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Sample Paths to Degree

Sample Paths To Degree by Concentration

Expand the links below for sample program timelines for each of Music's subprograms.

Theory

Review of Program Requirements

  • 30 credits of coursework for students entering with an M.A. (normally equivalent to 10 seminars and should take two years). 60 credits of coursework for students entering with a B.A (we arrange things so that this can be done in three years of coursework).  Theory students are required to take three semesters of Schenkerian Theory, two semesters of Post-Tonal Theory, two semesters of History of Theory, and two seminars in an area outside of Music Theory.
  • First Exam (to be taken at the beginning of the second year).
  • Two language exams (normally German plus one other language, although exceptions can be made in consultation with the Deputy Executive Officer).
  • Musicianship Exam.
  • Second Exam (to be taken within a year of completing coursework and other requirements.
  • Dissertation Proposal (to be submitted within a year of passing the Second Examination).
  • Dissertation and Dissertation Defense.
Review of Professional Development Goals
  • Attend professional development workshops (offered every fall semester)
  • Take Proseminar in Teaching (offered every spring semester)
  • Attend professional conferences.
  • Submit proposals and present conference papers at student, regional, and national conferences.
  • Write one or more articles for publication.

Sample Schedule:

First Year
Fall
  • Take three seminars. These should include Schenker 1 and Atonal 1 if you have not placed out of these.  Take Current Trends in Music Theory, if offered.
  • Attend the national SMT meeting.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on conference papers.
  • Take a language exam.
  • Take the musicianship exam and try to pass at least some parts of it.
Spring
  • Take three seminars.
  • Take the Proseminar in Teaching
  • Attend regional or student conferences. 
  • Plan on passing at least one language exam by the summer after your first year.
  • Take the musicianship exam and try to pass at least some parts of it.

Second Year
Fall
  • Take the First Examination.
  • Take two or three seminars.  Think about making one of them a pre-dissertation independent study.  Take Current Trends in Music Theory, if offered.
  • Attend the national SMT meeting.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on Writing for Publication and Dissertations.
  • Take your second language exam.
  • Take the musicianship exam and try to pass at least some parts of it
  • Submit a proposal for a paper to a regional or student conference.
Spring
  • Take two or three seminars.  Think about making one of them a pre-dissertation independent study.
  • Attend regional or student conferences.
  • Present a paper at a regional or student conference.
  • Take the musicianship exam and try to pass at least some parts of it.  Plan on passing the whole musicianship exam by the end of the summer after your second year.
  • Plan on passing your second language exam by the end of the summer after your second year.
  • You should spend the summer after your second year studying for the Second Examination.

Third Year
[Note: Students who enter with a B.A. will spend their Third Year taking courses, passing language and musicianship exams, doing pre-dissertation independent studies, attending workshops and conferences, and presenting a paper at a conference, as enumerated above.  The Third, Fourth, and Fifth years described below will be their Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth years]

Fall
  • Take the Second Examination.
  • Get to work on your dissertation.
  • Prepare a Dissertation Proposal.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on Jobs.
  • Attend the national SMT meeting.
  • Submit a proposal for a paper to a national, regional, or student conference.
Spring
  • Submit the Disssertation Proposal.
  • Work on the dissertation.
  • Present a paper at a conference.

Fourth and Fifth Years
  • Complete and defend your dissertation.
  • Attend conferences.
  • Present at conferences.
  • Write an article for publication.

 

Composition

Ph.D and DMA Programs in Composition
 
These Timelines-to-Degree are a guide to expected progress toward the Ph.D. and DMA in Music Composition. Program policies (see the end of this document) dictate when certain benchmarks must be achieved for satisfactory progress in the program. The degree is designed to be completed in 5 years for students entering with a master’s and 6 years for students entering with a bachelor’s. 
 
Professional development goals for all composition students

  • Attend professional development workshops (offered every fall semester)
  • Take Proseminar in Teaching (offered every spring semester)
  • Each semester present a new work on one or more of composers concerts sponsored by the Music Program
  • By the end of the program have a work performed by a professional group not affiliated with the Graduate Center
 
 
Entering with Master's (30 Credits advanced standing)
 
 In the first two years student should earn their second 30 Credits toward the 60 required for the degree and all course requirements. In those first two years they should also complete the First Examination and their language requirement.  By the middle of the second year students should be contemplating possible dissertation topics and are encouraged to undertake at least one independent study with a potential dissertation adviser. 
 
In the third year students take the Second Examination and, once they have passed it, prepare and submit their dissertation proposal. 
 
The fourth and fifth years should be spent researching and writing the dissertation (essay and  composition) so that the student is ready to defend at the end of the fifth year. 
 
First Year
Fall 
  • Composers Seminar (3 credits)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • Introduction to Musicology (if needed—4 credits not applied to final 30)
  • 1 or 2 Research Seminars or electives (3 credits each)
  • Take at least first language examination or prepare to take it in second semester
 
Spring
  • Composers Forum (1 credit)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • Teaching Proseminar (1 credit) required of all Fellowship Students
  • 1 or 2 Research Seminars or Electives (normally 3 credits each) including 20th-21st –Century Performance Practice for DMA students
 
Second Year
Fall
  • Composers Seminar (3 credits)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • 1 or 2 Research Seminars or electives (3 credits each)
  • Take First Examination
  • Complete language requirement
  • Begin preparing for Second Examination
  • Begin researching possible dissertation topics, including independent study in fall or spring of second year.
  
Spring
  • Composers Forum (1 credit)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • 1 or 2 Research Seminars or Electives (3 credits each)
 
Third Year
Fall or Spring 
  • Take Second Examination
  • Prepare and submit dissertation proposal
 
Fourth and Fifth years
  • Research and write dissertation essay and composition
  • Defend dissertation. 
 
Entering with Bachelor’s
 
In the first three years students should earn the 60 credits required for the degree, and all course requirements. In the first two years they should also complete the First Examination and their language requirement.  By the middle of the third year students should be contemplating possible dissertation topics and are encouraged to undertake at least one independent study with a potential dissertation adviser. 
In the fourth year students take the Second Examination and, once they have passed it, prepare and submit their dissertation proposal. 
The fifth and sixth years should be spent researching and writing the dissertation (essay and  composition) so that the student is ready to defend at the end of the fifth year. 
 
 
First Year
Fall 
  • Composers Seminar (3 credits)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • Introduction to Musicology (4 credits)
  • Introduction to Post-Tonal or Schenkerian Analysis (4 credits)
  • Take at least first language examination or prepare to take it in second semester
Spring
  • Composers Forum (1 credit)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • Teaching Proseminar (1 credit) required of all Fellowship Students
  • 1 or 2 Research Seminars or Electives (3 credits each) or
Second Year
Fall
  • Composers Seminar (3 credits)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • 1 or 2 Research Seminars or electives (3 credits each) or Introduction to Post-Tonal or Schenkerian Analysis (4 credits)
  • Complete language requirement
  • Begin researching possible dissertation topics, including independent study in fall or spring of second year.
  
Spring
  • Composers Forum (1 credit)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • 1 or 2 Research Seminars or Electives (3 credits  each) including 20th-21st –Century Performance Practice (required for DMA students)
  • Take First Examination
 
Third Year
Fall
  • 1-2 Research Seminars (3 credits each)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
  • Begin preparing for Second Examination
 
 
Spring
  • 1-2 Research Seminars (3 credits each)
  • Composition Tutorial (2-3 credits)
 
Fourth Year
Fall or Spring 
  • Take Second Examination
  • Prepare and submit dissertation proposal
 
Fourth and Fifth years
  • Research and write dissertation essay and composition
  • Defend dissertation. 
 
Program Policies
 
  • The First Examination must be taken at the beginning of the second year for students entering with the master’s and in the middle of the second year for students entering with the bachelor’s. 
  • The Second Examination must be taken within a year of completing course work and requirements.
  • The dissertation proposal must be submitted within a year of passing the Second Examination. 
  • Students are allowed one opportunity to re-take the First or Second Examination within one year if they don't pass all parts of the examination the first time. Students who have not passed all parts of the examination after a second time may appeal to the Executive Officer to take the examination a third time.

Musicology

Review of program requirements
30 credits of coursework for students entering with an M.A. (normally equivalent to 10 seminars and should take two years). 60 credits of coursework for students entering with a B.A; normally students are finished with coursework after the fall semester of their third year.

In the works: an independent research track for those students entering with a strong idea of their dissertation area. Those students can be approved for a research-focused track in which some seminar credits are replaced with independent study credit to allow an early start on dissertation-related research.

Musicology students are required to take the following courses:

  • Teaching Proseminar (a one-credit workshop given every spring and normally taken in the first year)
  • One seminar in theory or ethnomusicology (two for students entering with a BA; students are of course welcome to take more).
  • Writing Workshop: From Paper to Article (ideally taken in the second or third year);
  • A course in music before 1600;
  • Critical Approaches to Musicology
  • Introduction to Musicology
Two-Week Paper (to be written the summer after the first year for those entering with the MA, and either January of the second year or the summer after the second year for those entering with the BA).

Two language exams (normally German plus one other language, although other choices can be made in consultation with the faculty).

Second Exam (to be taken within a year of completing coursework and other requirements).

Dissertation Proposal (to be submitted within a year of passing the Second Examination).

Dissertation and Dissertation Defense.
 
Review of professional development goals
  • Attend professional development workshops (offered every fall semester)
  • Attend professional conferences.
  • Submit proposals and present conference papers at student, regional, and national conferences (always consulting with a sponsoring faculty member). Plan to have read at least three papers at conferences by the time your dissertation is complete.
  • Turn at least one conference paper or dissertation chapter into an article and get it accepted by a peer-review journal. Ideally you will have two publications, of which at least one is in a peer-review journal.
  • Apply for grants to fund research trips, dissertation research, and dissertation writing year.
 
Sample Schedule

First Year

Fall
  • Take three seminars. These should include Introduction to Musicology and an early music course, if offered. (On independent research track: one will be a pre-dissertation independent study) 
  • Attend the national AMS meeting.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on conference papers.
  • Take a language exam, or study a language for the spring language exam.
Spring
  • Take two or three seminars, including Critical Approaches to Musicology and From Paper to Article (if entering with MA and it’s offered). (On independent research track: one or two will be a pre-dissertation independent study) 
  • Take the Proseminar in Teaching
  • Attend regional or student conferences.
  • Plan on passing at least one language exam by the summer after your first year.

Summer
  • Write the two-week paper if entering with MA
 
 
Second Year

Fall
  • Take two or three seminars, including early music if it’s offered (On independent research track: one or two will be a pre-dissertation independent study) 
  • Attend the national AMS meeting.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on Writing for Publication and Dissertations.
  • Work on your second language exam.
  • After consulting with a faculty member, submit a proposal for a paper to a regional or student conference.
  • January: Write two-week paper if entering with BA

Spring
  • Take two or three seminars.  (On independent research track: one or two will be a pre-dissertation independent study)    
  • Attend regional or student conferences.
  • Present a paper at a regional or student conference.
  • Plan on passing your second language exam by the end of the summer after your second year.
Summer
  • Study for the Second Examination.
  • Study for second language exam
  • [write two-week paper if entering with BA]
 
Third Year

[Note: Students who enter with a B.A. will likely spend their third year taking courses, passing language exams, doing pre-dissertation independent studies, attending workshops and conferences, and presenting a paper at a conference, as enumerated above.  The third, fourth, and fifth years described below will likely be their fourth, fifth, and sixth years]

Fall
  • Take the Second Examination.
  • Prepare a Dissertation Proposal.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on Jobs.
  • Attend the national AMS meeting and plan to make contact with people in your chosen field of interest.
Spring
  • Submit the Dissertation Proposal.
  • Work on the dissertation.
  • Present a paper at a conference.
 
Fourth and Fifth Years
  • Write grants for dissertation research.
  • Complete and defend your dissertation.
  • Present at conferences.
  • Write an article for publication.
 

DMA Performance

This is a guide to expected progress toward the DMA in Music Performance. Program policies (see the end of this document) dictate when certain benchmarks must be achieved for satisfactory progress in the program. All entering students must have completed a U.S. master’s degree or the equivalent. The degree is designed to be completed in 5 years.

Professional development goals

  • Attend professional development workshops (offered every fall
  • semester)
  • Take Proseminar in Teaching (offered every spring semester)
  • Compete in national and international competitions
  • Perform in professional concerts in New York
  • Attend summer music festivals
  • Submit proposals and present conference papers at student,regional, and national
 conferences.

Review of program requirements
  • The master’s degree with which the student enters normally counts as 30 of the total 60 credits required for the degree.
  • In the first two years, student should complete all course requirements totaling at least 30 credits.
  • During the first two years, the student should also complete the First Examination and the language requirement.
  • In the spring semester of the first two years, the student will perform their first two degree recitals.
  • By the middle of the second year students should be contemplating possible dissertation topics and, as appropriate, may be advised to undertake at least one independent study with a potential dissertation adviser. 
In the third year, students take the Second Examination and, once they have passed it, prepare and submit their dissertation proposal.
  • The fourth and fifth years should be spent researching and writing the dissertation and also scheduling and performing the third recital, so that the student may defend and deposit by the end of the fifth year.

Sample Schedule:

First Year
Fall
  • Studio Lessons (2 credits)
  • Ensemble (1 credit)
  • DMA Topics (1 credit)
  • 1 or 2 research seminars or introductory analysis courses (3-4 credits each)

Spring
  • Studio Lessons (2 credits)
  • Ensemble (1 credit)
  • DMA Topics (1 credit)
  • Baroque or Classical Performance Practice (3 credits)

  • Take the First Examination

Second Year
Fall
  • Studio Lessons (2 credits)
  • Ensemble (1 credit)
  • 1 or 2 research seminars or introductory analysis courses (3-4 credits each)

Spring
  • Studio Lessons (2 credits) 
  • Ensemble (1 credit)
  • 20th-21st –Century Performance Practice (3 credits)
  • 1 research seminar, as needed (3 credits)


Third Year
Fall
  • Take the Second Examination
Spring
  • Prepare and submit dissertation proposal Fourth Year
  • Research and write dissertation Fifth Year
  • Complete and defend dissertation


Level Requirements:
Level One
  • Matriculation in the program

  • 30 credits from master’s degree
Level Two

  • 45 total credits
  • Pass the First Examination

Level Three
  • 60 total credits
  • Complete two degree recitals
  • Pass the Language Exam

  • Pass the Second Examination

Program Policies
  • The First Examination must be taken before the beginning of the second year, normally in the second semester.
  • The Second Examination must be taken within a year of
  • completing course work and requirements.
  • Students who do not pass all parts of the First or Second
  • Examination are allowed one opportunity to retake within one year. Students who have not passed all parts of
 the examination after a second time may appeal to the Executive Officer to take the examination a third time.
  • The dissertation proposal must be submitted within a year of passing the Second Examination.
  • The third recital may not be scheduled until the semester after dissertation proposal has been approved.

Ethnomusicology

Summary of program requirements:

First 30 credits of coursework:  For students entering without a master's degree; must include MUS 71200, Research Techniques in Ethnomusicology; three other ethnomusicology seminars; one seminar in Western music; one course in anthropology.  Those entering with a master's degree must make up any of these requirements for which they have not already had an equivalent course.

First exam:  Students who enter without a master's degree in ethnomusicology must take the written first exam at or about 30 credits or, for students with a master's degree, at the end of their first year of coursework.  All students must complete the two-week paper at or before 30 credits or, for students with a master's degree, at the end of their first year of coursework.

Second thirty credits (for all students) must include:  one additional regional seminar and one additional topical seminar in ethnomusicology; two additional music seminars on any topic; two additional seminars in anthropology or related discipline.

All students must take the second exams when coursework is completed.  

Pass two-three language exams (upon consultation with Deputy Executive Officer).

Submit dissertation proposal.

Research and write dissertation.


Professional development goals for ethnomusicology

Upon completing the PhD, all students are expected to have:

  •  A broad knowledge of musical practices from around the world as well as specialized knowledge of music in at least one world region or representing one major repertoire.
  • A familiarity with current scholarship in the discipline written in English, and with major writings in at least two other languages.
  • A familiarity with relevant current theories and methods in the social sciences.
  • The ability to define a suitable research topic, identify appropriate written sources, carry out appropriate field and/or archival research, interpret their findings, and produce an original piece of ethnomusicological scholarship.

  • The ability to teach courses on general or theoretical topics and on the music of at least one world region, as well as broad introductory courses on world music.
  • A grounding in professional ethics in all aspects of teaching and research.

  • Professional skills in applying for research funding and presenting their research through oral and written means and through multi-media.

Timeline to Degree

First year [all students]:
  • Take 2-3 seminars each semester.  In fall, one should be MUS 71200, Research Techniques in Ethnomusicology, if no equivalent course has been taken at graduate level.  
  • Those without formal music training should take an undergraduate music theory sequence at a CUNY college.
  • Take one language exam.
  • In fall, attend Professional Workshops on conferences, fellowships, and dissertations.
  • In spring, take the Teaching Proseminar (Mus 71200).
  • Apply for Elebash or DSRG grant for funding of summer research if appropriate.
  • All students who entered with a master's degree should complete Two Week Paper by August.  Those whose master's degree is not in ethnomusicology should also take the written First Exam by August.  Students entering without a master's degree will do this in second year.
  • Participate in departmental and Graduate Center events such as colloquia, paper run-throughs, and field research reports (every semester in residence).
  • Attend at least one conference during the year (SEM, MACSEM, graduate student, etc.)
  • Over the summer, begin field research if possible and/or take language course.

Second year [for students entering without a master's degree]:
  • Take 2-3 seminars a semester.  Those teaching for the first time are advised to take a lighter courseload in the fall.  You may also take courses through the Consortium at this point.  As you begin to formulate a dissertation topic, you should look for appropriate electives.
  • Take second language exam.  Begin study of field language if it is offered.  
  • Apply for Elebash or DSRG grant for funding of summer research.
  • Attend SEM meetings if possible.  
  • Written First Exam and Two Week Paper should be completed by August, or in January if ready.
  • Over the summer, conduct pilot research toward dissertation.

Second/Third year [for, respectively, students entering with and without master's]:
  • Take 2-3 seminars a semester (this may include Independent Study).
  • In fall, begin to formulate dissertation project, in consultation with likely advisor and other faculty.  In spring, enroll in Independent Study with likely advisor to begin to draft dissertation proposal.
  • Attend Professional Workshop on publication of article.  Re-attend any other workshops if possible.
  • Submit abstract for MACSEM or other conference if have written suitable seminar paper.
  • Attend SEM meetings.
  • Complete language requirements as soon as possible.
  • Once 45 credits have been completed, apply for en-route M.A. degree.
  • Over summer, conduct additional field research; draft field research fellowship proposal/s.

Third/Fourth year:
  • Complete coursework in fall if possible.  Plan to take Second Exams in January or August.
  • During semester before exams, submit preliminary reading lists early in semester, and final ones at end.
  • Submit and defend dissertation proposal before taking Second Exams.
  • In fall, apply for field research fellowships.  Apply for summer research funding, as appropriate.
  • Attend SEM meetings.  Consider submitting an abstract if ready.
  • Over summer, continue field research; prepare for exams, if appropriate.

Fourth/Fifth year and beyond:
  • Complete field research for dissertation.  
  • Write dissertation.
  • Give paper at SEM.