MSc/PhD Applications

Information for prospective graduate students

Many thanks to all those expressed interest in joining the lab next Fall. Dr. Schutz has finished reviewing and interviewing prospective members, and will not be accepting further applications at this time. We will post more information on this page in coming months regarding next year’s recruitment.

The MAPLE (Music, Acoustics, Perception and LEarning) lab at McMaster University has one potential trainee opening for Fall 2022 (either MSc or PhD level).  The successful applicant will join an NSERC-funded project exploring acoustic complexity, with the dual goals of (a) enhancing our basic understanding of timbre, and (b) applying this knowledge to the redesign of auditory alarms in medical devices through collaboration with an international team to create more effective human-computer interfaces optimizing surgical outcomes.  For a general overview of this work, please see Dr. Schutz’s recent TEDx talk at

The first stem of this project (theoretical background) is described here in our Scientific Reports (Nature) article, and the second (applied) here in our recent article in Applied Ergonomics.

Applicants will need a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Computer Science, or another affiliated discipline. Experience with computer programming and statistical analyses will be viewed favourably but is not required. Questions beyond those addressed here can be directed to Dr. Michael Schutz ( Please include a CV, unofficial transcript, brief writing sample, and indication of citizenship/residency status (i.e. Canadian or non-Canadian) with your inquiry.

New: Applications received by the deadline stated on the departmental page will receive a full review.  Note that late applications will be accepted, but those received on time will receive first consideration.  To streamline the review process, please email Dr. Schutz an electronic copy of materials (including names and contact information for references) IN ADDITION to submitting a the formal application.  Although a formal application is necessary for consideration, emailing them directly will ensure they become available for review more quickly.

As the School of the Arts is focused on undergraduate education, graduate students interested in research training matriculate through the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB).  However, those interested in connections between the cognitive science of language and music can apply to work in the lab by enrolling in McMaster’s new and innovative graduate program in the Cognitive Science of Language.  Please contact Dr. Schutz directly before applying if you are interested in this option.


Links with additional information:

McMaster Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour:

Additional information on McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind:

Graduate program in Cognitive Science of Language