The Graduate Comprehensive Examinations

Who? The graduate comprehensive examinations in music (written and oral) are required of all candidates for both the Master of Music and the Master of Music Therapy degrees.

Why? For Master of Music candidates, the examinations provide an opportunity for the student to demonstrate thorough knowledge of their applied area (including pedagogy and literature), core academic concepts in music history and theory, and professional competencies as they relate to their applied area. For Master of Music Therapy candidates, the examinations allow the student to demonstrate synthesis of wide-ranging knowledge from music, music therapy, and related area studies.

What? The examinations are comprehensive and are based primarily, but not exclusively, on the content of the student's graduate course of study. The student is encouraged to contact the members of their graduate committee to discuss specific content and format of the examinations.

When & Process? The examinations must be taken during the semester of anticipated graduation and only upon successful remediation of entrance deficiencies. Written examinations typically are given once on a Saturday each fall and spring term: the week following fall break and the week following spring break. MMT and dual degree MMT students planning to graduate in the summer will take the written exam in their final spring term.

The student must notify the Program Director at least two weeks before the examinations are given of their intent to take the written comprehensive examinations. Following the successful completion of the written examinations, the student and the graduate advisor will schedule an oral examination at least two weeks prior to the deadline for graduation set by the Graduate School. The oral examinations for Performance students will be administered by the student's committee with other members of the Music Graduate Faculty invited to attend and participate.

If deficiencies for MMT students are identified through the written exam, a preliminary oral examination will be scheduled in a private venue with only graduate music therapy faculty in attendance. If no deficiencies are identified, the oral exam for Music Therapy students will be the thesis defense or presentation of the clinical paper and are evaluated by the student's committee. All Music Therapy faculty and graduate MMT students, the Dean of the Hayes School of Music and the Dean of the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies are invited to attend.

Standards. All students must demonstrate (1) depth of knowledge and understanding consistent with the highest standards of graduate study in music or music therapy; (2) the ability to write clearly and convincingly; (3) the ability to synthesize varied thoughts into a cohesive discussion. Master of Music candidates must also demonstrate both the ability to draw connecions between historical, theoretical, and performance practice issues and advanced analytical skills. Master of Music Therapy candidates must demonstrate the ability to connect the literature of the disciplines represented within the course of study and to derive clinical inferences from those connections.

Preparation. All members of the graduate faculty are available to assist the student in his/her preparation for the comprehensive examinations. Proper preparation for the comprehensive examinations normally requires a minimum of six to eight weeks of intensive study. Insufficient preparation resulting in an unsuccessful performance on the comprehensive examinations will delay the student's completion of the program of study.