Music library items

(This program is not currently accepting students).


The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is offered only in the field of musicology. Musicology in this sense is interpreted to mean the entire field of music that is appropriate for scholarly research. A suitable subject for the dissertation must be selected from the specific fields of music history.

The student must file an application with the Ph.D. committee for admission to the Ph.D. program and must conform to the general requirements for admission to candidacy as outlined in the section on the doctoral degree in the general information section of the Announcements. Two letters of recommendation are required, at least one of which should be from a professor of music history, music theory, or other academic courses. The application must include at least one substantial original research paper on any musical topic. The writing sample should demonstrate solid bibliographical skills, critical use of sources, strong writing and organizational skills, and proficiency in identifying a problem and formulating an original argument. The Master's thesis (or a portion thereof) is often appropriate.

Students whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL results of 80 or higher (iBT test), (for paper-based test: 550 or higher; for computer-based test: 213 or higher), to be considered for admission. For the iBT test, at least 20 out of 30 in each of the subcategories is required.

The M.A. in musicology or a comparable preparation is a prerequisite for entry into the Ph.D. program. The M.M. in performance may constitute preparation comparable to the M.A. in some instances, but in others additional work in the form of specific courses may be required. The master's degree, however, is only a minimal prerequisite and in itself is not sufficient. An admissions committee will screen all applicants to determine their abilities to pursue doctoral work. Judgment will be based on the following: demonstrated ability in previous studies, writing and research skills, academic references indicating the aptitude and desire for research in the field and interviews with the admissions committee and with certain other members of the faculty, depending on the particular interests of the applicant. A student who intends to complete both the M.A. and the Ph.D. at The Catholic University of America must normally complete the master's thesis before the Admissions Committee will consider an application for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Applicants must complete music history and music theory placement examinations before registration is completed. If the results of these examinations indicate areas of deficiency, the student must remove these deficiencies by taking specified graduate review or undergraduate courses. These courses do not count toward degree requirements.

The student must also work out a clear program of study in consultation with the adviser and dissertation major professor. The subject for dissertation research can be one of the strongest factors in determining the student's actual courses. All students must choose a minor field as part of their program of study; this minor field is often a related area within music, though other fields may be chosen as appropriate to the student's interests and qualifications. Proficiency in the major and minor fields will be tested in written comprehensive examinations (MUS 998A w/classes; MUS 998B w/o classes). Students will consult with the adviser as to their preparedness before presenting themselves for these examinations. To be admitted to candidacy, the student must pass both major and minor comprehensive examinations and must be recommended by the faculty in the area of study.

Students must also demonstrate a reading knowledge of French and German. In some instances another language (such as Latin, for example) may be substituted for one of these if it is pertinent to the candidate's research. Students are expected to pass at least one foreign language examination during the first semester of graduate study (or, if part time, before completing 12 semester hours), and the other examination within one year after they begin graduate work (or, if part time, before completing 24 semester hours). Both foreign language requirements must be completed before the student is permitted to take the comprehensive examinations.

A graduate student who has received a grade of C or F in a graduate course is permitted to repeat the course one time. The calculation of the grade point average will include only the grade earned in the repeated course. For students in graduate programs, an average of B or better is required for graduation.

Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Musicology are referred to the general section of these Announcements under the heading The Doctoral Degree for information regarding coursework, transfer of credits, language, comprehensive examinations, admission to candidacy, dissertation, criteria for dissertation, oral examination, publication of dissertation, copyright and completion of requirements and request for extension.

Program of Study

The Ph.D. degree in music history is a research degree for students primarily interested in the field of music history. The program for each student will be planned by the student's adviser and is subject to the approval of the dean.

Enrollment is required each semester in residence.

The selection of period courses shall be made in consultation with the adviser; the required period courses shall be determined by performance on the music history placement exam, and previous course experience in the Master of Arts degree, as well as the need to provide a well-rounded selection of courses covering all periods of music history. If deemed necessary, period courses may replace one or more electives. A minimum of 12 additional semester hours must be taken in the minor field, with the expectation that these 12 hours are sufficient to provide a solid base of knowledge in the subject area. If additional hours are deemed necessary for the minor, these shall be drawn from the electives. If the minor field is in music theory, the student shall take the following courses: Analytical Techniques I and II (six semester hours) and electives in theory (six semester hours). A minor field outside of music may be chosen if the student has the necessary undergraduate prerequisites to qualify for graduate courses and if such a field is pertinent to the student's program. For example, students who wish to write dissertations on subjects in the medieval period and who have adequate preparation will be encouraged to take 12 semester hours of medieval Latin as part of their minor. Other minor fields that provide a valuable complement to courses in music history are anthropology, history and art history. Minor fields in performance may be permitted, pending a successful audition and approval by both the musicology faculty and the appropriate applied music faculty; a minor in performance requires 15 semester hours and a graduate-level recital, as explained in the section below. In deciding on a minor field, students should consult with both their musicology adviser and appropriate faculty adviser in the field in which they propose to take their minor. Students who select a minor field other than music theory are still strongly encouraged to select Analytical Techniques I and II as two of their electives.

Minor in Performance

A student who wishes to pursue a minor in performance must first audition for the appropriate applied music faculty, who will determine whether or not the student qualifies for applied music study at the graduate level. If approved by both the applied music faculty and the musicology faculty, the minor field will then consist of fifteen semester hours: six in applied music and nine in pedagogy and literature. The student must also give one graduate-level recital and take a written comprehensive examination on pedagogy and literature of that performance discipline.

Minor in Latin American Music

A student who wishes to pursue a minor in Latin American music will determine, in consultation with the faculty adviser, a program containing at least twelve semester hours of Latin American music electives. The student must pass a comprehensive examination in the minor area. In addition, one of the student's two foreign languages should be Spanish, and the dissertation must be written on a Latin American music topic. If the student elects to use applied music instruction as part of the minor area requirements, a significant portion of the repertoire studied must consist of music by Latin American composers. In lieu of the dissertation on a topic in Latin American music, a student who has elected to pursue the Minor in Latin American music may--in consultation with the faculty adviser--elect to complete two significant research projects (beyond the requirements of a class) and present these as formal papers to the Musicology Colloquium. These papers should be fully documented studies around twenty-five pages in length. This option is available for students who have elected to do a dissertation on a topic outside Latin American music. If the student elects this option, the minor still carries with it the other requirements enumerated above.