Final comprehensive examinations are required of all graduate music students and will be given once each semester, on or about November 1and April 1. Student must be in their 2nd year of study to take comprehensive exams. All deficiencies revealed by the diagnostic examinations must be remediated prior to taking comprehensive exams, and core courses must be successfully completed before students may take examinations in those subjects. Students are permitted a maximum of three attempts for each comprehensive exam. A fourth attempt may be granted in cases of documented exigent circumstances. Appeals should be made in writing (together with documentation) to the graduate coordinator. All appeals are at the discretion of the Examination Committee.
Graduate students may take the exams during the summer (August), ONLY if they have applied for summer graduation. Contact the graduate coordinator for scheduling.
Specific dates and location of these examinations will be posted online and listed on the registration form.
ALL graduate students intending to take the Graduate Comprehensive Examinations or to retake any portion(s) of them must complete the appropriate registration form:
- On campus students wishing to take the exam on campus should complete this form:
Graduate Comprehensive Examination Registration Form.
- On campus students wishing to take the exam off-campus should complete one or both of these forms:
Music History Exam
Music Theory Exam
Off-campus students taking courses via continuing education should contact continuing ed to register for comprehensive exams.
Registration forms bust be submitted at least three weeks before the scheduled examination date, including any summer administration of the examination.
To view the exam schedule and dates, click here.
Please note: Students whose primary language is not English may have 30 minutes of extra time for each exam, but must request this time a week in advance. Students may bring a hardcover or paperback dictionary. No electronic dictionaries allowed.
The specialization portion of the exam for the Master of Music (individual instruments/voice, conducting, jazz pedagogy, and music education) has a written or an oral format as determined by specialization. The content of this exam is left to the individual area of concentration. Questions might include material on related instruments, methods, repertoires, and pedagogy. Sample exam questions are available from each Division of the School of Music.
Oral exams, when applicable, should be scheduled with the student's applied instructor/committee chair and will cover the area of specialization. Oral exam committees will consist of faculty members assigned to the student's graduate Recital, Thesis, or Research Paper committee.
Students are advised to begin preparations for these examinations prior to the semester in which they plan to take them. Students are encouraged to visit with the members of their committees regarding appropriate areas of study. Students who have applied to graduate but fail to meet the standards required by the Examination Committee may schedule another examination (typically held at the end of the semester in which they have applied for graduation), for those portions of the original exam which were deemed unsatisfactory. Students are permitted a maximum of three attempts per exam, including retakes of portions of each examination.