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Music Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive Examinations

Students enrolled in the M.M. degree are required to complete comprehensive examinations. These comprehensive examinations are both written and oral and may encompass all coursework taken at the graduate level. The written component consists of a single examination that requires the student to synthesize historical, theoretical and pedagogical perspectives concerning specific topics related to your area of performance and your academic coursework.

The School of Music will neither publish nor distribute review questions for the comprehensive written examinations or oral examinations. You are encouraged to meet with members of the advisory committee individually for suggestions regarding preparation. It is understood that faculty members are not available for consultation once the written examination has been handed out.

Written Component

The comprehensive written examination takes the form of a minimum of 3 take-home essay questions that integrate and assimilate the knowledge and skills gained in coursework taken for credit toward the master's degree. The student receives the questions from the chair of the student's advisory committee. Three copies of the completed typed examinations must be turned in to the advisory committee chair normally no later than one week from the day received. Sources must be properly cited.

Oral Component

A follow-up oral examination is held for the purpose of defending the written examination. During the oral examination the advisory committee may ask the student to explain and clarify or expand on the written answers or any other related area. The oral examination should be scheduled no sooner than four days after the written exam is turned in.

Scheduling the Comprehensive Examinations

The written and oral portions of the comprehensive examination must be completed no less than three weeks prior to the last day of classes (not including finals week).

All remediation and other conditions of acceptance must be completed prior to the comprehensive examinations.

Notification of passing or failure of the comprehensive examinations will be received from the advisory committee chair. A copy of the comprehensive examination form will be placed in the student's permanent file and a copy will be sent to the graduate school at least 10 days prior to commencement.

In case of failure, the student may not re-take the examinations until the following semester. The result of the second examination is final.


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