


PNB Tutorial


Introduction to Music Cognition