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Faculty Guide to Graduate Advising
Master of Music in Performance & Conducting

After Student Accepted

  1. Summer: students should study for music history and music theory diagnostic exams. Materials available on Canvas.
  2. Remind incoming students of these events, which occur the week before classes begin:            
    1. Friday morning: GTA training sessions
    2. Friday afternoon: review sessions for musicology and music theory exams
    3. Sunday evening: new graduate student orientation
    4. Monday: musicology and music theory diagnostic exams

First Semester

  1. Review results of diagnostic exams (immediately upon receiving).
  2. Verbally explain the steps to graduation here.
  3. Create a 4-semester curriculum with student. Links: online course catalog and rotation schedule for academic courses
    1. First semester: ensure students take review courses (MUCO 400, MUTH 400, MUTH 410) if needed. Students will not be able to submit an Admission to Candidacy Form without completing these courses. These courses are only offered in the fall. (see #1, Third Semester below).
    2. Highly recommended that students take MUSC 510 in the first semester. If impossible they need take in second semester.
    3. Students who are not required to take review courses should take 500-level MUCO and MUTH courses as soon as possible.

Second Semester

  1. Suggest that the student begin thinking of a topic for the Special Topics in Performance (MUPF521) course.
  2. Advise student to select the other two members of his/her graduate committee
    1. Must have at least one academic faculty member from Music Theory, Musicology, or Music Education
  3. Begin to plan Graduate Recital
    1. Jointly select date in either semester, with knowledge and approval by the student’s full committee. Reserve Powell Recital Hall as far in advance as possible.
      1. March 1: Graduate students may schedule Powell Recital Hall for the next academic year
      2. If desired, also select date of Pre-Recital hearing. Consult the area’s policy; in general the academic committee member is not required to attend the hearing.
    2. Student should contact the main music office for assistance in scheduling the recital.

Third Semester

  1. Instruct student to submit completed Admission to Candidacy Form by the published graduate school deadlines (see #4 below).
    1. Students must pass any necessary review courses before candidacy form will be approved.
    2. Should be done at the beginning of the third semester.
  2. Advise student to finalize the other two members of his/her graduate committee
  3. Instruct student to schedule a pre-comprehensive exam meeting1, the comprehensive written exam, and the oral defense
    1. All committee members must agree to the dates.
    2. Student must turn in Recommended Arrangements for Final Exam form two weeks prior to date of written exam.
    3. It is suggested that the comprehensive exams not be completed within a month of the recital date
    4. Deadlines for completing the oral defense and question revisions are Nov. 15 (fall comp) and April 15 (spring comp)
  4. Go over all deadlines for graduation for the current academic year and expected graduation date (admission to candidacy, graduation application, exam, etc.).
  5. Jointly select with student a topic for MUPF521 (see above), and turn in the Agendum for Independent Study, detailing their topic to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.

Fourth Semester

  1. Student schedules a pre-recital hearing, if not yet done (at least two weeks prior to date of recital). They must turn in Pre-Recital Hearing Form.
  2. Student must turn in program for Graduate Recital
    1. Due two weeks before recital date to Sarah Bunn (
  3. Attend and grade Graduate Recital.
  4. Oversee the completion of the Written Comprehensive Exams.
  5. Oversee the completion of the Oral Defense of Comprehensive Exams (see deadlines re: Step 2, Third Semester).
    1. The major professor download the Pass/Fail form.  After the exam, take the completed form to the Graduate Administrative Assistant in the main Music Office. Do not send the form directly to the Graduate School.
  6. Instruct student to submit diploma application to Graduate School (see deadlines re: Step 2, Third Semester).
  7.  Instruct student to pay Graduation Fee.

Approximate Dates for Comprehensive Exams by Area

Music Performance: 3rd or 4th semester anytime; it is recommended the exam is not within a month of the recital date
Conducting: 3rd or 4th semester


Diagnostic exams
Exams in Theory, Musicology, and Ear-Training that students take prior to the start of class in their first semester. If exam is failed, students must take and pass a review course in that discipline. This review course will need to completed and passed before progressing to the other courses in the area of the respective review course.

Special Topics in Performance (MUPF521)
A chosen course of study between the student and the supervising professor. Topics are wide-ranging and free-form, but will need to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Pre-Recital Hearing
A formal hearing of the student’s graduate recital, after which the graduate recital will be approved or disapproved by the student’s committee. This hearing can be a complete representation of the literature on the student’s impending recital, or it can be abridged, at the discretion of the supervising professor and committee members.

Written Comprehensive Exams
An extensive take-home exam consisting of one (broad) question from each of the three members of the student’s Master’s Committee. The student has one week to complete the exam, and is excused from classes and ensembles during this time (from 9am on a Monday until 9am on the following Monday). The exam is turned in to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.

Oral Comprehensive Exams
An examination, generally reflective, of the student’s written comprehensive exams, between the student and his/her Master’s Committee. At this exam, committee members ask the student to explain, elaborate, and/or defend the positions proffered in their written exams.

Graduate Recital
A formal program and solo recital consisting of 50-minutes of graduate level literature for that student’s primary instrument. This recital may include chamber music as part of the 50-minute program, however, it should not be a primary component of the recital.

1The committee’s goals for this meeting can also be shared by other means (e.g. email)

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