Academic Programs Catalog

College of Music

Graduate Study

College of Music Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees

Doctor of Musical Arts degree programs are offered in: Music Composition, Music Conducting, and Music Performance.  The Doctor of Philosophy degree program is offered in Music Education.

Admission

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University as described under Admission in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.

To be admitted to a doctoral degree program in the College of Music on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. a record of high academic achievement and demonstrate potential as a performer, conductor, composer, or research scholar acceptable to the program.
  2. a master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field.
  3. a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 in any previous graduate course work.

Admission on provisional status may be offered if the applicant’s record is incomplete or contains minor deficiencies in preparation.

Doctoral Orientation Examinations

Every student admitted to a doctoral degree program in the College of Music other than music education must take the College's graduate orientation examination in music theory, a two-part examination covering written music theory and aural skills, before the first day of classes of the student's first semester of enrollment in the degree.  Additionally, any doctoral student in music education who intends to take one or more music theory courses must take the two-part graduate orientation examination in music theory prior to enrolling in graduate-level music theory courses.  The examination is given before the first day of classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  The lowest passing score for each part is 70%.

Doctoral students who score below 70% on the written music theory orientation examination must take MUS 200 Music Theory Review. Doctoral students who score below 70% on the aural skills examination must take MUS 201 Aural Skills Review.  MUS 200 and MUS 201 may not be used to meet the course or credit requirements of any College of Music degree program.
 
Students who are required to take MUS 200 must complete the course with a grade of 2.0 or higher before enrolling in any 400-, 800-, or 900-level music theory course.  Students who are required to take MUS 201 must take it either prior to or concurrently with their first music theory course at the 400-, 800-, or 900-level and must complete it with a grade of 2.0 or higher.

Requirements for a Doctoral Degree

The student plans a program of study in consultation with a guidance committee, subject to the rules of college and the university.  For the composition of the committees, see the information below regarding specific degree programs.

Comprehensive Examinations

All students who are enrolled in doctoral degree programs within the College of Music are required to pass comprehensive examinations. For details about those examinations, see the statements on those programs in the sections that follow. The comprehensive examinations are given during fall and spring semesters and the summer session.

Final Oral Examination

The dissertation, composition, or scholarly paper on which the final oral examination is based must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and all of the members of the student's guidance committee no later than four weeks before the final oral examination. In cases where the final oral examination involves a lecture-recital and document, the student must pass the defense of the lecture-recital and the document before the lecture-recital can be performed. In cases where the final oral examination involves two lecture-recitals, the student must pass the defense of the lecture-recital before that lecture-recital can be performed.  Final oral examinations and performances of lecture–recitals are given during fall and spring semesters, and may be given during a summer session with the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and every member of the student's committee.

Academic Standards

A doctoral student in the College of Music must:

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade–point average of at least 3.00.
  2. Not accumulate deferred grades (identified by the DF–Deferred marker) in more than 8 credits in courses (excluding courses numbered 896, 897, 898, 899 or 996, 997, 998,  999).

If at the end of a semester a graduate student fails to meet one or both of the requirements specified above, the student shall receive a deficiency warning.  If the deficiency is not removed within one year, the graduate student will not be allowed to continue in the degree program.

A student may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree.

Transfer Credits

Graduate credits may be transferred from other accredited institutions or international institutions of similar quality if they are appropriate to a student’s program and provided they were completed within the time limits approved for the earning of the degree desired at Michigan State University. The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies must grant approval.  Only graduate–level courses in which at least a 3.0 (B) grade was received will be considered for transfer.

With the approval of the Guidance Committee and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, these transfer credits may fulfill specific Michigan State University degree requirements; but not all transfer credits will necessarily fulfill specific Michigan State University degree requirements.

College of Music Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Should the student's guidance committee fail to accept the dissertation or  the student's performance on the final oral examination, the student shall be allowed to rewrite the dissertation or to retake the examination only once.  The dissertation must be rewritten or the examination must be retaken within one year, during a fall or spring semester.