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Doctor of Philosophy in Music

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Doctor of Philosophy in Music Degree Requirements

Foreign Language Requirements

Aspirants to the Ph.D. degree in music theory and musicology are expected to demonstrate reading knowledge of German and a Romance language chosen from French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. Reading proficiency must be demonstrated before scheduling the oral comprehensive examination. The student also may be advised to develop reading proficiency in another language or languages in order to pursue research for the dissertation.

All doctoral students entering after fall 2011 must meet the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement before proceeding to comprehensive exams. This requirement includes at least 2 components; to meet both components, D.M.A. students in performance or composition and Ph.D. students in Musicology or Music Theory must complete MUSC 801 Music Bibliography and Research and, if available, participate in advanced performance seminars.

Course of Study

Specific course work for each student is arranged individually in consultation with the student’s adviser. The Ph.D. program normally requires 4 years of full-time study beyond the master’s degree, with the first 2 years devoted to course work. A minimum of 18 credit hours is devoted to the dissertation, an original contribution to knowledge in the student’s research area.

Students in musicology must complete at least 2 semesters of MUSC 654 or MUSC 656 Collegium Musicum, and 2 semesters of MUSC 940 Seminar on Selected Topics in Musicology. In addition, students must complete at least 3 more 3-credit-hour courses in musicology numbered from MUSC 650 to MUSC 799, MUSC 802, MUSC 902, or MUSC 940 and at least 3 more 3-credit-hour courses in music theory numbered from MUSC 655 to MUSC 830.

MTHC 999 Dissertation must be a major work for a large ensemble, a major concerto, a work for chorus and orchestra or opera, or a major work involving live performers and electronic media. A written analysis of the work must be included after the title page in the full score.

Although the Ph.D. program does not include a minor area, students are encouraged to continue their study of performance and/or composition, and may be advised to take nonmusic courses that are directly applicable to their fields of research for the dissertation.

For general information on academic requirements, residence, tenure, and enrollment, see the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Scholarly Presentation

Each candidate for the Ph.D. degree in musicology and music theory must make a public presentation of no less than 20 minutes on a scholarly topic. This requirement may be fulfilled by reading a paper at a national or regional meeting of a society in the student’s discipline or in a colloquium at KU.

Music Theory, Musicology, and Oral Comprehensive Examinations

Students must take written examinations in music theory and musicology when most of the course work has been completed and 2 research skills/language requirements have been fulfilled. Some major divisions also may require a written examination in the major area. Upon successful completion of all written examinations, the student is eligible to schedule the oral comprehensive examination administered by the graduate advisory committee. With the satisfactory completion of both written and oral comprehensive examinations the aspirant is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in music. Students who entered the program before spring 2008 may elect to complete 2 comprehensive papers in music theory in lieu of taking the doctoral written examination in music theory.

Dissertation Proposal

No later than the end of the semester after successful completion of the comprehensive examinations, the candidate, in consultation with the faculty dissertation committee, must submit a dissertation proposal of several pages with a preliminary bibliography, outline, and description of the project and research plan.

Final Oral Examination

Following completion of the dissertation, a final oral examination is scheduled in which the candidate presents and defends the results of dissertation research and is expected to respond to questions from the faculty committee. A grade of at least B must be achieved on the dissertation for satisfactory completion of the degree requirements.

Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship

All doctoral students entering after fall 2011 must meet the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement before proceeding to comprehensive exams. This requirement includes at least 2 components

  • Every doctoral student is required to have training in responsible scholarship pertinent to the field of research.
  • Every doctoral student is required to obtain research skills pertinent to the doctoral level of research in their field(s).

To meet both components, D.M.A. students in performance or composition and Ph.D. students in Musicology or Music Theory must complete MUSC 801 Music Bibliography and Research and, if available, participate in advanced performance seminars.

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