07.00 Graduate Research Curricula (MA, PhD)

Contents:

07.01 General Information – MA and PhD degrees
07.02 The Master of Arts Degree
07.02.01 List of Majors – MA
07.02.02 Residency & Time Limit – MA
07.02.03 Applied Music Study – MA
07.02.04 MA – Major in Composition
07.02.05 MA – Major in Music Education
07.02.06 MA – Major in Musicology
07.02.07 MA – Major in Ethnomusicology
07.02.08 MA – Major in Music Theory
07.02.09 MA – Major in Pedagogy of Music Theory
07.03 The Doctor of Philosophy Degree
07.03.01 List of Majors – PhD
07.03.02 Residency & Time Limit – PhD
07.03.03 Foreign Language Requirements – PhD
07.03.04 Transcripts
07.03.05 Program of Study – PhD
07.03.06 Candidacy & Qualifying Exam – PhD
07.03.07 Dissertation & Final Examination – PhD
07.03.08 PhD – Major in Composition
07.03.09 PhD – Major in Music Education
07.03.10 PhD – Major in Musicology
07.03.11 PhD – Major in Music Theory

07.01 General Information – MA and PhD degrees

Activity in the division of Graduate Research Studies is governed by the Graduate Research Committee, a faculty committee comprising representatives from all departments with majors in the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs, chaired by the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. It will be noted that graduate work in composition or music education may also be undertaken within the division of Graduate Professional Studies, although the respective programs will reveal differences in emphasis and course content.

Some of the majors within the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs require a thesis or dissertation. Full command of written English is assumed for students admitted to these programs and is required before students are permitted to begin these projects.

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07.02 The Master of Arts Degree

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree may major in Composition, Music Education, Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Music Theory, or Pedagogy of Music Theory.

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07.02.01 List of Majors – MA

The following majors are offered within the master of arts degree program:

  • Composition
  • Music Education
  • Musicology
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Music Theory
  • Pedagogy of Music Theory

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07.02.02 Residency & Time Limit – MA

The basic residence requirement for the master of arts degree is one year of full-time study or its equivalent (for musicology majors, two years). Students holding a graduate award (who normally take no more than 24 credits during a year) or those who find it necessary to take part-time employment should plan to devote at least two years to the master’s degree program. Graduate award holders majoring in Pedagogy of Music Theory can complete their programs in one year of full-time residence plus one summer session. No assurance can be given that the requirements for any program can be completed in one academic year or through summers-only enrollments. The exception to this general rule is the Master of Arts in Music Education “summers-only” program which may be completed through consecutive summer enrollment.

Requirements for the master of arts degree are expected to be completed within five years after the work is begun. Students who do not finish their program within five years may petition the Graduate Research Committee for an extension of time. Such extension, if granted, will be of limited duration. Please refer to the graduate calendar for submission deadlines.

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07.02.03 Applied Music Study – MA

All students in the master of arts degree program are encouraged to avail themselves of the School’s applied music instruction. The area and extent of such study will be determined in consultation with the advisor. Students majoring in musicology and music theory are expected to cultivate a proficiency on a keyboard instrument, even if their principal instrument is not the piano, organ, or harpsichord.

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07.02.04 MA – Major in Composition

Degree requirement checklist for MA Composition

Prerequisites: Prerequisites for the MA in Composition include at least 18 credit hours in undergraduate composition courses or the equivalent, at least 12 credit hours of lower division theory courses, and at least 12 credit hours of upper division courses in counterpoint and orchestration or equivalent. In addition, before admission to the master’s program, at least one large-scale work for ensemble should have been composed.

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Upon entry to the program, master’s students take placement exams in music theory and history. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the master’s degree program of study. The same is true of any English language instruction that is required.

Residency: one year of full-time study required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Courses Credits
CMP 401, 402 (Advanced Composition) 6
CMP 491, 492 (Composition Symposium) 2
CMP 421, 422 (Advanced Computer Music Techniques) 6
CMP 412 (Compositional Practice ca. 1925-1955) 3
Electives: chosen in consultation with the advisor depending on the background, needs, and special interests of the student. Electives may include 3 credits of CMP 590 (Seminar in Composition). At least 9 credits must be in areas other than composition and applied study. 9-12
CMP 495 (MA Thesis)*There are two components of the thesis: 1.) an extended composition for ensemble prepared under the guidance of the thesis advisor and 2.) an essay on a philosophical, analytical, or theoretical topic relevant to the art and/or craft of contemporary composition. The complete thesis will be reviewed by a committee of faculty who will evaluate the work. The committee’s approval of the thesis is a necessary prerequisite to degree conferral. 5-8
ESM 460 (Comprehensive Review)Comprehensive Review: Students are required to present a 30-minute lecture on their own music and progress toward the degree, followed by a question and answer session. This lecture will function as a comprehensive review and be evaluated by the Eastman composition faculty. The lecture will occur during the final semester of the master student’s course of studies. The departmental chair will schedule the lecture as part of a regular meeting of the weekly Composition Symposium.
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Minimum Credits** 34

*For students who enrolled prior to fall 2010, CMP 495 MA Thesis requirement is 6 credits and total credits requirement is 32-35 credits.

**For students who matriculate prior to fall 2012, the total number of credits for the degree is 31-37.

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07.02.05 MA – Major in Music Education

MA – Major in Music Education (Professional Studies)

Degree requirement checklist for MA in Music Education (Professional Studies)

Note: This is an appropriate degree program for those seeking New York State Professional Certification in Music.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites for entrance to the program include a high standard of scholarship, and breadth of musical and general education.

Upon entry to the program, students take placement exams in music theory and history. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the master’s degree program of study. The same is true of any English language instruction that is required.

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required, except for students in the Summers-Only program (see below). See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Thesis Option Field Project Option
Courses Credits Courses Credits
MUE 402
Measurement and Evaluation
3 MUE 402
Measurement and Evaluation
3
MUE 403
Introduction to Research
3 MUE 403
Introduction to Research
3
MUE 501
History and Philosophy of
Music Education Seminar
3 MUE 501
History and Philosophy of
Music Education Seminar
3
MUE 502
Curriculum Seminar
3 MUE 502
Curriculum Seminar
3
    MUE 465
Instrumental Techniques OR
CND 423
Choral Conducting OR
CND 424
Choral Techniques
2-3
MUE 471
Teaching Internship
2
Electives in Music Theory, Composition, or Orchestration 3-4 Electives in Music Theory, Composition, or Orchestration 3-4
Electives in Music Education 3-4 Unspecified Electives
(no more than 6 credits of applied study and no more than 2 credits of ensemble)
7-9
Unspecified Electives (total of 10 elective credits required) 2-4
MUE 495
MA Thesis1
8 MUE 473
Field Project2
4
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 30 Total Credits 31-33
  1. Master of Arts degree students majoring in Music Education may apply to the Music Education faculty for permission to write a thesis as part of their degree program. Such application is made after the student has completed at least two 400-level (or higher) music education courses, one of which must be MUE 403 (Introduction to Research). Those granted permission to write a thesis will, after its completion, defend it in an oral examination by the departmental faculty.
  2. Please note that course work contributes and leads up to the Field Project, thus notes and text books from all courses should be retained through to the completeion of the entire degree. For further information on MUE 473 Field Project, please see: MA MUE Field Project Guidelines and Research Subjects Review Board (RSRB) Requirements.

MA MUE Summers-Only Program

Summers-only study is available for students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education (with Professional Certification) program. Normally, a Summers-Only student has full-time employment as a music teacher and completes the majority of coursework for the degree during consecutive summer sessions. For those music teachers employed in the Rochester area, a limited number of courses may be completed during the Fall and Spring semesters.

For complete details please see: MUE_summers_only

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07.02.05.01 MA – Major in Music Education (leading to New York State Initial plus Professional Certification in Music)

See also: 02.17 Teacher Certification in New York State

Degree requirement checklist for MA Music Education (Initial plus Professional Certification – Instrumental)

Degree requirement checklist for MA Music Education (Initial plus Professional Certification – Vocal)

Degree requirement checklist for MA Music Education (Initial plus Professional Certification – General)

Note: This degree program may be pursued only through full-time enrollment.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites for entrance to the program include a high standard of scholarship, and breadth of musical and general education.

Completion of an undergraduate degree in music (Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, or equivalent) is necessary for matriculation. In rare cases where the undergraduate degree was obtained in another field, the transcript must show the equivalent of 40 hours of music content area study in applied music lessons, ensemble participation, music theory and aural skills, music history, and keyboard.

Upon entry to the program, students take placement exams in music theory and history. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the master’s degree program of study. The same is true of any English language instruction that is required.

Residency: This degree program may be pursued only through full-time enrollment. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Courses Credits
Pedagogical-Content Courses  
MUE 402 (Measurement and Evaluation) 3
MUE 403 (Introduction to Research) 3
MUE 501 (History and Philosophy of Music Education) 3
MUE 502 (Curriculum Seminar) 3
Other  
Electives in Music Theory, Orchestration, and/or Composition 3-4
Electives (no more than 6 credits of applied study and no more than 2 credits of ensemble) 6
Pedagogical Core (see below) 17-18
Final ProjectMUE 473 (Field Project in Music Education)1 4
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 42-44

Pedagogical Core: Instrumental Music Emphasis

Courses Credits
MUE 411 (Early Childhood Music Education) ORMUE 412 (Elementary General Music Methods)ORMUE 413 (Secondary General Music Methods) 2
MUE 419 (Secondary Instrumental Rehearsals: Winds/Perc) ORMUE 420 (Secondary Instrumental Rehearsals: Strings) 2
MUE 465 (Instrumental Techniques: Winds/Percussion) 3
MUE 466 (Instrumental Techniques: Strings) 3
ED 447 (Disability in Schools) 3
MUE 472 (Internship for Certification) 4
Total Credits 17

Pedagogical Core: Vocal Music Emphasis

Courses Credits
MUE 412 (Elementary General Music Methods) 2
MUE 413 (Secondary General Music Methods) 2
MUE 414 (Elementary and Middle School Choral Methods) 2
MUE 415 (High School Choral Music) 2
MUE 465 (Instrumental Techniques: Winds/Percussion) ORMUE 466 (Instrumental Techniques: Strings) 3
ED 447 (Disability in Schools) 3
MUE 472 (Internship for Certification) 4
Total Credits 18

Pedagogical Core: General Music Emphasis

Courses Credits
MUE 411 (Early Childhood Music Education) 2
MUE 412 (Elementary General Music Methods) 2
MUE 413 (Secondary General Music Methods) 2
MUE 414 (Elementary and Middle School Choral Methods) 2
MUE 465 (Instrumental Techniques: Winds/Percussion) ORMUE 466 (Instrumental Techniques: Strings) 3
ED 447 (Disability in Schools) 3
MUE 472 (Internship for Certification) 4
Total Credits 18
  1. Please note that course work contributes and leads up to the Field Project, thus notes and text books from all courses should be retained through to the completeion of the entire degree. For further information on MUE 473 Field Project, please see: MA MUE Field Project Guidelines and Research Subjects Review Board (RSRB) Requirements.

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07.02.06 MA – Major in Musicology

The MA in Musicology is awarded after completing 30 credits of coursework towards the PhD in Musicology, including the two Introduction courses, one Theory course, four Musicology seminars, and one foreign language examination.

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07.02.07 MA – Major in Ethnomusicology

Degree requirement checklist for MA Ethnomusicology

Prerequisites: The prerequisite for entrance to the MA in Ethnomusicology degree is a bachelor’s degree with at least one undergraduate course, or equivalent, in world music. Ethnomusicology candidates will be interviewed and admitted to the Musicology Department via the same process as incoming musicology students, which includes, among other things, the evaluation of writing samples. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the master’s degree program of study. The same is true of any English language instruction that is required

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Courses Credits
MUY 501 (Introduction to Musicology) 4
MUY 502 (Introduction to Ethnomusicology) 4
ETH 480 (Approaches to Ethnography) 3
ENS 415-417 (World Music Ensembles) 4
ETH 495 (MA Thesis)A student enrolled in ETH 485 Fieldwork: Research and Analysis during the process of writing a fieldwork-based thesis may use this course to fulfill the requirement for ETH 495 M.A. Thesis if permission has been granted by both the student’s advisor and the instructor of the course. 4
Elective in Theory or other music topic 3
Additional Electives: Course numbers must be at the 200-level or above, taken from a variety of courses offered at Eastman and/or the River Campus according to the student’s interests. Students may also enroll in additional world music ensembles for elective credit (to a maximum of two credits) and/or take an ETH independent study. Electives may include up to six credits of applied music study. 13
Comprehensive Oral Exam: The comprehensive exam is taken after the thesis proposal has been submitted and approved by a committee consisting of three professors who are familiar with the student’s work. The examination will be structured in two parts: part one will focus on the student’s course work; part two will include questions pertaining to the thesis. The degree will be awarded when the exam is completed satisfactorily and the thesis has been approved by all members of the committee.  
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 35

Foreign language: There is no foreign language requirement for this major, except in those instances where the knowledge of a foreign language is essential to research or other work in a specific field.

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07.02.08 MA – Major in Music Theory

Students who have satisfied the following requirements are eligible for the master of arts degree in music theory:

  • successful completion of the master’s exam
  • completion at least 30 hours of credit
  • minimum of 9-10 credits of music courses taken outside the theory department
  • completion of the foreign language requirements

Students should confer with their advisor, who will confirm with the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the awarding of the degree. If the requirements are not met, the master’s degree may be conferred at a later point in the student’s MA/PhD course of study.

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07.02.09 MA – Major in Pedagogy of Music Theory

Degree requirement checklist for MA in Pedagogy of Music Theory

This degree is intended for those who wish to focus on a teaching career in music theory (with emphasis in pedagogy, aural and keyboard skills, composition, and cognition), or graduate students who wish to complete a dual-degree program in Performance & Literature (MM or DMA) and Music Theory.

Prerequisites: Candidates from a variety of musical and academic backgrounds are welcome to apply for this program, although some experience in upper-level theoretical work is normally required. Students must demonstrate the requisite skills and motivation for a teaching career.

Upon entry in the program, students take placement exams in music theory and history required of all entering graduate students at Eastman. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count on the master’s degree program of study. The same is true of any English language instruction that is required.

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Courses Credits
TH 521 or 421 (Pedagogy of Theory)1 4 or 3
TH 522 or 422 (Pedagogy of Theory: Advanced Topics)2 4 or 3
TH 451 or 452 (Modal or Tonal Counterpoint) 3
TH 471 (Apprenticeship in Pedagogy I) 1
TH 472 (Apprenticeship in Pedagogy II)3 2
TH 475 (Intermediate Keyboard Skills) 3
TH 480 (Advanced Harmony and Composition) 3
TH 511 or 411 (Theory and Analysis of Tonal Music)4 4 or 3
Applied music or Electives: A minimum of three credits of which must be taken outside of music theory and a minimum of three credits of which must be taken in music theory. 6-9
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 30
  1. TH 521 is recommended; this course requirement may be fulfilled by TH 421 for dual-degree candidates.
  2. TH 522 is recommended; this course requirement may be fulfilled by TH 422 for dual-degree candidates.
  3. Work for the degree culminates in a teaching recital and the skills examination, given as part of TH 472.
  4. TH 511 is recommended; this course requirement may be fulfilled by TH 411 for dual-degree candidates.

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07.03 The Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded primarily for completion of scholarly research satisfactorily described in a dissertation or for outstanding creative work in the field of composition. It is assumed that recipients of this degree are not only well versed in the subject matter and techniques of a specific discipline, but have demonstrated breadth of interest and originality of outlook which indicate real promise of success in research or composition, as well as mastery of the teaching of their discipline.

All work leading to the degree is subject to the regulations and standards for scholarly work established by the Council on Graduate Studies of the University of Rochester.

The amount of background knowledge and degree of technical skill required for entrance to a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree may be expected to vary both with the field of concentration and with the objectives of the candidate. Each candidate is personally responsible for ensuring that he or she satisfies not only the general requirements but also any specific requirements which may be imposed by departments or divisions.

Admission to graduate work in any department must be approved by the chair of that department and by the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies of the Eastman School of Music. In cases where the department feels that the student’s undergraduate background is insufficient, the student will be required to undertake the necessary undergraduate courses in preparation for work in the department.

Doctor of Philosophy students in musicology or music theory may be admitted having earned only a bachelor’s degree. Those majoring in composition or music education usually will have earned a master’s degree at Eastman or elsewhere before being admitted to the Ph.D. program.

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07.03.01 List of Majors – PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded in the following fields of concentration:

  • Composition
  • Music Education
  • Musicology
  • Music Theory

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07.03.02 Residency & Time Limit – PhD

The curriculum for the Doctor of Philosophy degree normally will require 90 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree or 60 credits beyond an acceptable master’s degree. Work toward the degree is best carried out on a full-time basis, but limited part-time study is permitted. At least one of the years of doctoral study must be in full-time residence, that is, two consecutive semesters exclusively devoted to graduate work. During this period the student will complete at least 24 credits, unless he or she is performing the duties of an assistant who may take as few as 18 credits but not more than 24 credits.

Work leading to the PhD degree is expected to be completed within seven years following the bachelor’s degree or six years following the master’s degree. Candidates unable to complete their work within these time limits may petition the Graduate Research Committee for an extension of time. Such extension, if granted, will be of limited duration.

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07.03.03 Foreign Language Requirements – PhD

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in Composition, Music Theory, or Musicology at the Eastman School of Music are required to demonstrate their comprehension of languages other than English. Specific foreign-language requirements for these majors are outlined with the requirements for each of these majors in the following sections. There is no foreign-language requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Music Education.

Proficiency in French or German (or other languages approved by the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies well in advance) is demonstrated by successful completion of examinations administered at Eastman three times each year: on the first Friday of the fall and spring term and in mid-July. Musicology students should make their foreign-language exam requests to the Musicology department; all other students should make their requests to the Office of Graduate Studies. PhD students must satisfy all foreign-language requirements before they may present themselves for the qualifying examinations.

Students are urged to take one foreign-language examination at the beginning of the first semester of enrollment and to fulfill all language requirements as soon as possible, since a number of graduate-level courses require reading knowledge of a foreign language.

Foreign Language Requirements for the PhD in Composition

Composition majors have a general requirement of one foreign language, to be selected in consultation with the advisor. PhD students in Composition take foreign-language examinations that are administered by the Graduate Office. Two passages, one on a general topic and one on a musical topic, must be translated, both within a 4-hour period of time. These examinations are graded by collegiate faculty who teach foreign languages at Eastman.

PhD students in Composition may attempt the language examination twice before being required to enroll in a language course. Students requiring remediation will be placed in appropriate courses by their program advisors in consultation with the foreign-language examiners. If students pass a fourth semester language course (e.g. FR 202G or GER 202G) with a B+ or higher, their language requirement is fulfilled. Up to four credits of language study at the 200-level or above may be used for degree credit.

Foreign Language Requirements for the PhD in Music Theory

For the PhD in music theory, a reading knowledge of two foreign languages is usually required. In all cases, German is required. The second language may be chosen with the student’s planned area of research in mind.

PhD students in Music Theory take foreign-language examinations that are administered by the Graduate Office. Two passages, one on a general topic and one on a musical topic, must be translated, both within a 4-hour period of time. These examinations are graded by collegiate faculty who teach foreign languages at Eastman.

PhD students in Music Theory may attempt the language examination twice before being required to enroll in a language course. Students requiring remediation will be placed in appropriate courses by their program advisors in consultation with the foreign-language examiners. If students pass a fourth semester language course (e.g. FR 202G or GER 202G) with a B+ or higher, their language requirement is fulfilled. On the recommendation of the chair and the approval of the Graduate Dean, up to two credits in a required foreign language at the 200-level or higher may be used for degree credit.

PhD students in Music Theory should plan to take their first language examination during the first semester of matriculation. Theory majors must demonstrate proficiency in one language before the third semester of enrollment, and in the other before the fifth semester of enrollment.

Foreign Language Requirements for the PhD in Musicology

Students admitted to the musicology major in the Doctor of Philosophy program are required to demonstrate proficiency in understanding written musicological (or musicology-related) texts in German and one other language. The second language will normally be French, Italian, or some other language that is of particular value to the student’s likely research area. They are required to pass an exam administered by the Musicology Department, whether or not they take coursework to prepare for this exam. The first foreign language should be satisfied upon entrance to the program; the second should be completed before the beginning of the second year. Up to four credits of language study at the 200-level or above may be used for degree credit.

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07.03.04 Transcripts

All PhD students MUST send the Registrar’s Office an OFFICIAL, FINAL transcript from each institution from which the student has received a degree (bachelor’s and master’s) prior to the doctorate.

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07.03.05 Program of Study – PhD

A program of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree is prepared by the student in consultation with the advisor. This must be done at least four months before the qualifying examination may be taken. This program must include the following:

  1. a list of those courses for which the student will receive graduate credit; and
  2. the specific foreign languages in which the student must show competence.

The program of study must first be approved by the student’s academic advisor and then by the Graduate Research Committee. Instructions and deadlines for submission to the Graduate Research Committee are available from the Office of Graduate Studies. The program of study will constitute the formal requirements which must be met by the student before completion of work for the degree. Changes in programs must also be submitted to the GRC for approval.

Typical partial course requirements in the various major fields are listed in the sections that follow (sections 07.03.08 through 07.03.11). In all cases additional course work will be required according to the needs and interests of the individual student.

Electives within the PhD Program of Study

The following restrictions apply to all PhD programs of study. Additional restrictions for some majors are also indicated with the individual requirements for those majors.

  • Ensemble Courses: Without explicit permission from the Graduate Research Committee, no more than four credits earned through ensemble courses may be included in the PhD program of study.
  • MHS 421-426: PhD students may take only one MHS 42x course within the 60-credit degree program. Other MHS 42x courses may be required as remediation, or elected above and beyond the 60-credit limit. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the GRC.
  • Arts Leadership Curriculum (ALC) Policy for PhD students who matriculated in Fall 2006 or thereafter:
  • Graduate students are encouraged to explore courses offered in Eastman’s Arts Leadership program. Any ALC course that is cross-listed with a department (e.g., MUE 504/ALC 222) may be taken for degree credit and is subject to regular tuition charges.
  • Other ALC courses (at the 400-level) may be elected by graduate students for non-degree credit free of charge. In such cases the ALP course may be used to bring the student to full-time status without incurring a tuition charge, but these courses do not fulfill graduate degree requirements.
  • Students who matriculated into their current PhD degree program prior to fall 2006 may still take any ALC course at the 200-level for elective credit toward their degree.
  • Students may take up to a maximum of six credits of applied music lessons as elective credit.

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07.03.06 Candidacy & Qualifying Exam – PhD

No student is considered a candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree until he or she has:

  1. Met the language requirements,
  2. Passed the qualifying examination, and
  3. Demonstrated to the advisors and the Graduate Research Committee that he or she has a broad and competent command of the chosen major and minor fields and is fully prepared to undertake the writing of a dissertation.

The oral qualifying examination may be preceded by one or more written or oral examinations; it must be passed at least six months before the final examination may be taken. For example, a student who wishes to have their degree conferred at May commencement must pass their qualifying examination not later than October 1 of the previous fall. A committee consisting of at least four members of the graduate faculty will conduct the qualifying examination.

If a student fails the qualifying examination, she or he may not retake it until five calendar months have elapsed. The exam may only be taken a third time with the permission of the Graduate Research Committee.

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07.03.07 Dissertation & Final Examination – PhD

The University of Rochester requires that all dissertations be published through ProQuest. Instructions for this process will be provided by the Office of Graduate Studies prior to receipt of the final copy of the dissertation. In addition to the electronic (pdf) version of the dissertation submitted to ProQuest, the University Dean of Graduate Studies Office requires students to submit one permanent unbound paper copy to their office.

The final oral examination for the doctor of philosophy degree must be taken at the University of Rochester. A candidate may present himself or herself for this examination only after receiving permission of the advisors.

The final oral examination shall be taken after completion of all other requirements for the degree, but not earlier than six months after the qualifying examination. The final oral examination may be open, at least in part, to all members of the University community. It shall include the subject covered by the dissertation and the special field in which the dissertation is written, with particular attention to the recent and significant developments in that field. This examination may also include other fields of study if specifically recommended by the qualifying examining committee.

PhD-granting departments may invite the candidate to present a public lecture, followed by a private dissertation defense with the examination committee.

The committee for the final examination for the doctor of philosophy degree is appointed by the University Dean of Graduate Studies on the advice of the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. The University Dean or his or her representative will be chair and have a vote.

A vote of approval of the final oral examining committee must be unanimous, but in the case of a single dissenting vote the issue may be presented for decision to the University Council on Graduate Studies.

Definitions of Dissertation Copy Terms:

  • Fair copy – a copy of the dissertations in final-draft form. It must be typed and easily readable by the reading committee.
  • Final copy – a copy which incorporates all corrections from the reading committee.
  • Permanent copy – copies which incorporate any additional corrections or changes required as a result of the final examination.

Dissertation or Thesis Work during Summer Session

Graduate students who plan to register for thesis or dissertation credits during the summer session are requested to do so by May 15th; otherwise, no assurance can be given that the time of an advisor will be available. Doctoral students who have completed all courses and credit requirements and who will be working on their dissertation with an advisor during the summer session must register for ESM 999 (Continuation of Graduate Enrollment).

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07.03.07.01 Dissertation Proposal Procedures – PhD

Composition

Working with your dissertation advisor(s), the student will prepare a dissertation proposal that outlines the plans for both portions of the thesis (composition and paper). The projections for the composition portion generally can be stated within two or three paragraphs, in which specific instrumentation, number of movements and approximate total duration, generative compositional and stylistic procedures and resources that you intend to employ, and other salient characteristics of the work are stated. The essay portion of the proposal probably will require three or more pages, within which the student clearly presents the nature and scope of the topic, makes mention of related studies, delineates the unique aspects the proposed study (how it differs from related studies and represents an “original contribution to knowledge”), and includes a bibliography. Additionally, the dissertation proposal needs to include a cover (or “title”) page. A sample cover page, along with additional guidelines for preparation of the proposal, is available from the Office of Graduate Studies.

When your dissertation proposal is ready, the student should submit it to all members of the reading committee and obtain the approval signatures from the advisor(s), readers, and the department chair on a single copy of the cover page. Then the proposal is submitted electronically to all members of the Composition Department faculty for approval by the full Composition Department. After approval by the Composition faculty, the composition dissertation advisor will forward a copy of your proposal to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Music Education

The PhD proposal is a substantive paper that includes: (1) abstract, (2) introduction, (3) review of relevant literature, and (4) detailed method(s) and procedures for data collection and analysis. The advisory committee must read and approve the proposal before data collection can commence. Signatures of the advisory committee and the department chair on the title page indicate approval of the project. The department chair will also send a letter to the student indicating that the dissertation proposal has been approved. A copy of the letter, signed title page, and proposal abstract must be submitted to the Eastman Office of Graduate Studies.

Musicology

The student should be on the lookout for dissertation topics from the beginning of graduate study; musicology seminars may well suggest potential subjects. In the third year, the student normally focuses specifically on establishing the dissertation topic. At that time the student enrolls in an independent study course with the faculty member who may serve as advisor to the dissertation; the goal of the course is to construct a dissertation proposal. The proposal should summarize the state of current research in the field relative to the topic, the methodology to be pursued, and the questions and issues to be discussed; a bibliography and likely table of contents for the dissertation should also be included. N.B.: The dissertation proposal is only a starting point for dissertation research and writing: its completion should not be delayed by attempts to draw final conclusions nor by excessive concern that the proposal agree in all particulars with the finished dissertation.

When the proposal is completed, the student submits it to the department chair for distribution to the special field exam committee, normally consisting of three or four faculty members (two or three from the musicology department, including the proposed advisor, and one from another department).

The proposal then forms one of the topics of inquiry at the special field exam. Subsequent to the exam, the proposal may be returned to the student for revisions. The special field exam committee then reports its findings to the entire department at a department meeting. After the proposal is approved by the special field exam committee, the department chair designates one faculty member (usually the unofficial advisor) as prospective advisor of the dissertation.

The student then submits the revised proposal—with the endorsing signatures of the advisor, two readers, and musicology chair—to the musicology office, which will forward a copy to the graduate office. For online forms see the Graduate Studies website. The Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies writes to the candidate and officially names an advisor for the dissertation, upon the recommendation of the musicology chair.

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07.03.08 PhD – Major in Composition

Prerequisites: Prerequisites for the PhD in Composition include a master’s degree in composition or a related field. Before entrance, the composition department reviews the submitted materials consisting of compositions and recordings, transcripts, letters of reference, scholarly writings (masters-level papers), and GRE scores.

Upon entry to the program, students take placement exams in music theory and history. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the degree. The same is true of any English-language instruction and/or instruction in bibliography that is needed.

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Requirement Credits
CompositionCMP 401, 402, 501, 502 (Advanced Composition I-IV) 12
CMP 412 (Compositional Practice ca. 1925-1955)1 3
CMP 421-422 (Advanced Computer Music Techniques I-II) 6

Doctoral Seminars

  • CMP 590 Research Seminar – take once or twice (3 or 6 credits)
  • MHS/MUY 590-level seminars – take two or three (6 or 9 credits)
12

Music Theory

  • Two graduate theory courses numbered TH 401 or above
6-8
CMP 595 (PhD Dissertation Project) – see below 8-12
Electives2 10-13
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 60

1 CMP 412 is not required for students who enrolled in the program before fall 2010, however it may be used as elective credit.

2 Students who enrolled in the program before fall 2010 must complete a total of 10-16 elective credits. For all students, a total of at least 20 credit hours must be taken in areas other than composition and applied study. Most often these will be music history and theory courses, but other options are also possible.

Comprehensive Exam

A comprehensive exam is required. See section 06.03.07 (Comprehensive Examination) for more information.

Foreign Language Requirements for the PhD in Composition

Composition majors have a general requirement of one foreign language, to be selected in consultation with the advisor. Composition students also must either demonstrate proficiency in a second foreign language or must submit to the composition faculty a documented research project with application in the area of computer language or electronic music. The project shall be developed under the guidance of the director of the Eastman Computer Music Center.

PhD students in composition take foreign language examinations that are administered by the Office of Graduate Studies. Two passages, one on a general topic and one on a musical topic, must be translated, both within a 4-hour period of time. Collegiate faculty members who teach foreign languages at Eastman grade these examinations.

PhD students in composition may take the language examination twice before being required to enroll in a language course. Students requiring remediation will be placed in appropriate courses by their program advisors in consultation with the foreign language examiners. If students pass a fourth semester language course (e.g. FR 202G or GER 202G) with a B+ or higher, their language requirement is fulfilled. Credit earned in these courses is not applicable to graduate degree requirements.

See section 07.03.03 (Foreign Language Requirements – PhD) for more information.

Dissertation

The dissertation is to be written under the guidance of an assigned advisor, and includes two components:

  1. A large-scale composition of acceptable depth, sophistication, and professionalism.
  2. A substantial essay, usually an analysis.

The composition department faculty must approve the subject of the research paper. See section 07.03.07 Dissertation & Final Examination for more information.

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07.03.09 PhD – Major in Music Education

Prerequisites: Prerequisites for entrance to the program include professional experience as an accomplished educator with teaching experience in a variety of settings. Teaching skill is demonstrated through a videotape submission before the interview, and through references that document teaching success. Applicants submit a teaching portfolio which includes examples of student work, concert programs, and performance reviews. Writing and research proficiency is expected, and is assessed by a graduate paper; GRE scores (general) are also required to demonstrate general knowledge and readiness for doctoral-level study.

Upon entry to the program, students take placement exams in music theory and history. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the degree. The same is true of any English-language instruction that is required and any instruction in bibliography that is needed.

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

Requirement Credits
MUE 402 (Measurement and Evaluation) 3
MUE 403 (Introduction to Research) 3
MUE 501 (History and Philosophy of Music Education) 3
MUE 502 (Curriculum Seminar) 3
MUE 595 (PhD Dissertation Project) 16
Music TheoryTwo courses in theory are required. Both must be numbered TH 401 and/or above. 6-8
ResearchTwo courses in research methods are required through the University of Rochester’s Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, one in quantitative methods and one in qualitative methods. Courses must be selected in consultation with the PhD advisor. 6
MHS 590 / MUY 590Two courses in music history and/or musicology at the 590-level are required.If placement tests indicate that 400-level study is required, the 400-level course(s) may be counted toward the degree as open electives only; they will not satisfy the music history requirement. 6
ElectivesMay include MUE 590 independent studies or research 14
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 60-62

There is no foreign language requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Music Education. However, if the student’s research topic includes source material in a foreign language, competency in that language will be expected. A minor field of study is also not required for music education majors.

Dissertation

The dissertation for the music education major must constitute an original contribution to the field and should exhibit on the part of the candidate evidence of outstanding ability in research and independent thinking, synthesis, and compelling organization of material. See section 07.03.07 (Dissertation & Final Examination) for more information.

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07.03.10 PhD – Major in Musicology

Prerequisites: Prerequisites for entrance to the program include a broad knowledge of music history, as well as music theory, including analytical ability and aural skills.

Upon entry to the program, students take placement exams in music theory and history. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the degree. The same is true of any English-language instruction and/or instruction in bibliography that is needed.

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

 

Concentration in Historical Musicology

Requirement Credits
MUY 501 (Introduction to Musicology) 4
MUY 502 (Introduction to Ethnomusicology) 4
Theory – one doctoral theory course (TH 401 or above) 3-4
Musicology Seminars1 – minimum of 8 courses (500-level or above) 32
MUY 593 (Directed Study I) 4
MUY 594 (Directed Study II) 4
Electives2 20-21
ESM 595 (Ph.D. Dissertation Project) 18
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 90

1 Students must take a minimum of eight musicology seminars, but may choose them freely—none is named as a specific requirement, and none is a prerequisite to any other.

2 Electives may include additional musicology seminars, theory courses, courses at the River Campus (history, art history, philosophy, literature, etc.), and applied music courses (studio lessons, composition lessons, chamber music, etc.). Credit for applied music courses is limited to 6 credits on the masters and 6 credits on the doctorate. Remedial courses and language courses do not count toward the elective requirement.

Foreign Language Requirements for the Historical Musicology Concentration

Students admitted to the musicology major in the doctor of philosophy program are required to demonstrate proficiency in understanding written musicological (or musicology-related) texts in German and either French or Italian. A student whose field of specialization requires a different language may petition the department to substitute it in place of French or Italian. They are required to pass an exam administered by the musicology department, whether or not they take coursework to prepare for this exam. Proficiency in one language is required upon entry to the program; proficiency in the other is required by the beginning of the second year. See section 07.03.03 (Foreign Language Requirements – PhD) for more information.

 

Concentration in Ethnomusicology

Requirement Credits
MUY 501 (Introduction to Musicology) 4
MUY 502 (Introduction to Ethnomusicology) 4
Theory – one doctoral theory course (TH 401 or above) 3-4
Ethnomusicology/Musicology Seminars – minimum of 7 courses (500-level or above) 28
ETH 480 (approaches to Ethnography) 3
ENS 415-417 (World Music Ensembles) 6
Electives 15-16
MUY 593 (Directed Study I) 4
MUY 594 (Directed Study II) 4
ESM 595 (Ph.D. Dissertation Project) 18
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 90

Foreign Language Requirements for the Ethnomusicology Concentration

  • Reading language exam: French, Italian, Spanish, or German language exam (before year 2)
  • Field language exam or second reading language exam: language appropriate for fieldwork or research to be determined as part of the Special Field Exam (before year 4)

General Qualifying Exam

The general qualifying exam in musicology is a written exam taken early in the fall term following the first two years of coursework. This exam is designed to test for broad knowledge of musical style and musicological issues and literature. The exam is prepared by a small committee (chaired by someone other than the department chair), drawing upon a fund of questions and musical excerpts submitted by all musicology faculty members. The exam is read and evaluated by the entire musicology faculty. Students who fail all or part of the general qualifying exam are permitted to take the relevant part a second time, early in the second semester of the third year.

Special Field Exam

The special field exam is an oral examination, not to exceed three hours, taken at the end of the third year. This exam focuses on the particular field of musicological inquiry in which the student aims to specialize. Preparation for the exam begins when the student, having completed the general qualifying exam, proposes a special field advisor for approval by the department chair. The special field advisor is often the student’s prospective dissertation advisor, and also serves as the instructor for the two independent study courses taken in the third year (Directed Study I/II). With input from other musicology faculty members, the special field advisor works with the student to define/refine the “special field,” develop a bibliography of core texts and specialized readings for the field, develop a repertoire list of pieces to be studied for the examination, discuss issues raised by readings and repertoire in regular meetings with the advisor and other faculty as appropriate, and prepare a dissertation proposal.

Dissertation

The dissertation for the musicology major must constitute an original contribution to the field and should exhibit on the part of the candidate evidence of outstanding ability in research and independent thinking, synthesis, and compelling organization of material.

The dissertation proposal is shaped in close collaboration with a dissertation committee, normally consisting of an advisor, one or two other members of the musicology faculty, and one professor from outside the department, either at Eastman or in the College. This committee then continues to work with the student throughout the writing process as resources and readers. See section 07.03.07 Dissertation & Final Examination for more information.

Timeline for the MA/PhD in Musicology:

  • Year 1: The first foreign language requirement should be satisfied upon entrance to the program; the second should be completed before the beginning of the second year.
  • Year 2: Students should submit their program of study to the Graduate Research Committee during their third semester of study. At the end of the second year, all musicology students present a portfolio of three research papers and take a Qualifying Exam.
  • Year 3: Early in the first semester of the third year, the student takes the PhD general qualifying exam. During this semester, the student also enrolls for MUY 593 Directed Study I, normally with a professor who is particularly able to help her/him prepare the eventual dissertation proposal. The student continues to develop the proposal in the spring of year 3 while enrolled in MUY 594 Directed Study II under the aegis of the professor who is most likely to become the dissertation advisor. The Special Field Exam will also be completed at the end of the third year.
  • Year 4: The dissertation proposal should be completed before the beginning of the fourth year. The dissertation proposal is shaped in close collaboration with a dissertation committee, normally consisting of an advisor, one or two other members of the musicology faculty, and one professor from outside the department, either at Eastman or in the College. This committee then continues to work with the student throughout the writing process as resources and readers.

Updated 11/20/07.

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07.03.11 PhD – Major in Music Theory

The MA/PhD program in music theory includes a series of introductory courses covering the broad range of research in music theory; these lead to more focused pro-seminars, and then to seminars and finally independent studies. The student thereby gradually obtains the skills necessary to carry out independent research, which is the goal of the MA/PhD. The department strongly encourages individual research initiatives, especially those that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites for entrance to the program include skill levels (aural and keyboard skills) that are up to the very best students in undergraduate Eastman theory classes, though occasionally students with lower skill levels are accepted if they have strong potential as researchers. Each applicant to the program has a personal interview with faculty members from the Music Theory Department, and at least two of these interviews test skill levels in keyboard, sight-singing, dictation, and analysis. Since these students, upon entry into the program, will be teaching Eastman undergraduates, they normally must be able to demonstrate superior skill levels at the audition interview in order to be considered for admission.

Upon entry to the program, students take placement exams in music theory and history. If remediation is required, the appropriate courses are taken, but their credit does not count towards the degree. The same is true of any English-language instruction and/or instruction in bibliography that is needed.

Residency: At least one year of full-time study is required. See section 05.01 (Residency) for more information.

For students entering with a bachelor’s degree:

Requirement Credits
Core Courses
(To be taken during first two years of study)
TH 511 (Introduction to the Theory and Analysis of Tonal Music) 4
TH 513 (Introduction to the Theory and Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music) 4
TH 521 (Pedagogy of Music Theory) 4
TH 583 (History of Music Theory, Part I) 4
TH 584 (History of Music Theory, Part II) 4
   
Courses Outside Theory Department
  • One MHS or MUY course taken in first two years (3-4 credits)
  • Additional elective coursework outside of theory dept. (5-7 credits)
9-10
Additional Electives See recommendations and restrictions below 42-3
Dissertation TH 595 (PhD Dissertation Project) 18
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 90

For students entering with a 30-credit master’s degree1:

Requirement Credits
Core Courses2
(To be taken during first two years of study)
TH 511 (Introduction to the Theory and Analysis of Tonal Music) 4
TH 513 (Introduction to the Theory and Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music) 4
TH 521 (Pedagogy of Music Theory) 4
TH 523 (History of Music Theory, Part I) 4
TH 524 (History of Music Theory, Part II) 4
   
Courses Outside Theory Department
  • One MHS or MUY course taken in first two years (3-4 credits)
  • Additional elective coursework outside of theory dept. (minimum of 5-7 credits.) These courses may include non-theory courses taken during the master’s degree.
9-10
Additional Electives See recommendations and restrictions below 12-13
Dissertation TH 595 (PhD Dissertation Project) 18
Remedial coursesIf required by placement exams, these courses do not count toward total credits for the degree. See section 05.03 (Placement Examinations and Remediation) for further information.
Total Credits 60

1If a student enters this program with a previous master’s degree in theory, 30 transfer credits are normally accepted. (In some cases up to 6 additional credits for graduate theory courses taken above the 30-credit master’s may be granted.) If a student enters this program with a master’s degree in some other area, transfer credit is normally accepted for graduate-level theory courses and one musicology course. See section 05.04 Graduate Transfer Credit for more information.

2 If the student has already taken the equivalent of one (or more) of these core courses in a prior master’s degree, it is possible that these requirements may be waived and other courses identified as substitutions.

The following course recommendations and restrictions apply to the category of additional electives:

  • TH 475 Intermediate Keyboard Skills / TH 476 Advanced Keyboard Skills or other courses related to pedagogy
  • TH 451 Modal Counterpoint
  • TH 452 Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint
  • TH 412 Acoustics
  • TH 480 Advanced Harmony and Composition
  • Courses pertaining to the student’s performance interests
  • Department Proseminars
  • Seminars on special topics
  • TH 591 Theory Colloquium (maximum of 2 credits for students matriculating fall 2006 or later)
  • Up to 12 credit hours of applied music study (6 credits during the master’s degree and 6 credits during the doctoral degree.) It is necessary to audition in order to be assigned an applied teacher; please contact the Office of Academic Affairs.

Note that any remedial course(s) required on the basis of placement exam results or language deficiency do not count toward the total required credits for the degree, and may not be used as elective credit.

Foreign Language Requirements for the PhD in Music Theory

For the PhD in music theory, a reading knowledge of two foreign languages is usually required. In all cases, German is required (Students must either pass the German exam on arrival or complete GER 202G at Eastman.) The second language should be chosen with the student’s planned area of research in mind. In rare cases, a student’s dissertation committee may petition the theory department to require fewer or more languages.

PhD students in music theory take foreign language examinations that are administered by the Office of Graduate Studies. Two passages, one on a general topic and one on a musical topic, must be translated, both within a 4-hour period of time. Faculty members who teach foreign languages at Eastman will grade these examinations.

PhD students in music theory may take the language examination twice before being required to enroll in a language course. Students requiring remediation will be placed in appropriate courses by their program advisors in consultation with the foreign language examiners. If students pass a fourth semester language course (e.g. FR 202G or GER 202G) with a B+ or higher, their language requirement is fulfilled. Credit earned in these courses is not applicable to graduate degree requirements.

PhD students in music theory should plan to take their first language examination during the first semester of matriculation. Theory majors must demonstrate proficiency in one language before the third semester of enrollment, and in the other before the fifth semester of enrollment.

See section 07.03.03 Foreign Language Requirements – PhD for more information.

Dissertation

The dissertation for the music theory major must constitute an original contribution to the field and should exhibit evidence of the student’s outstanding ability in research and independent thinking, synthesis, and compelling organization of material.

Timeline for the MA/PhD in Music Theory

First Year

Coursework: The initial year of study consists of at least three of the five core courses. In addition to these courses, the student will take any remedial courses required, and/or select from among the first six items listed as recommended elective courses (above). It is recommended that students take at least one course each year outside the theory department; students are required to take one music history/musicology class within the first two years of study. One language requirement must also be completed during the first year. First Year Review: At the conclusion of the first year of study, the theory department will evaluate each student’s record and progress. Those who do not meet the standards of the degree will be discouraged from continuing further in the program.

Second Year

Coursework: Students will complete the remaining courses from the five core courses (see requirements above). Upon consultation with their advisors and/or committees, students will also take a range of pro-seminars and seminars in music theory, as well as classes in other departments or from outside Eastman. Students entering with a master’s degree will ordinarily have accrued 72 credits by the end of the second year (this total includes 30 credits from their previous master’s degree), and may fill out their second semester with dissertation credits (TH 595 PhD Dissertation Project). The student will also prepare and submit their formal program of study during the second year, and fulfill the second language requirement. These students will also, in contact with their academic advisor, form a research committee.

Comprehensive Examination: Part 1

Part 1 of the Comprehensive Exam is composed of two parts, Part 1A and Part 1B. Students may not proceed to Comprehensive Examination Part 2 until satisfactory completion of both Part 1A and Part 1B.

Part 1A: Skills Examination

  • Part 1A is required of all MA/PhD students, regardless of whether they entered with a BA or MA.
  • Students are expected to take the examination in their fourth semester of study, although students entering with the MA degree may take it as early as in their second semester of study.
  • Part 1A is officially given once per year during Jury Week. Retakes may occur in early fall by approval of the department chair and scheduled on an ad hoc basis. Normally a student may retake the skills examination only once (i.e., a total of two attempts).
  • The examination will focus on musical skills (singing, playing, composition, improvisation, figured bass, score reading, etc.). Sample examinations are available for study in the theory department office.

Part 1B: Research Presentation

  • The Research Presentation is
    • Required for MA/PhD students who matriculate with a bachelor’s degree, and normally completed in semester 3 or 4
    • Recommended for those matriculating with a master’s degree in music theory, and normally given by the end of the first year of full-time registration.
  • In all cases, the presentation will be not more than 30 minutes in length, with additional time for questions. The topic may focus on any area of music theory, broadly conceived. A proposal must be submitted for approval by the theory department Graduate Curriculum Committee at least one calendar month prior to its delivery. Presentations will be public, and normally will be scheduled during the TH 591 Colloquium. Students should refer to the instructor of that course to make suitable arrangements for date, time, location, and equipment.

The student’s presentation may be videotaped; in addition, the student will submit a written copy of the presentation to the members of the Graduate Curriculum Committee. The student will receive a brief, written report on the presentation from the Graduate Curriculum Committee, which will determine whether the presentation was satisfactory. A final grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory) will be given. In assessing the presentation the Committee will bear in mind the significance, originality, and rigor of the project. If the presentation is deemed Unsatisfactory, the student may schedule a second attempt (i.e., a total of two attempts).

Conferral of the MA:

Students who have satisfied the following requirements are eligible for the master of arts degree in music theory:

  • successful completion of the master’s exam
  • completion at least 30 hours of credit
  • minimum of 9-10 credits of music courses taken outside the theory department
  • completion of the foreign language requirements

Students should confer with their advisor, who will confirm with the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the awarding of the degree. If the requirements are not met, the master’s degree may be conferred at a later point in the student’s MA/PhD course of study. It is the student’s responsibility to complete a Degree Application Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office.

Third and fourth years

Coursework: By the end of the second year, students will normally have accrued 42-48 hours of credit (if entering without a master’s degree) consisting of the six core requirements and other recommended courses. During the third year, students will concentrate on specialized courses and independent studies directed toward the dissertation. Students entering with a bachelor’s will, in consultation with the academic advisor, form a research committee. The remaining hours may consist of free electives or applied music study (up to 6 hours per degree). Students will also begin preparation for the theory PhD qualifying exam, and start writing the dissertation proposal. The research committee will guide the student’s exam and dissertation activities.

Comprehensive Examination: Part 2 (Qualifying Exam)

Note on your preparation for the Theory part 2 comprehensive examination

  • Students taking the Theory part 2 comprehensive examination are expected to prepare for it independently.
  • A dissertation adviser will normally have been approved by this stage of the student’s career, but it is not that professor’s role to provide tutoring or detailed advice towards the preparation for the comprehensive examination.
  • The dissertation adviser, or potential adviser, is likely to be one of the examiners of your comprehensive examination, making any significant amount of coaching even less appropriate.
  • A part 2 candidate should of course feel free to approach theory professors on music theory questions, arising during preparation for the examination, on which they have particular expertise.
  • It is not the intention of the department to inhibit the easy exchange between faculty and students which has always been an important ethos of our teaching and learning environment.

The Qualifying Examination is called Part 2 of the Comprehensive Examination and is the written component. Students may sit for this examination once they have successfully completed Part 1A and 1B.

  • This two-day examination is given once per year during Jury Week. Retakes may occur in early fall by approval of the Department Chair.
  • Day One will focus on terms and essays. Day Two will focus on analysis. The repertory will be chosen, depending on information available about the student’s dissertation plans, to require a music‑analytical approach that is distinct from the approaches foreseen in the dissertation.
  • Students either pass or fail the exam; there are no partial passes, nor partial retakes.
  • A student who fails the exam may re-take it in the following fall semester, rather than waiting until the spring, when the exam is regularly scheduled. A maximum of two attempts are permitted.

The Dissertation Proposal Process

Once the written qualifying examination has been successfully completed, the student moves to the dissertation proposal stage.

  • Normally within six months of passing the Qualifying Exam, the student completes the dissertation proposal. The Graduate Curriculum Committee Chair appoints a Dissertation Proposal Committee (consisting of the GCC Chair, dissertation advisor, the second reader, and another member from outside the department). This committee approves moving forward to the public defense (the proposal must be distributed to the members of the Dissertation Proposal Committee at least three weeks prior to the defense).
  • There are normally two parts to the dissertation proposal. Part 1 is a public presentation by the student, with the Dissertation Proposal Committee in attendance. After the defense, the Dissertation Proposal Committee may exercise the option of having an additional private meeting with the student, or it may approve the proposal after the public presentation. In the event of failure, the Committee may recommend that more work be done, and it is entitled to exempt the candidate from another public presentation.
  • Students may not approach members of the Committee, other than the advisor and second reader.

Summary:

In addition to coursework and languages, there are four additional requirements, each of which must be passed in order for the student to qualified as ABD. The chart below specifies an order and approximate timeline to accomplish each requirement. Note the differences for students entering with the BA and those entering with the MA.

 

  Students Entering with BA: Students Entering with MA:
Comprehensive Examination – Part I:    
A: Skills Examination taken: Year 2 Year 1 or 2
B: Research presentation: Year 2 Optional
     
Comprehensive Examination: Part II:    
Written Examination: Year 3 or 4 Year 3
     
Dissertation Proposal: Year 4 or 5 Year 3 or 4

 

 

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