Registration Requirements

Please be aware of the following requirements, policies and guidelines with respect to courses, leaves, and issue resolution.

Fall and Spring Registration

New students register at the beginning of the term in which they enter; thereafter, registration takes place during the preceding semester on dates that will be announced.  Students will receive a memorandum from the Dean of the Graduate School outlining the registration procedures, which are binding.

The first step is to review your progress toward meeting your degree requirements with the Staff Assistant in the Graduate Studies Office.  Next, you will be asked to schedule an appointment with the DGS or the registration adviser for your program to discuss your proposed course schedule.  Your initial selections as well as all subsequent changes must be approved by the DGS.

If you choose to study part-time you need register for only three units.  Please note, however, that part-time students are not eligible for financial aid from the University.

Summer Registration

The Department of Music does not offer graduate courses during the summer.  If you are completing requirements for a degree (i.e., the Qualifying Examination or the Dissertation Defense) during the summer, you must register for the summer term.  If you do not enroll in courses, you will need to pay only the registration and health fees.  Be advised that if you do not pay the Student Health fee for the summer you will not be eligible for treatment by the University Student Health Service during this period.

Note on Course Selection

Many students understandably have a natural inclination to select courses in their areas of special interest.   However, the area in which one feels least at home may be precisely the area in which one would gain the most from the structured introduction that a course on the subject will offer.  Furthermore, the value of graduate courses, particularly seminars, lies not only in gaining knowledge of some specific area but also in being introduced to new approaches and methods that may be applicable to one’s own areas of interest.

Courses outside the Department of Music

In the Department of Music, students can receive degree credit for courses numbered 500 and higher.  Graduate School regulations on courses taken outside the Department of Music allow that:

  • In exceptional cases, and with DGS approval, Ph.D. students may take any course(s) below the 500 level and have it (them) count towards the requisite 51 units, provided that two conditions are met: a) that such courses be over and above graduate course requirements set by the department; and b) that a grade of B or better be earned.
  • At the Master’s level, only two such courses will be counted toward the 33 units (see Graduate School Bulletin, p.52).

In the Department of Music, condition (a) in the first paragraph above is normally interpreted as follows: selection of up to two extra-departmental courses at or above the 100 level will normally be approved where no graduate-level course is appropriate, except in the case of foreign language reading courses, which, with the approval of the DGS, may be given for courses under the 200 level.  Taking these courses may fulfill the requirement for courses taken outside the department with the approval of the DGS.

Independent Studies

Ordinarily, Independent Studies serve as a preliminary exploration of a potential dissertation topic. (This does not apply to the Independent Studies in Performance Practice required for the A.M. in Performance Practice.)  They are, thus, most appropriate during the later stages of one’s program, i.e. after passing the Qualifying Examination.  If you are interested in doing an Independent Study (other than those required for the Performance Practice degrees), consult with the DGS.

Registering for Courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and NCCU

Duke has a cooperative agreement with UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, and North Carolina Central University by which students can take courses at the other institutions.  Ordinarily, students avail themselves of this opportunity only for courses on subjects in which they have special interests and that are not offered (or likely to be offered in the near future) at their home institution.

Only full-time students are eligible for “inter-institutional” registration, which requires at least an equivalent number of units to be taken at Duke during the same semester. The student should first register at Duke for the desired course(s) in the normal process of a registration. After securing a form from the Duke Registrar certifying eligibility for inter-institutional registration, the student must then complete the registration process at the cooperating institution. Tuition will be charged for all courses(s) at the Duke rate.

Lessons with Performance Faculty

Upon successful audition, graduate students may take lessons with performance faculty. Lesson fees will be waived, with permission of DGS.   In cases where slots are limited, undergraduate students have preference over graduate students.

Note on Incompletes

In principle, an “Incomplete” is given at the option of the instructor only when a student is not able to complete work in a course due to circumstances beyond his or her control, e.g., in the case of a prolonged illness.  Taking the Qualifying or Preliminary Examinations is not an acceptable reason for an Incomplete.  The Graduate School permits Incompletes to be made up within a year after the termination of a course.  If a student’s record shows the accumulation of too many Incompletes, the graduate faculty may declare the student’s progress towards the degree unsatisfactory.

If any Incompletes are outstanding students will not be permitted to register for Independent Studies (except for required Independent Studies for the A.M. in Performance Practice degree) or to take Qualifying Exams or Preliminary Examinations. 

Withdrawal and Leave of Absence

Students who plan to withdraw from the Graduate School must send written notice to the DGS and the Dean prior to the date of the anticipated withdrawal (otherwise they may be liable for registration fees).  If they subsequently wish to reenter the program, they must apply for readmission and pay reinstatement fees as determined by the Graduate School.

Leaves of absence for a period of time no longer than one calendar year may be granted because of medical necessity, full-time employment, acceptance of external award judged likely to benefit the student as an individual but not related to the degree requirements, or other acceptable reasons.  Taking time off for independent study or dissertation research is generally not included among those acceptable reasons.  The Graduate School must approve all leaves of absence.

Grievance Procedures and Standards of Conduct

In the case of a grievance about an academic issue (e.g. grades or decisions on a language examination) students should consult the DGS about appropriate channels of appeal.  In addition to the academic standards published herein, students and faculty should also be aware that the Graduate School maintains and publishes policies regarding such topics as academic integrity, sexual harassment, and grievance procedures.  These are outlined in the Graduate School Bulletin.  These are standards to which we, as members of the academic community, all subscribe.