Ph.D. in Composition
Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements: Composition
The five-year doctoral program in Composition at Duke includes a Master of Arts degree (A.M.) en route to the Ph.D. Admission to the Ph.D. program is not automatically granted upon the student’s completion of the requirements of the A.M. degree, but is restricted to those students who have demonstrated the ability to do substantial and original work in composition. After passing the Qualifying Examination, the student will be notified regarding acceptance into the doctoral program. Upon successful completion of the en route A.M., a diploma can be requested.
- Seventeen Courses (51 units) of graduate instruction. The required courses include:
- One course in Musical Analysis
- Seven Composition Courses
- Two courses in either Ethnomusicology or Musicology:
- Music 790S-1
- One course selected from:
- Seven elective graduate courses (500 level or above, excluding Applied) NOTE: 500 and 600 level Applied Music Courses do not count towards the Ph.D.
No more than four courses (12 units) of a completed Master’s degree may be accepted for transfer from another institution.
After the first year, graduate electives can be taken outside the Department of Music as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The DGS will consider the student’s academic record within the Department and his/her reasons for enrolling in extra-departmental courses.
The Graduate School requires six semesters of “full-time” registration regardless of the number of courses taken or residence. No more than one semester may be waived for a completed Master’s degree.
Classroom teaching is an integral part of the doctoral program. All graduate students will be required to complete eight semesters of teaching as a Teaching Assistant or Instructor of Record.
Examinations and Dissertation
- Diagnostic Examination
- Foreign Language Examination
- Ph.D. Qualifying Exam & Ph.D. Composition Portfolio
- Preliminary Examination
- Dissertation Article of publishable quality, submitted within six months after Preliminary Examination
- Dissertation Composition: a large-scale work
- Final Examination (the dissertation defense in Composition will take the form of a presentation by the composer on the Dissertation Composition).
Sample Program of Study in Composition
The following represents a typical program for students entering the doctoral program in Composition, which begins with en route A.M. requirements and then proceeds to Ph.D. requirements:
|Semester||Typical Course of Study|
|Year 1, Semester 1 (12 units)||
|Year 1, Semester 2 (12 units)||
|Year 2, Semester 1 (9 units)||
|Year 2, Semester 2 (9 units)||
|Year 3, Semester 1 (9 units)||
|Year 3, Semester 2||