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Approval of Graduate Thesis and Essay Proposals

Approval of Graduate Thesis and Essay Proposals

The approval process for the proposal for the Ph.D. thesis, D.M.A. thesis, D.M.A. essay, D.M.A recording project, and M.A. thesis requires the following steps:

  1. The student writes the proposal in consultation with the faculty advisor. Every proposal must contain the following information in such detail that the faculty committee may have sufficient information for consideration of your project:

    a. Proposed Title
    b. Statement of the problem and need for the study; with appropriate references to the current research.
    c. Method of research; to include representative bibliography and availability of material.
    d. Outline of content: chapter titles and major subheadings.

    When the advisor judges that the proposal is complete, the student provides copies to the prospective members of the final examination committee.

  2. Either in person, or by conference video/telephone, the student meets with the advisor and the committee to defend the proposal. Committee members from the School of Music faculty must participate in the meeting. If a member is from a unit outside the School of Music, that individual has the option not to attend. The meeting includes a substantive discussion of the proposal by the student and the committee members; the student is expected to answer questions about the subject matter, methodology, bibliography, copyright permissions, IRB approval, and so on. The committee will vote on the proposal as satisfactory or unsatisfactory, the latter resulting from two votes of “unsatisfactory.”

    *The proposal defense may only take place after the student has passed their comprehensive exams, and, must occur at least one semester prior to the defense."

  3. If the proposal is approved the committee will authorize the Topic Approval form, followed by the student’s Area Head and then the Associate Director for Graduate Studies. The form must be initiated on-line by the student and will enter the Workflow system once it’s complete; which includes all required names and uploaded documents. The form will follow this Workflow path: committee chair, other four members, Area Head, Associate Director for Graduate Studies. Graduate thesis option descriptions.
  4. If the committee evaluates the proposal as unsatisfactory, the student must submit a revised version to the committee, and defend it at a second committee meeting. The committee will again vote to evaluate the proposal as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

D.M.A. students in piano and Ph.D. students in composition whose thesis consists entirely of a musical score are exempt from the above requirement for a committee meeting, but must still have the proposal approved in writing by the members of the final examination committee.