Students

Policies & Procedures

This section of the website constitutes the official Composition Student Handbook, and may be printed for student reference. Students are expected to be familiar with all policies and procedures that pertain to their respective degree programs.

General Information

In addition to the following policies and procedures (which apply to all composition students) please refer to the appropriate sections below pertaining specifically to undergraduate and graduate composition students.

  • Creating a Composition Student Profile

    All students enrolled in composition lessons are required to register on the composition division website and submit their current student information. The submitted information will be maintained for composition faculty and staff reference and must be kept current so that students may be contacted regarding course enrollment, student awards, employment opportunities, and in the case of an emergency. Students may also use this profile page to upload files for regular student evaluations (juries, hearings, graduate reviews) and to request faculty studios at the beginning of each class registration period. By creating and updating this profile, the student acknowledges that he/she understands the composition division policies and procedures posted on this website and has registered on the UNT composers listserv. Students must update this profile each semester in order to receive course restriction codes for the subsequent semester.

  • Division Event Attendance

    All students enrolled in composition lessons—including both majors and non-majors—are expected to attend division events including concerts, Music Now forums, reading sessions, workshops, etc. Failure to regularly attend composition division events may result in a lower composition course grade or disqualification from the program. This requirement is additional to any other attendance and assigned work expectations of the course.

  • Composition Portfolio

    All composition majors are to maintain a portfolio that includes completed works, recordings, printed documents (programs, reviews, etc.), and a list of works and performances. This portfolio is to be submitted to the composition faculty for review at all student evaluations. It is expected that portfolio materials will be presented in a professional manner: i.e., accurate, properly notated, neatly formatted, bound, labeled, etc. Improperly formatted or poorly organized portfolios will not be accepted. Additional information regarding the content of the undergraduate and graduate composition portfolios may be found in the appropriate sections below.

  • Composition Student Evaluations

    All composition majors are evaluated on a regular basis. These evaluations include the Freshman Barrier Examination, Undergraduate Composition Jury, Senior Recital Hearing and Final Portfolio Review, Doctoral Qualifying Examination Hearingand the annual Graduate Review. These evaluations are scheduled at regular times throughout the academic year:

    1. Second week of classes each semester: Senior Recital Hearings, Undergraduate Composition Juries (make-up or follow-up from previous semester), Doctoral Qualifying Examination Hearings.
    2. Pre-finals week each semester: Undergraduate Composition Juries.
    3. Ninth and tenth week of classes in spring semester: Graduate Reviews.

    Detailed information on these evaluations may be found in the appropriate sections below.

  • Performance Requirement

    All composition majors are expected to present at least one public performance and/or reading of original composition(s) each semester. Venues may include Spectrum programs, Composers Forum concerts, reading sessions, and student recitals. Students are strongly encouraged to seek off-campus performances of their works (including festivals and conferences) though at least one performance per year must be at UNT. Final grades for composition major lessons (MUCP 2180-90, 3180-90, 4180, 5190, 6190) will be based in part on fulfillment of this requirement each semester. All students must regularly fulfill this requirement in order to be approved for the senior composition recital (undergraduates) or enrollment in thesis/dissertation (graduates).

  • Course Registration and Restriction Codes

    1. Restriction codes for composition courses may be obtained as follows:
      1. Undergraduate students: contact the Undergraduate Academic Advisor for composition, Carol Pollard — MU 260B; 565-3781; carol.pollard@unt.edu.
      2. Graduate students: contact the Composition Division Chair, Joseph Klein — MU 2005; 565-4926; joseph.klein@unt.edu.
    2. Students will not be provided with restriction codes for composition courses until they have updated their online composition student information.
    3. Instructor preferences (first and second choices) may be selected when completing/updating the online account; in those instances where the student's choice(s) may not be accommodated, all attempts will be made to place the student with his/her chosen instructor in the following semester.
    4. Students who intend to continue studying with their current composition instructor should confirm this with him/her prior to registration; students who intend to change instructors are expected to contact both the current instructor and the new instructor to make their intentions clear to all parties involved.
    5. All students approved for composition lessons (excluding thesis and dissertation students) will be placed in a holding section until final instructor assignments are made during the first week of classes each semester. These assignments will be posted on the composition bulletin board and e-mailed to the composers listserv.
    6. Students must register for composition lessons before the end of the first day of classes each semester to be guaranteed a studio space; placement after that time is contingent upon instructor availability.
    7. Teaching assignments for composition courses are as follows:
      1. MUCP 1180, 1190, 3080: weekly composition labs with a teaching fellow; weekly lectures with the freshman composition mentor.
      2. MUCP 2080, 2180, 2190: weekly individual and/or small group lessons with a teaching fellow; weekly seminars with the sophomore composition mentor.
      3. MUCP 4080: weekly individual and/or small group lessons with a teaching fellow or composition faculty member (as space permits); optional weekly seminars with the faculty mentor, as assigned at the beginning of the semester.
      4. MUCP 3180, 3190, 4180, 4190: weekly lessons with a composition faculty member.
      5. MUCP 5080: combination of weekly seminars and individual meetings with the composition faculty instructor(s).
      6. MUCP 5180, 5185: weekly individual and/or small group lessons with a composition faculty member (as space permits).
      7. MUCP 5190, 6190, 6200: weekly lessons with a composition faculty member.
      8. MUGC 5950, 6950: individual meetings with the major professor (as arranged); students must have an approved degree plan and advisory committee designation form on file with the Graduate Office in Music before being approved for thesis or dissertation.
    8. Graduate students interested in declaring composition as a related field must be approved by the composition faculty prior to obtaining a restriction code for MUCP 5185.


  • Composition Lessons

    1. All composition majors are expected to enroll in composition lessons (including thesis, dissertation, MUCP 6195, or 6200) each long semester until graduation; this does not apply to students enrolled in MUCP 1180-90 or MUCP 5080. Students may enroll in no more than one composition lesson each semester.
    2. Students typically meet with the instructor on a weekly basis, beginning the second full week of classes through the last week of classes each semester. However, it may be necessary on occasion to adjust these regularly scheduled meetings in order to accommodate instructors with professional obligations that require them to be away from campus. In these cases, the instructor will coordinate an alternate meeting schedule with the affected student(s) in advance.
    3. Weekly meetings may include a combination of private lessons, small group discussions, and studio seminars, as arranged by the individual faculty members. Students should be prepared to present their work and contribute to discussions at every meeting.
    4. In some cases, the faculty may request students to temporarily discontinue composition lessons in order to remedy deficiencies or concentrate on other areas of study within the curriculum. Students planning to voluntarily discontinue composition lessons for one or more semesters should contact the composition division chair and primary instructor (major professor) before doing so. Students resuming composition lessons following a hiatus period will be expected to meet with the composition faculty during the student evaluation session at the beginning of the semester. Terms of continuation in the program will be discussed at that time.
    5. Composition students are encouraged to explore the diversity of composition faculty perspectives in their selection of composition studios. It is expected that all composition majors will take composition lessons with at least two faculty members during their time in the program.
    6. At the beginning of the semester, each student will be evaluated by the assigned instructor and composition project(s) will be determined accordingly. It is expected that the assigned project(s) will be completed by the end of the semester.
    7. Students should refer to the composition lesson syllabi for specific information regarding each course. In addition to requirements detailed in these syllabi, students may be assigned supplemental research associated with the composition project(s), such as reading, listening, score study assignments, and/or concert reviews, as determined by the instructor. Students may be expected to maintain a journal of these supplemental assignments and should be prepared to discuss them at each lesson. All coursework is to be turned in to the instructor by the end of each semester.
    8. All students enrolled in composition lessons will receive a written mid-term evaluation around the eighth week of classes each semester. Students who are working below expectations will meet with the composition instructor (major professor) to discuss strategies for improving grades or other options concerning the completion of the course. In serious cases, the composition division chair may be involved in this meeting with the student.
    9. Grading will be based upon the following criteria:
      1. Completion of composition project(s), demonstrated effort, technique, and imagination.
      2. Completion of supplemental assignments.
      3. Performance or public reading of a recent work.
      4. Attendance (at lessons/seminars and division events, including Music Now).
        Other criteria may be considered as well, such as the results of the undergraduate composition jury (MUCP 2190), senior composition recital (MUCP 4190), or graduate review (MUCP 5185, 5190, 6190, 6200).


  • Spectrum Submissions

    1. Students must be currently enrolled in upper-division or graduate composition lessons and registered on the UNT composers listserv to be eligible for Spectrum programs. Students submitting electroacoustic works for Spectrum must also have successfully completed Introduction to Electroacoustic Music (MUCP 4670). Students enrolled in Intermediate Composition (MUCP 2180-90) or Secondary Composition I (MUCP 2080) may be considered only in exceptional cases, as determined by the composition faculty.
    2. The following materials must be submitted by 5:00 pm on the day of the posted deadline:
      1. All performance materials, which may include a score, complete set of performance-ready parts, audio CD, video, etc.
      2. Program note (including texts for vocal works).
      3. A completed and signed Spectrum Request Form.
    3. Spectrum requests are submitted to the composition division chair. It is preferable for supporting documents — scores, recordings, and performance materials — to be posted on the student's online account on this website, though physical copies of these materials may be submitted along with the Spectrum Request Form. Please note that the Spectrum Request Form must be submitted directly to the division chair/CEMI director, and must not be submitted online.
    4. All information included in the form must be legible, accurate, and printed exactly as it should appear in the program; it is particularly important that all timings are accurate and all performers’ names are spelled correctly.
    5. Scores and parts must be complete, legible, and thoroughly proofread prior to submission; incomplete, messy, or carelessly copied works will not be considered. Only copies are to be submitted; original manuscripts will not be accepted.
    6. Works incorporating technology requiring more than basic audio playback from CD or laptop must be presented in the MEIT. Contact the CEMI director for available formats.
    7. A written program note is required for each work submitted, although the composer may opt not to have this note included in the printed program notes made available at the concert. Program notes and texts may be included in the score or submitted separately. It is imperative to credit the source of all texts submitted and to provide permission information for texts not in the public domain.
    8. The instructor’s signature may be obtained only upon approval of all performance materials, program note, and completed Spectrum Request Form. Forms submitted without the instructor’s signature will not be considered.
    9. In order to facilitate the production of the program, it is important that applicants provide a detailed and accurate performance set-up, including number and placement of music stands, chairs, and microphones, technical requirements, etc.
    10. As each program can accommodate a maximum of 60 minutes of music, it may not be possible to program all works submitted. Therefore, applications will be prioritized according to the following criteria:
      1. Date of submission: it is to the composer’s advantage to submit a request early.
      2. The student’s classification and degree status: graduate students will generally have priority over undergraduates and composition majors will have priority over non-majors.
      3. The scope of the work: excessively long works or those requiring very large forces may be less likely to be programmed, depending upon the number of submissions received.
      4. The composer's record of previous performances: priority will often go to those composers who have not had a work performed on a recent Spectrum program.
        Those composers whose submissions are acceptable but are not programmed due to time constraints will be given priority for the next scheduled program.
    11. Members of the Composers Forum will coordinate the production of each Spectrum program, assisted by CEMI GAs as necessary. All composers participating in a Spectrum program will be required to assist in the following ways:
      1. Designing and posting flyers to advertise the concert. Flyers should be widely distributed/posted and must include the following information:
        • "The University of North Texas College of Music Division of Composition Studies presents"
        • “Spectrum: New Works from North Texas”
        • "Sponsored by Composers Forum at UNT"; include CF logo.
        • Day, date, year, and, time of event.
        • Location of the event: include building, hall name, and room number.
        • UNT College of Music logo.
        • Composers' names (suggested, but not required); make sure names are spelled correctly.
      2. Compiling program notes.

      These duties are to be coordinated with members of the Composers Forum and/or CEMI GAs in charge of the particular programs; assignments will be made based upon preferences indicated on the Spectrum Request Form, and will be posted on the composition bulletin board and to the composers listserv.

    12. It is absolutely imperative that composers work closely with any performers involved in the preparation of the selected work. In order to maintain a standard of professionalism, all aspects of performance protocol should be addressed during rehearsals, including stage presence, composer acknowledgments, and appropriate attire.
    13. Works that have not been adequately rehearsed and/or sound-checked prior to the performance will be removed from the program at the discretion of the student’s composition instructor, the composition division chair, and/or the CEMI director.
    14. A dress rehearsal sign-up sheet will be posted on the composition bulletin board at the time of the program announcement; rehearsal times are scheduled on a first come/first served basis.
    15. Preliminary programs will be posted on the composition bulletin board two weeks prior to the concert date; any changes must be made in writing no later than one week prior to the performance in order to appear in the final program.
    16. Further details (including deadlines and performance dates) are posted on the composition bulletin board and sent to the listserv; program information will be posted during the week following each submission deadline.
    17. Any materials not claimed after the program may be retrieved in the Christopher Walker's office (MU231) for the remainder of the semester, after which time they will be discarded.
    18. Participating composers may download recordings of their works, usually available within one week following the event. Instructions for accessing recordings are in the Student Resources section of this site.

  • Call for Large Ensemble Works

    1. Eligible composition students have regular opportunities for their works to be read and/or performed by the major UNT orchestral, wind, and choral ensembles. Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible:
      1. Current enrollment in upper-division (3000- or 4000-level) or graduate composition lessons, thesis, or dissertation.
      2. For orchestral and wind submissions: successful completion of Orchestration (MUCP 4320/5320) or the equivalent; optionally, the student must have worked on the submitted piece for at least one full semester with a member of the composition faculty.
      3. For choral submissions: the student must have worked on the submitted piece for at least one full semester with a member of the composition faculty.

      Graduating students will be eligible to submit works during the final semester of enrollment prior to graduation. These works will typically be considered for performance, but not for readings.

    2. Each eligible student may submit only one score in each category (thus, a composer could submit as many as three works—one each for orchestra, winds, and choir), with the following specifications:
      1. The score is to be printed (double-sided) onto 70# or 80# paper, with a card stock cover, and bound using comb or spiral methods for easy page turning.
      2. The following information must be included on the cover or preface pages of the score:
        • Title
        • Composer’s name
        • Year of composition
        • Duration of the work (to the nearest 30 seconds)
        • Instrumentation (including all percussion instruments required)
        • Concert or transposed score indication
        • Composer’s contact information (phone number and e-mail address)
        • Program note
      3. A recording of the work (optional) should be clearly labeled with the composer’s name and the title of the work.
    3. For orchestral and wind scores, students must submit one complete sample part: Violin I (for orchestral works) or Flute 1 (for wind works). Parts formatted for easy page turns should be printed in booklet form (folded and stapled in the middle) on 11x17-inch, 70# or 80# paper. Loose or stapled sheets will not be accepted.
    4. The submission deadline is the third Monday in April, for consideration during the following academic year. A second deadline for orchestra works to be considered for readings in the fall semester will be the third Monday in October.
    5. Submissions will be screened by the composition faculty, who will forward up to five recommended works in each category to the appropriate conducting faculty.
    6. Works selected for readings or performance by the major ensembles will be announced on the UNT Composers listserv as information becomes available from the various ensemble directors.
    7. Orchestra readings are scheduled at the end of each fall semester, and will be posted on the Events page of the composition website (the orchestras are usually not available for general student readings during the spring semester, when they are scheduled to read works for the Orchestration class, MUCP 4320/5320). Students whose works are selected for these readings must submit to the composition division chair one additional score and a complete set of parts by mid-November, usually about a week prior to the reading session (the specific deadline will be sent to the listserv when the selected works are announced).
    8. Wind and choral readings will be scheduled by the individual ensemble directors as time allows each semester; in those instances, selected composers should be in direct contact with the appropriate ensemble directors for further information.
    9. Student composers, ensemble directors, and composition faculty (through the chair) will be in communication with one another regarding all readings and performances, so that the composition faculty can oversee the student composer and ensure that materials are delivered to the respective directors in an acceptable and timely manner.
    10. Student composers are fully responsible for printing parts/scores, including all associated costs. It is also the student's responsibility to make any arrangements necessary (often through the respective ensemble directors) to record their works.
    11. Ensemble directors will provide the students with written and/or verbal feedback on their works following the readings.
  • CEMI Studio Access & Scheduling

    The physical facilities of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (CEMI) consist of a set of studios — ranging from stereo to 8-channel configurations, all of which are accessed via a key card system — and the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (MEIT). These facilities are staffed and maintained by the CEMI director and the CEMI staff. Together, the director and CEMI staff oversee the use of the studios and theater, as well as program and produce concerts in the MEIT.

    1. Access to the CEMI studios is available to:
      1. students enrolled in MUCP 4670 (Introduction to Electroacoustic Music); enrollment is limited and prioritized for advanced composition students.
      2. students enrolled in advanced computer music or intermedia classes (prerequisite is typically MUCP 4670); enrollment is limited and prioritized for advanced composition students.
      3. students pursuing appropriate projects with instructors in composition, computer music, or intermedia, with approval of instructor and the CEMI director.
      4. researchers involved in appropriate projects in composition, computer music, or intermedia, with approval of the CEMI director.
    2. In order to obtain access, students who are authorized to use the CEMI studios must do the following:
      1. determine, in consultation with their instructor and/or the CEMI director, which studios are required.
      2. join the cemi-users listserv; see instructions for UNT composers listserv, substituting “cemi-users” for “unt-composers”.
      3. complete a CEMI Studio Access Form, with the appropriate faculty signatures: this form and the apprpriate access fee ($10 per term, $25 for the entire year) must be submitted to the CEMI office (MU 2001) by the second week of classes.
      4. new studio users must schedule an orientation session with a member of the CEMI staff.
        Once issued, the access card should be tested on all approved studios (card activation may take a few days from the time of application).
    3. CEMI users may schedule regular studio times:
      1. students in MUCP 4670 may schedule up to 6 hours per week, with a maximum of 3 hours in one block.
      2. advanced users may schedule up to 9 hours per week, with a maximum of 3 hours in one block.
      3. unscheduled studio times may be used on a "first come, first served" basis (see details below)
    4. Procedures for scheduling of studios are as follows:
      1. check the studio schedules on the CEMI website.
      2. write to cemi-users@unt.edu to request studio time; scheduling is subject to CEMI staff approval.
      3. CEMI users with regularly scheduled times must write to cemi-users@unt.edu if they decide not to use a previously scheduled studio time.
      4. studio times should be scheduled in advance whenever possible; however, in cases where it is not possible to to so, studios may be used as they are available.
      5. Users should always be considerate and accommodating of the needs and schedules of others.
    5. Access key cards are programmed for each individual, granting students access to a certain set of studios depending upon the current project and level of experience. For security purposes, the key card locks maintain a log of everyone who enters each studio, including the time and date.
    6. Every CEMI studio user must have an access key card. It is important that students with the CEMI access key card never loan their card to another person nor allow anyone to enter the studio as they are leaving; each person must log in with his/her own card. Students who fail to follow these guidelines will be held responsible for damaged or missing items and their access privileges may be revoked.
    7. Access key cards are typically disabled on the last day of finals week each semester; students who plan to work over the semester breaks or during the summer sessions must notify the CEMI staff. Key cards must be returned by the last day of finals week. The access fee is necessary to maintain the access system, including key cards; failure to return the key cards at the designated time will result in increased fees for all CEMI users — so please return them promptly!


  • The Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater Usage Guidelines and Policies

    1. Mission and priority:
      1. The Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater is maintained by CEMI and the Division of Composition Studies as a dedicated performance, rehearsal, development, and teaching space for experimental music and intermedia. As such, the MEIT is prioritized for events requiring the theater's specialized technological resources and consistent with CEMI's mission.
      2. The MEIT is also used for a variety of regularly scheduled classes, rehearsals, and public events (see /events) sponsored by CEMI and the Division of Composition Studies.
      3. Other reservations are at the discretion of the CEMI Director, subject to staffing and scheduling constraints.
    2. Scheduling:
      1. Before requesting the MEIT, check the MEIT online calendar to make sure the time you are requesting is available. If you are requesting to use the theater as part of regular staff hours, also check the office calendar (http://cemi.music.unt.edu/places/office-hours) and make sure the CEMI staff member on duty is able to help you in the hall during that day/time; you can write to cemi-staff@unt.edu or contact the individual GA directly (contact information for all CEMI staff is available from the faculty page).
      2. All confirmed MEIT events will be added to the MEIT online calendar. Check to make sure your event times are accurate, to avoid scheduling conflicts and to make sure you don't pay for hours you don't need.
    3. Staff support:
      1. Except as noted below, all events and rehearsals in the MEIT require staff support for lighting, hall setup, security, staging, recording, and any other technical needs, owing to the amount of fragile and costly equipment in the space and the unique computer-controlled stage lighting system. For events not sponsored by CEMI or Composition Studies, this requires payment at a rate of $20/person/hour, payable directly to the staff member(s) involved.
      2. Approved classes and other events supervised by Composition Studies personnel do not require CEMI staff, but all Composition Studies personnel with key access to the MEIT must first have a training session on theater use and policies with CEMI staff.
      3. Approved rehearsals and other events supervised by CEMI staff during regular staff hours (listed at http://cemi.music.unt.edu/places/office-hours) do not require payment.
    4. Technical data:
      1. All MEIT events requiring the theater's technical resources require a full technical rider no less than 2 weeks before the event. CEMI staff assistants will be assigned for each event and can help work out technical details.
      2. The MEIT Technical Request Sheet, available from http://cemi.music.unt.edu/content/forms, gives guidelines as to what kinds of questions you should consider and what information you should provide.
    5. General usage and safety policies:
      1. Any activity that puts people or equipment at risk in the MEIT is forbidden. This includes use of the audio system at levels in excess of NIOSH standards (see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/98-126/), to be verified as necessary using SPL meters provided by CEMI. Continuous exposure should not exceed 85 dB A-weighted, with a 3-dB time-weighted exchange rate.
      2. No fire, smoking, eating, drinking, uncontained liquids, hazardous materials, or animals (other than humans and licensed helpers) will be permitted in the MEIT.
      3. No one other than CEMI staff may move, rewire or reconfigure equipment in the MEIT; this includes plugging devices into any electrical cables or subsystems, moving curtains, loudspeakers, or furniture, or adding or changing audio, video, or internet cabling (other than connecting audio, video, or computing devices to the cables provided for this purpose at the teaching station).
      4. Use of the MEIT requires CEMI staff supervision; all MEIT doors are to remain closed and locked when CEMI staff are absent.
      5. Use of the MEIT stage lighting and audio systems is limited to personnel who have had a training session with CEMI staff.
      6. Failure to follow these policies will result in cessation of MEIT access, including cancelation of scheduled events.


Undergraduate Information

In addition to the general policies and procedures listed above, the following apply to all undergraduate composition students:

  • Advising

    1. Undergraduate composition majors must meet with the academic advisor each semester until the first 60 hours of coursework are completed. It is highly recommended that students continue to meet with the advisor on a regular basis throughout the remainder of the degree program.
    2. Undergraduate composition majors must achieve a grade of B or better in all required theory and composition courses in order to remain in the program.


  • Laboratory Requirement

    1. Undergraduate composition majors must participate in a music laboratory each semester they are enrolled, and must complete eight semesters of laboratory requirements including at least four semesters of band, orchestra, or choir.
    2. Composition majors in good standing who have met the following criteria will be eligible to enroll in MUEN (ensemble) or MUCM (chamber music) courses to fulfill the laboratory requirement for the degree:
      1. Placement in Advanced Composition (MUCP 3180-90, 4180-90).
      2. Completion of at least four semesters of MULB courses.
    3. Ensemble substitutions must be approved by the composition division chair prior to each semester of enrollment.
    4. Students on scholarship for a particular laboratory ensemble (e.g., wind ensembles, orchestra) must meet all enrollment requirements of the scholarship and, therefore, will not be eligible to substitute MUEN or MUCM courses without forfeiting the scholarship.
    5. Students who change their majors out of composition (whether by choice or as a result of disqualification from the program) after substituting MUEN and/or MUCM courses for the laboratory requirements may be obligated to make up any unfulfilled MULB requirements in the new degree plan.


  • Undergraduate Composition Portfolio

    1. All composition majors are to maintain a portfolio that includes completed works, recordings, printed documents (programs, reviews, etc.), and a list of works and performances.
    2. The undergraduate composition portfolio must include at least six substantial works that reflect a variety of media, forms, and techniques, including at least one of each of the following:
      1. solo work
      2. work for voice(s), with or without accompaniment
      3. work for chamber ensemble (five or more performers)
      4. work that demonstrates facility with larger forms (e.g., a multi-movement work)
      5. electroacoustic, computer, and/or intermedia work
      6. work that incorporates structured improvisation in an organic way; score may include pictographic, graphic, or text-based elements to convey performance information.
    3. Additionally, the portfolio must demonstrate proficiency composing for all instrumental families (woodwinds, brass, strings, piano, and percussion).
    4. It is expected that students will regularly review the content of their composition portfolios with their composition instructor in order to ensure that there are no deficiencies.
    5. All works included in the portfolio must receive public performances prior to graduation; works used to fulfill the above requirements that have not been performed prior to the senior recital hearing and final portfolio review must be included in the senior recital program.

  • Freshman Barrier Examination

    All students intending to major in composition must pass the Freshman Barrier Examination before continuing in Intermediate Composition I (MUCP 2180). Students who have completed MUCP 1180-1190 but do not intend to major in composition are not required to take this examination.

    1. Prospective composition majors who have met the following conditions may request to schedule the Freshman Barrier Examination:
      1. Completion of MUCP 1180-1190 with a grade of B or better.
      2. Completion of MUTH 1400-1410 and 1500-1510 (Theory and Aural Skills I-II) with a grade of B or better.
      3. Demonstrated record of regular attendance at Composition Division events during each long semester of enrollment in MUCP courses.

      Students who do not meet all of the above requirements at the time of the FBE will be advised to declare another major. Transfer students with at least two semesters of college-level composition courses who place into MUTH 2400-2410 or higher will be reviewed by the Composition Division chair and advised accordingly prior to enrollment.

    2. This 45-minute oral examination, administered by the composition division chair, is in two parts:
      1. Aural examination, testing recognition of pitch materials used in contemporary music:
        • Melodic: whole-tone, pentatonic, octatonic, modal.
        • Harmonic: major, minor, augmented, diminished; extended tertian, quartal, quintal, secondal.
      2. Repertoire and terminology:
        • Recognition of major contemporary composers and works through score and listening examples.
        • An understanding of basic musical concepts and terminology pertinent to contemporary styles and techniques.
    3. Students are strongly encouraged to review their notes and assignments from 1180-90 prior to taking this examination. The division chair may terminate the FBE at any time during the exam if it is clear that the student is not adequately prepared.
    4. Students who do not pass the Freshman Barrier Examination may enroll in Secondary Composition lessons (MUCP 2080) and may retake the examination within one year of completing MUCP 1190. Students who pass the examination at that time may petition to substitute up to two semesters of MUCP 2080 toward the Intermediate Composition (MUCP 2180-90) requirement for the degree.
    5. The Freshman Barrier Examination may be taken no more than twice; students who do not pass the examination after the second attempt will not be allowed to major in composition.


  • Undergraduate Composition Jury

    Students interested in qualifying for Advanced Composition must pass a jury before the composition faculty at the end of the semester they are enrolled in Intermediate Composition II (MUCP 2190); students who complete MUCP 2190 during the summer sessions must pass a jury at the beginning of the subsequent fall semester (usually scheduled during the second week of classes) in order to be eligible for Advanced Composition.

    1. In order to be eligible to take the composition jury, students must have passed the Freshman Barrier Examination and must also be making progress toward fulfilling the requirements in item 6 below.
    2. Eligible students are to complete the first page of the Undergraduate Jury Evaluation form, meet with the undergraduate advisor to obtain the requisite information and signature, and attach a list of all works composed while at UNT (see below for details). These materials are to be submitted to the composition instructor by the Monday prior to the scheduled jury date.
    3. Once confirmed, the jury schedule will be posted on the composition division bulletin board and on the Calendar page of this website, usually by the tenth week of classes (for fall and spring enrollment) or during the second week of the semester (for make-up juries and those following summer enrollment in MUCP 2190).
    4. No later than the Monday prior to the scheduled jury, each eligible student will submit a portfolio for review by the faculty. The portfolio materials must be uploaded electronically (in mp3, wav, aif, mov, and/or pdf format only), attached to the student's account on this website. These materials include:
      1. Scores of three representative works composed while at UNT; students taking a follow-up jury should include works completed since the previous jury. Scores must be presented in a professional manner: i.e., accurate, properly notated, neatly formatted, labeled, etc.
      2. Recordings of works presented while at UNT. These may include reading sessions, live performances, and/or edited studio mixes of the selected compositions. MIDI realizations may be submitted in exceptional cases.
      3. List of all works composed while at UNT. This list must be typed, clearly organized, and include the title, medium, date composed, duration, and performance/reading information (dates, locations, and performers) for each work, as applicable.
    5. Students are to arrive promptly to the scheduled jury, at which time the following will be evaluated:
      1. Quality and presentation of the portfolio; such issues as musical content, notational accuracy, and neatness of manuscript will be considered.
      2. Academic standing (including GPA, laboratory enrollment, and concentration status).
      3. Overall productivity and participation in division activities.
      4. Understanding of contemporary musical concepts and knowledge of contemporary repertoire.
    6. Following the jury, the composition faculty will make its recommendation concerning the student’s continuation in the program. Only those students who have fulfilled the following requirements will be eligible to continue in MUCP 3180 and major in composition:
      1. Completion of MUCP 1180-1190, 2180-2190, and MUTH 1400-1410, 1500-1510, 2400-2410, and 2500-2510 with no grade lower than B.
      2. Successful completion of the Upper Divisional Examination (UDE).
      3. Successful completion of the Piano Proficiency Examination (PPE).
      4. Continuous enrollment in a music laboratory.
      5. Regular attendance at and participation in composition division events, including Music Now.
      6. Recommendation of composition faculty following jury review.
        Additionally, the student’s potential as a composition major is taken into consideration when determining continuation in the program.
    7. Students who do not meet all of the above requirements at the time of the Undergraduate Composition Jury may be allowed to take Secondary Composition II (MUCP 4080) until all deficiencies have been remedied. Students may petition to apply up to two semesters of MUCP 4080 toward the Advanced Composition requirement for the composition degree. A follow-up jury will be required before continuing in Advanced Composition.
    8. The final grade for MUCP 2190 reflects the student’s performance at the jury as well as fulfillment of course requirements and is determined by the student’s instructor in consultation with the composition faculty.
    9. Students will be notified of the results usually within one week of the jury.
    10. The Undergraduate Composition Jury may be taken no more than twice; if the student is unable to pass the jury by the second attempt, the composition faculty may recommend dismissal from the program.


  • Senior Recital Hearing and Final Portfolio Review

    Students prepared to present a senior composition recital may enroll in Advanced Composition IV (MUCP 4190) and must contact the composition division chair prior to the beginning of the semester in order to be scheduled for a Senior Recital Hearing and Final Portfolio Review before the composition faculty. These hearings are typically scheduled during the second week of classes in the fall and spring semesters; a schedule will be posted on the composition division bulletin board and website at the beginning of each semester.

    1. Composition majors must complete 12 hours of concentration-level lessons and pass the Concentration Proficiency Examination in the principal instrument or voice prior to the senior recital hearing.
    2. Eligible students must complete Section I of the Senior Recital Hearing and Final Portfolio Review Form and attach the following:
      1. A current résumé or curriculum vitae, which includes the following:
        • A list of all compositions composed while at UNT including title, medium, date composed, and duration.
        • A list of performances of the above works, including date, location, and performers, as applicable.
        • A list of prizes, commissions, grants, or other honors recently received.
      2. The proposed senior recital program: include title, complete instrumentation, year of composition, and duration for each work. The senior recital program should adequately demonstrate the diversity of the student's composition portfolio.
        The completed form, résumé/vita, and proposed recital program must be submitted to the composition instructor by the Monday prior to the scheduled hearing date.
    3. After searching the appropriate websites (www.music.unt.edu/events and www.music.unt.edu/roomview) for available dates and locations, students may complete Part I of the Senior Recital Approval Form.
    4. No later than the Monday prior to the scheduled hearing, each eligible student will submit a portfolio for review by the faculty. The portfolio materials must be uploaded electronically (in mp3, wav, aif, mov, and/or pdf format only), attached to the student's account on this website. These materials include:
      1. Scores (one copy each) of works composed while at UNT.
      2. Recordings of all works included in the portfolio. Recordings may include reading sessions, live performances, and/or edited studio mixes of the selected compositions. MIDI realizations may be submitted in exceptional cases.
      3. A current résumé or curriculum vitae (see item 2a above for details).
      4. The proposed senior recital program (see item 2b above for details).
    5. Students should arrive promptly to the scheduled hearing, at which time the senior recital proposal, composition portfolio, division attendance records, and transcripts will be reviewed. In addition to physical copies of the portfolio materials listed in item 4 above, students must also bring the following materials to the hearing:
      1. A complete set of performance-ready parts for all works to be presented on the recital.
      2. Documentation of performances of original compositions (e.g., programs, flyers, news clippings).
        All materials submitted for review—in both electronic and physical formats—must be well organized and professionally presented: i.e., accurate, properly notated, neatly formatted, labeled, bound, etc.
    6. Following the hearing, the composition faculty will make its recommendation concerning the student’s continuation in MUCP 4190. Only those students who have fulfilled the following requirements will be eligible to present a senior recital:
      1. Completion of at least three semesters of Advanced Composition (MUCP 3180, 3190, 4180) with no grade lower than B.
      2. No grade lower than B in any theory (MUTH) or composition (MUCP) course.
      3. Successful completion of the Concentration Proficiency Examination.
      4. Fulfillment of Laboratory Requirement.
      5. Fulfillment of Performance Requirement.
      6. Regular attendance at and participation in composition division events.
      7. Approval of the final composition portfolio.
      8. Recommendation of composition faculty following senior recital hearing.
    7. Students not approved for the senior recital may enroll in MUCP 4180 and retake the hearing at the beginning of the next long semester. If the student is unable to pass the Senior Recital Hearing and Final Portfolio Review on the second attempt, the composition faculty may recommend dismissal from the program.

  • Senior Composition Recital

    1. Students approved for the senior recital may proceed with scheduling the event in consultation with the composition faculty. The student will confirm a senior recital review committee consisting of the composition instructor and two other composition faculty members. It is recommended that students select faculty members with whom they have previously studied. The selected committee members sign Part II of the Senior Recital Approval Form and return the form to the student.
    2. Once the student and the senior recital review committee determine a mutually acceptable recital date (no later than six weeks prior to the event), the recital may be scheduled with the Concert Scheduling Office.
    3. Any special arrangements (e.g., audio/video playback, theatrical lighting, staging) must be made at least four weeks prior to the event. Recitals that include works requiring more than basic audio playback and/or amplification must be presented in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (MEIT), and must adhere to the following guidelines:
      1. At least one CEMI GAs is required to provide technical support for recitals presented in the MEIT.
      2. A maximum of ten total hours of technical support time (which may be divided between two or more technical assistants) will be allotted to each student presenting a senior recital; any additional expenses (including CEMI GA overtime) incurred in the production of the senior recital are the sole responsibility of the student; contact the CEMI director for current CEMI hourly rates
      3. All CEMI GA assignments must be coordinated through the CEMI director.
    4. All rehearsal times must be scheduled at least three days in advance. Use of the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (either for rehearsals or performance) will require CEMI technical assistance and must be approved by the CEMI director in advance.
    5. The student will submit a complete and accurate program to the program coordinator at least three weeks prior to the event. This program will include composition titles, movement titles (if any), composition dates, accurate timings, and the names of all assisting performers.
    6. Program notes are required for the portfolio, although the student may opt not to distribute them at the recital; these must be submitted to the composition instructor for approval at least one week prior to the event.
    7. Flyers, posters, or any other advertising for the event must be approved by the composition instructor. It is recommended that these materials be posted no later than one week prior to the event. Advertising materials should include the following information:
      1. day, date, year, and, time of event.
      2. location of the event: include building, hall name, and room number.
      3. UNT College of Music logo.
    8. Once Part III of the Senior Recital Approval Form has been completed and the requisite approvals have been obtained (no later than one week prior to the recital), the student will submit the form along with a draft of the senior recital program to the composition division chair. Forms not completed and received by the due date may result in the cancellation or postponement of the senior composition recital.
    9. Senior recitals may be shared by no more than two composers, must be presented only during long semesters (i.e., fall or spring), and must include 35 to 45 minutes of original music per composer. In order to facilitate production of the recital, the student is expected to organize a stage crew; those assisting with the recital should be familiar with concert protocol, including appropriate attire and proper stage presence.
    10. Due to increased recital activity at the end of each semester, senior composition recitals presented in November or April must be combined recitals; students who do not wish to share a recital with another composition student must schedule their events earlier in the semester.
    11. In the case of combined recitals, each student must complete a separate Senior Recital Hearing and Final Portfolio Review Form and Senior Recital Approval Form, although it is recommended that the same review committee be used for both students. It is expected that students sharing a recital will coordinate their efforts with regard to all aspects of the recital production.
    12. Following the senior recital, each committee member will complete a Senior Recital Evaluation, which is forwarded to the student's composition instructor; once the evaluations have been received, the composition instructor will complete the Senior Recital Final Report and submit all materials to the composition division chair. The student will be informed of the committee's decision usually within one week of the recital.

  • Graduation File

    The following materials must be filed with the composition division chair, preferably within one week following the senior composition recital:

    1. A list of all works composed while at UNT. Include title, medium, date composed, duration, and performance information (dates, locations, and performers—including senior recital) for each work, where applicable.
    2. The printed program of the senior composition recital.
    3. Any other supporting documentation from the senior composition recital (e.g., program notes, flyers).
    4. A completed and signed Senior Recital Approval Form.
    5. Three completed Senior Recital Evaluation Forms (collected from the recital committee by the student’s composition instructor).
    6. A completed Senior Recital Final Report (provided by the student’s composition instructor).

    Once this file is complete, the composition division chair will forward these materials to the academic advisor in order for the student to be approved for graduation. This complete file must be received by Academic Advising Office no later than one week prior to graduation.

Graduate Information

In addition to the general policies and procedures listed above, the following apply to all graduate composition students:

  • New Graduate Student Orientation

    1. During orientation week (the week prior to the start of classes), all new graduate composition students will be required to:
      1. Attend graduate orientation/advising meetings (College of Music and major area):
        • General (College of Music)
        • Major area (composition program)
      2. Take the Graduate Composition Examination: this 60-minute diagnostic examination assesses the student’s knowledge of contemporary composers and repertoire (through score and listening identification), terminology, bibliographic resources, and other information pertinent to composition in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
      3. Take the Graduate Placement Examinations (GPE), consisting of:
        • Music history and literature
        • Ear training
        • Part-writing and analysis
        • Keyboard/sight-singing
      4. Schedule an advisory meeting with the composition division chair to determine placement in composition courses (including any prerequisite or deficiency courses) and general course scheduling.
    2. New international graduate students who are required to enroll in IELI prior to taking graduate coursework are expected to contact the composition division chair during orientation week. IELI students accepted to the graduate composition program will also be expected to attend departmental meetings, division events, etc.
    3. New teaching fellows and teaching assistants are required to attend a special meeting during orientation week.

    Additional information about orientation and the Graduate Placement Examinations may be found on the College of Music website.

  • Enrollment and Grade Requirements

    1. All new graduate students (master’s and doctoral) are required to enroll in the Graduate Composition Seminar (MUCP 5080) during the first semester in the program. This seminar, which is taken in lieu of composition lessons for the semester, includes both individual and small group lessons as well as class discussions covering important current issues relevant to composers in the twenty-first century. At the end of the semester, all students enrolled in this course will present a reading of their semester composition projects for review by the composition faculty. This hearing serves an evaluative and advisory purpose, preparing the students for future work in the program.
    2. Following the first semester of enrollment in MUCP 5080, all master's and doctoral composition majors must be enrolled in composition lessons each long semester until enrollment in thesis (MUGC 5950) or dissertation (MUGC 6950). In the case of doctoral students, these lessons may include MUCP 6190, MUCP 6200, and MUCP 6195.
    3. Students may enroll in no more than one composition lesson each semester; thesis or dissertation credits may not be taken concurrently with composition lessons.
    4. Ordinarily, doctoral students may not take MUCP 6200 concurrently with composition lessons (MUCP 6190). However, an exception may be made if:
      1. The student demonstrates compelling reasons for such an exception to be considered.
      2. The instructor for MUCP 6200 is not the same as that for MUCP 6190.
      3. There is available space in faculty studios to accommodate both courses.

      A request for this exception must be made through the composition division chair prior to the beginning of the semester.

    5. Graduate composition majors must have no grade lower than B in all courses required for the degree. Students not meeting this standard will be required to meet with the composition faculty to discuss continuation in the program. Students who fail to meet the standards established by the composition division may be dismissed from the program upon recommendation of the composition faculty.


  • Graduate Review

    All graduate composition majors not enrolled in thesis or dissertation will be reviewed by the composition faculty during the two weeks immediately following spring break. The Graduate Review schedule will be posted on the composition division bulletin board and the online calendar at the beginning of March.

    1. The purpose of this annual review is as follows:
      1. To evaluate the student's artistic, academic, and professional development, including contribution to the composition program.
      2. To advise and assist first-year graduate students with the degree plan and selection of the advisory committee.
      3. To evaluate doctoral students who are completing coursework and determine preparedness for the doctoral literature examination and the subsequent qualifying examinations.
      4. To approve enrollment in Thesis (MUGC 5950) for master's students.
    2. No later than the Monday prior to the first scheduled Graduate Review session, the student will submit an electronic copy of the portfolio to his/her online student account; the portfolio will be reviewed by the composition faculty prior to meeting with the student during the Graduate Review session and will include:
      1. Scores of all works composed during the past year; sketches of any works in progress may also be included.
      2. Recordings of works presented during the past year. Recordings may include reading sessions, live performances, and/or edited studio mixes of the selected compositions. MIDI realizations may be used in exceptional cases.
      3. Documentation of performances of original compositions (e.g., programs, flyers, news clippings) from the past year.
      4. A current résumé or vita, which includes the following:
        • A list of recent compositions, including title, medium, date composed, and duration.
        • A list of recent performances, including date, location, and performers.
        • A list of prizes, commissions, grants, or other honors recently received.
    3. Students should arrive promptly to the scheduled review session, at which time the composition portfolio, division attendance records, and transcripts will be reviewed. In addition to physical copies of the portfolio materials listed in item 2 above, students should also bring documentation of compositional activity (e.g., programs, flyers, news clippings). All materials submitted for review—in both electronic and physical formats—must be well organized and professionally presented: i.e., accurate, properly notated, neatly formatted, labeled, bound, etc.
    4. Following the Graduate Review, the composition faculty will provide verbal and/or written comments concerning the student’s progress in the program.
    5. Provisionally accepted students will be scheduled for a review of their work at one of the other regularly scheduled evaluation sessions, either at the end of the fall semester or the beginning of the spring semester. Procedures are the same as above, with special emphasis on any deficiencies noted at the time of acceptance. Continuation in the program will be determined by the composition faculty at that time.
    6. Whenever warranted, additional reviews of the student’s work may be called for at any time during the course of study in order to monitor progress in the program. Students who fail to meet the standards established by the composition division may be dismissed from the program upon recommendation of the composition faculty.


  • Degree Plan and Advisory Committee

    The procedures below must be followed by all graduate students in composition (additional information is included in the Graduate Catalog); appropriate degree plans and forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies in Music website.

    1. Before the end of the first year of study, all graduate composition majors must file a degree plan and advisory committee designation form in consultation with the composition division chair:
      1. The completed degree plan must be approved by the major professor (and members of the advisory committee in the case of doctoral students). After the requisite signatures have been obtained, the degree plan may be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies in Music. Degree requirements are determined by the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time the degree plan is approved by the director of graduate studies in music.
      2. The advisory committee designation form must be approved by the major professor and members of the advisory committee before being submitted to the composition division chair for approval.
    2. The primary function of the graduate advisory committee is to provide guidance on the final document and preparation for the final oral examination. The advisory committee consists of:
      1. The major professor.
      2. The minor professor (i.e., a representative from the related or minor field).
      3. A committee member (usually selected from the major area, but may be from any area related to the student’s field of research).
    3. It is strongly recommended that the advisory committee consist of faculty members with whom the student has previously studied. Students whose research involves significant use of media outside of music (e.g., video, dance) are expected to include a representative from the appropriate area(s) on the advisory committee.
    4. Any changes to the advisory committee must be made no later than the semester prior to beginning thesis, MUGC 5950 (in the case of master's students) or the semester prior to taking the qualifying examinations (in the case of doctoral students).
    5. Any changes in the degree plan and/or the advisory committee must be made in consultation with the composition division chair and approved by the major professor (and members of the advisory committee, as appropriate).
    6. Students are strongly encouraged to keep a copy of the approved degree plan and advisory committee approval form on file for their own records.


  • Doctoral Literature Examination

    Prior to taking the qualifying examinations, all doctoral students are required to pass the Doctoral Literature Examination. This exam is taken by every doctoral composition major at the beginning of the third year of study; therefore, it is important for students to have completed all MUMH coursework requirements within the first two years in the program. The two-hour examination is in two parts, and includes a combination of score and audio examples: part I consists of seven works composed before 1900; part II consists of seven works composed since 1900. Students will be asked to provide the following information regarding each work:

    1. Composer’s name
    2. Approximate date of composition
    3. Work title
    4. Genre
    5. Salient musical characteristics: include a brief statement to support your answer

    Students must pass both portions of this examination before proceeding with the written qualifying examination.

  • Doctoral Qualifying Examination: Preliminary Information

    Doctoral qualifying examinations are administered each fall and spring semester; in extenuating circumstances the examination may be taken during the summer, but any request to do so must be approved by the composition faculty, the student's advisory and examination committees, and the director of graduate studies in music by the beginning of the previous spring semester.

    1. Prior to the completion of required coursework, students must select an examination committee, which creates and grades the written qualifying examination. This committee is an extension of the student’s advisory committee, and consists of:
      1. The major professor
      2. A composition faculty representative (usually another member of the student's advisory committee)
      3. A music theory faculty representative (may be an advisory committee member)
      4. A music history faculty representative (may be an advisory committee member)
      5. The minor professor (may be the same as ‘c’ or ‘d’ above)
    2. Students are expected to communicate with their examination committee members on a regular basis as they prepare for the qualifying examinations. Because the related (minor) field examination is compiled and graded separately from the major field examination, it is particularly important that the student consults with the minor professor to determine the nature and expectations of that portion of the examination.
    3. In preparation for the qualifying examinations, the student will study twelve works from an approved repertoire list (eight selected by the student, four selected by the examination committee). Initially, the student will submit a list of eight works for consideration by the examination committee. This repertoire must be selected so as to fulfill the following criteria:
      1. Period—one work is to be selected from each of the following historical periods:
        • before 1600
        • 1600-1750
        • 1750-1825
        • 1825-1900
        • 1900-1925
        • 1925-1950
        • 1950-1975
        • since 1975
      2. Genre—one work must be selected from each of the following categories:
        • solo instrumental work
        • instrumental chamber work (e.g., string quartet, wind quintet)
        • vocal chamber work (e.g., lieder, song cycle)
        • symphonic work (e.g., symphony, concerto)
        • choral work (a cappella or accompanied)
        • opera
        • electroacoustic/computer/intermedia work
        • other (e.g., crossover, jazz, popular, non-western, film score, performance art)

        The student may be asked to submit a revised list if any of the proposed works is not accepted by the examination committee. The repertoire list must be approved by this committee at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which the qualifying examinations are to be administered.

    4. Once these eight works have been approved, the qualifying examination committee will select four additional works for inclusion on the repertoire list; this final list of twelve works will be confirmed within two weeks of receiving the initial list of eight works proposed by the student, and no later than four weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which the qualifying examinations are to be administered.
    5. Upon approval of the exam repertoire, each doctoral student in composition is to submit a Doctoral Qualifying Examination Approval Form, which must be approved by all members of the student’s examination committee. This form is to be submitted to the composition division chair for final approval by the end of the semester prior to the scheduled qualifying examinations.
    6. The student will be responsible for providing a copy of a score and recording of each work on the repertoire list, which will be deposited in the office of Administrative Assistant Christopher Walker (MU 231). These materials must be received no later than four weeks prior to the examination date.
    7. Doctoral students may enroll in Advanced Research in Composition (MUCP 6195) with the major professor in preparation for the literature examination and written qualifying examinations. Upon successful completion of the literature examination and all other coursework, students will be eligible to enroll in dissertation (MUGC 6950). No more than one semester of MUGC 6950 may be taken prior to successful completion of all parts of the qualifying examination.
    8. The written qualifying examination must be scheduled through the Office of Graduate Studies in Music (MU 216A) by the beginning of the semester the examinations will be taken. Please note that it is the sole responsibility of the student to follow College of Music procedures when making arrangements to take the qualifying examinations through the Office of Graduate Studies in Music. This includes submitting required paperwork, scheduling rooms, and scheduling, changing, or canceling examination dates.


  • Doctoral Qualifying Examination Hearing

    Doctoral students must meet with the composition faculty for a Doctoral Qualifying Examination Hearing at the beginning of the semester in which the written qualifying examination are administered (during one of the regularly scheduled student evaluations).

    1. The purpose of this hearing is twofold:
      1. To determine whether or not the student is adequately prepared to take the written qualifying examination; this portion includes:
        • Review of any preliminary work (e.g., practice essays, journals, analyses) done in preparation of the examination.
        • Discussion of works from the repertoire list as determined by the composition faculty.
        • Discussion of other topics relevant to doctoral-level research in composition: e.g., articles, books, recent compositional trends, etc.
      2. To approve enrollment in Dissertation (MUGC 6950); this portion includes:
        • Approval of the composition portfolio.
        • Approval of a preliminary dissertation plan.
          Details on this portion of the hearing are provided below.
    2. The hearing will result in one of the following outcomes:
      1. The student is approved to take the qualifying examination as scheduled and may enroll in MUGC 6950.
      2. The student is approved to take the qualifying examination as scheduled, but enrollment in MUGC is deferred; in this case, the student must meet with the faculty again after the qualifying examinations have been passed in order to be approved for enrollment in dissertation.
      3. The student is not approved to take the qualifying examination nor enroll in dissertation. This typically results in a postponement of the written qualifying examination and deferment of dissertation enrollment; the student must also retake the hearing prior to the next scheduled examination date.
    3. If the student is unable to pass the Doctoral Qualifying Examination Hearing on the second attempt, the composition faculty may recommend dismissal from the program.


  • Doctoral Qualifying Examination: Structure and Content

    1. The qualifying examination consists of two parts: a written component and an oral component. The written examination is administered during the course of a week and includes the major field and minor/related field examinations.
    2. The major field examination is a take-home exam that is based on the student’s repertoire list, and is administered over three days. The exam consists of either three essay questions or two essay questions and two shorter analysis questions; the exact structure of each exam will be determined by the examination committee and conveyed to the student prior to the examination date.
    3. The minor/related field examination is typically administered during the same week as the major field exam and may consist of an essay, project, portfolio, or other format. For specific information concerning the content, format, and grading criteria of this portion of the examination, the student should contact the minor/related field area representative (minor professor) on the committee.
    4. The student's major professor will solicit questions for the major field portion of the qualifying examination from members of the examination committee. The examination is then compiled by the student's major professor in consultation with the composition division chair, or with the composition faculty representative on the examination committee in cases where the composition division chair is serving as the major professor.
    5. The complete major field examination will be sent in electronic format to the student from the composition division administrative assistant on the first morning of the examination period, and will be returned by email to him/her by noon on the fourth day. Essays must thoroughly address the questions and are to be properly formatted, including adequate citations. Analysis questions will typically include both a score component and an accompanying essay that elaborates upon and synthesizes the score analysis.
    6. The major field portion of the examination will be graded by the examination committee; if necessary, an additional evaluator from the composition faculty may be selected by the composition division chair. Results will be available usually within two weeks following the completion of the examination.
    7. Any sections of the examination that are not passed on the first attempt must be retaken during the following semester. In these cases, the student is expected to consult with the examination committee to determine the terms and expectations of the retake examination(s). If the student fails any portion of the written qualifying examination on the second attempt, the composition faculty may recommend dismissal from the program.
    8. Once the student has successfully completed all portions of the written qualifying examination, he/she may schedule the oral qualifying examination with the examination committee. This two-hour examination is intended to be a synthesis of all areas of the written qualifying examinations, including a discussion of works from the repertoire list, as well as a comprehensive examination over material covered during graduate coursework and general knowledge commensurate with the degree. It is expected that any areas of concern evident in the written qualifying examination will be more thoroughly explored during the oral examination.
    9. Students are to follow the guidelines below when scheduling the oral qualifying examination:
      1. Present a range of possible examination dates to all members of the examination committee; students should be as flexible as possible in this matter, as coordinating several faculty schedules will be difficult. It is recommended that students correspond with committee members by e-mail to facilitate scheduling.
      2. Select a two-hour block of time that is acceptable to all members of the examination committee.
      3. Schedule a room for the examination. Oral examinations are typically conducted in the Floyd Graham/Green Room (MU 251) or in the major professor’s studio. Students must follow College of Music procedures when scheduling a room for the examination.
      4. Confirm the date, time, and location of the oral examination with all examination committee members.
    10. Students who do not adequately demonstrate a doctoral-level understanding of the material covered in the oral examination may be asked to retake the examination at a later date after consultation with the examination committee. If the student fails the oral examination on the second attempt, the composition faculty may recommend dismissal from the program.


  • Related Field Qualifying Examination in Composition

    In lieu of a written examination, doctoral students with a related field in composition will be expected to submit a portfolio to the composition faculty representative of the advisory committee at the time of the written qualifying examinations; this portfolio will include the following:

    1. scores (and recordings, if available) of compositions composed while studying in the program; depending on the scope of the works, this would typically consist of two or three compositions.
    2. an 8- to 10-page written statement addressing the student’s compositional work, particularly in relation to his/her work in the major field of study.

    The portfolio will be evaluated by the composition faculty representative prior to the oral portion of the student’s qualifying examination. Approval of the portfolio will fulfill the related field portion of the written qualifying examination.

  • Enrollment in Thesis or Dissertation

    1. Master's composition students are eligible to enroll in MUGC 5950 upon completion of the following requirements:
      1. MUCP 5080 (3.0 hours).
      2. MUCP 5190 (3.0 hours).
      3. Pre-Thesis Hearing with the composition faculty (typically scheduled during Graduate Review, or one of the other student evaluation sessions). In addition to reviewing coursework, grades, and professional activities, this hearing includes:
        • Approval of the composition portfolio (including at least two substantial works composed since beginning the MA program in composition). The scope of the works included in the student's portfolio must be deemed appropriate to the expectations of the master's program by the composition faculty; students should discuss these expectations with their composition instructor(s) prior to the portfolio review.
        • Approval of a preliminary thesis plan; while not as formal as the official Final Document Proposal, this plan is intended to give the faculty a general idea of the scope, content, and timeline of the proposed thesis. Students whose project will require more than two semesters to complete the final document must present compelling reasons for such an extension at the time of the hearing in order to obtain approval from the composition faculty.
      4. Additionally, the Degree Plan and Committee Designation form must be approved and on file with the Office of Graduate Studies in Music before students are eligible to enroll in MUGC 5950.
    2. Doctoral composition students are eligible to enroll in MUGC 6950 upon completion of the following requirements:
      1. MUCP 5080 (3.0 hours).
      2. MUCP 6190 and/or MUCP 6200 (9.0 hours).
      3. Pre-Qualifying Examination Hearing with the composition faculty (scheduled at the beginning of the semester that the qualifying examinations are administered). In addition to reviewing coursework, grades, and professional activities, this hearing includes:
        • Approval of the composition portfolio (including at least four substantial works composed since beginning the PhD program in composition). The scope of the works included in the student's portfolio must be deemed appropriate to the expectations of the doctoral program by the composition faculty; students should discuss these expectations with their composition instructor(s) prior to the portfolio review.
        • Approval of a preliminary dissertation plan; while not as formal as the official Final Document Proposal, this plan is intended to give the faculty a general idea of the scope, content, and timeline of the proposed dissertation. Students whose project will require more than four semesters to complete the final document must present compelling reasons for such an extension at the time of the hearing in order to obtain approval from the composition faculty.
      4. Additionally, the Degree Plan and Committee Designation form must be approved and on file with the Office of Graduate Studies in Music before students are eligible to enroll in MUGC 6950.
    3. Master's students are expected to enroll in thesis (MUGC 5950) for two semesters (3.0 credit hours each); doctoral students are expected to enroll in dissertation (MUGC 6950) for four semesters (3.0 credit hours each). During those semesters of enrollment, students will meet with the major professor on a regular basis (typically one hour per week, similar to graduate composition lessons). Other arrangements may be made (e.g., longer but less frequent lessons,e-mail/phone/online correspondence for non-resident students) contingent upon the following:
      1. both the student and major professor agree to the terms; and
      2. sufficient progress on the final document can be demonstrated to the graduate advisory committee and composition faculty each semester.
    4. In exceptional cases—such as those where the student has completed all other coursework yet must satisfy minimum enrollment requirements for the purpose of student loans, visa, etc.—students may petition to take up to 6.0 hours of thesis/dissertation in a given semester. Such requests must be submitted in writing to the composition division chair and approved by the composition faculty.
    5. Once begun, students must maintain continuous enrollment in MUGC 5950/6950 during the fall and spring semesters until the final document has been approved and submitted to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies. In emergency situations, students in MUGC 5950/6950 may file a request for a leave of absence of up to one year; students who fail to enroll in MUGC 5950/6950 for two consecutive semesters, or who discontinue enrollment with faculty approval, must apply for readmission to the Toulouse Graduate School and the composition program.
    6. The Final Document Proposal must be submitted and approved by the student's graduate advisory committee by the end of the first semester of enrollment in MUGC 5950/6950. Students who have not met this requirement will not be allowed to continue in MUGC 5950/6950 until they have done so, and will thus risk forfeiting the previous semester's thesis/dissertation credit.
    7. If the student has not completed and defended the final document by the anticipated defense date indicated on the Final Document Approval form, a request for continuation in the program (including a detailed progress report and timeline for completion of the project) must be submitted to the student's graduate advisory committee and the composition faculty for consideration at the end of this period.
    8. If the student's graduate advisory committee and the composition faculty determine that the student has not made sufficient progress on the final document to date and/or that the revised timeline is not reasonable, the student will not be approved for continuation in thesis/dissertation. At this point, the committee has the following options:
      1. remove the student from the program completely; or
      2. temporarily suspend the student until he/she is ready to resume work on the final document.
        In the case of suspension, the student forfeits all previous credit hours of 5950/6950 and must petition to begin the process again once demonstrating that he/she can complete the document in a timely manner. In those instances, master's students may request to take all 6 hours of thesis in a single semester; doctoral students may request to divide their 12 hours of dissertation credit over two semesters.
    9. If the committee approves continuation in thesis/dissertation, a new deadline will be set for completion of the degree (no later than one year from the original date) and the student will continue enrolling in MUGC 5950 and MUGC 6950, respectively. During this extension period, however, the major professor will no longer receive load credit for the student, nor is he/she obligated to regularly meet with the student prior to the defense. If the student is still not prepared to defend the final document by the end of the extension semester, the student may file a second request for extension, as detailed in item 9 above.
    10. Students will be considered for no more than two extensions, after which they will be automatically removed from the composition program.


  • Final Document (Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation)

    The exact content of the final document must be clearly specified in the final document proposal and must be approved by the student’s advisory committee as well as the composition faculty.

    1. The master's thesis consists of three parts:
      1. An original composition.
      2. A written document relevant to the original composition (e.g., critical essay, extended artist's statement, analytical program notes). The body of this document (i.e., not including table of contents, footnotes, appendices, or bibliography) must be no fewer than 7K words and no more than 12K words in length (approximately 25-50 pages according to the format detailed in the UNT Dissertation and Thesis Manual.
      3. A formal public presentation (e.g., performance of the original composition, presentation of the critical essay, recital of original compositions composed during the master's degree).
        The specifics of the thesis will be determined in large part by which of the three MA composition tracks the student has chosen for his/her course of study.
    2. The doctoral dissertation consists of three parts:
      1. An original composition.
      2. A critical essay relevant to the original composition. The body of this document (i.e., not including table of contents, footnotes, appendices, or bibliography) must be no fewer than 12K words and no more than 20K words in length (approximately 50-75 pages according to the format detailed in the UNT Dissertation and Thesis Manual.
      3. A formal public presentation (either a performance of the original composition or a presentation of the critical essay).
    3. Once the content of the final document has been determined by the student (in consultation with the major professor), a proposal must be submitted to the student’s advisory committee for approval, preferably electronically. This proposal is typically 3-5 pages in length (not including cover sheet) and includes the following:
      1. A completed Composition Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Approval Form, available here.
      2. An overview of the original composition, including duration, medium, source materials, technical information, and computer software (if appropriate).
      3. An outline and narrative discussing the format and content of the written document/critical essay.
      4. A bibliography, including sources to be researched for both the original composition and the written document/critical essay. These may include articles, books, websites, scores, and recordings, as appropriate.
      5. A detailed timeline for completion of the final document, including anticipated defense date.
      6. A sample of an academic research paper written in the previous year.
    4. Upon approval by the major professor and advisory committee, the Final Document Proposal must be approved by the composition division chair before being submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies in Music for approval by the director of graduate studies. The proposal must be approved and submitted in order to continue enrollment in MUGG 5950/6950.
    5. Although the content of the final document may vary widely, it is expected that the work be of significant scope and substance, reflecting a level of quality and originality commensurate with the appropriate degree. The content of the final document will be determined in consultation with the major professor, but the following general guidelines should be observed:
      1. When determining the scope of the composition, such factors as duration, ensemble size, and any technological requirements should be taken into consideration. For example, a 30-minute work for string quartet might be considered roughly equal in scope to a 10-minute work for orchestra and interactive electronics.
      2. Depending on the project and degree program, the original composition portion of the final document may include a score, audio and/or video recordings, computer software, program code, photo documentation, etc.
      3. Whether copying by hand or using computer notation software, all musical scores must be accurately and neatly presented. It is recommended that students consult Kurt Stone’s Music Notation in the Twentieth Century for current notational conventions.
      4. The length of the written document for the master's thesis will be dependent in part on the scope of the original composition; those who choose to write an extended artist's statement or analytical program note should consult with the major professor and members of the advisory committee for guidance. The critical essay may vary in length and content, but the body of the paper should be no less than 25 pages for the thesis and 40 pages for the dissertation. This essay will include historical and/or theoretical research relevant to the original composition. The paper must be properly annotated (with footnotes or endnotes) and must include a bibliography with entries pertinent to the project. Formatting guidelines for creative theses and dissertations (i.e., those that include musical scores) are available on the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies website.
      5. It is strongly recommended that students take thorough notes during the creation of the composition portion of the final document in order to facilitate the writing of the accompanying written document/critical essay.


  • Final Oral Examination

    This examination is taken upon completion of the final document and preliminary approval by the major professor, at which time the student provides a copy of the document for each member of the advisory committee and schedules an oral examination date.

    1. Students are to follow the guidelines below when scheduling the final oral examination:
      1. Present a range of possible examination dates to all members of advisory committee; students should be as flexible as possible in this matter, as coordinating several faculty schedules will be difficult. It is recommended that students correspond with committee members via e-mail to facilitate scheduling.
      2. Select a two-hour block of time that is acceptable to all members of the advisory committee.
      3. Schedule a room for the examination. Oral examinations are typically conducted in the Floyd Graham/Green Room (MU 251) or in the major professor’s studio. Students must follow College of Music procedures when scheduling a room for the examination.
      4. Confirm the date, time, and location of the examination with all advisory committee members.
    2. The examination consists of the following:
      1. Defense of the final document: this includes discussion of both the original composition and any topics relevant to the critical essay.
      2. Final evaluation of the composition portfolio; refer to the Graduate Review section above for details.
      3. Master's students only: comprehensive examination over material covered during graduate coursework and general knowledge commensurate to the degree.
    3. At the conclusion of the final oral examination, the advisory committee makes one of the following recommendations:
      1. Passed.
      2. Passed provisionally, pending any changes to the document recommended by members of the advisory committee.
      3. Failed, in which case the advisory committee will determine the conditions for rescheduling the final oral examination.
    4. If any changes to the document are required, advisory committee members will return the revised draft of the document with corrections to the student following the final oral examination.
    5. Upon successful completion of the final document defense and approval of the document, the student submits a copy of the entire final document to the Office of Graduate Studies in Music.
    6. Graduate students should carefully observe all posted deadlines prior to scheduling the final oral examination. Failure to meet deadlines listed below will result in a postponed graduation date and may require enrolling in an additional semester of MUGC 5950/6950:
      1. Six weeks prior to final oral examination: Student schedules final oral examination date in consultation with advisory committee; allow 48 hours to confirm room reservation.
      2. Three weeks prior to final oral examination: Student submits first draft of complete document (composition and critical essay) to major professor.
      3. Two weeks prior to final oral examination: Major professor returns the document draft with corrections to student.
      4. One week prior to final oral examination: Student submits revised version of complete document (approved by the major professor) to advisory committee.
      5. Three weeks prior to final document filing deadline: Last date for final oral examination; this allows the student adequate time to make any necessary corrections to the document as recommended by the advisory committee.
      6. Two weeks prior to final document filing deadline: Student submits final revised document to the Office of Graduate Studies in Music for approval by the director of graduate studies and the dean of the College of Music. Additional information is available at the Music Graduate Studies website.


  • Graduation

    1. All MM and DMA candidates in composition will be expected to give a public presentation of the final document (either a performance of the composition, a presentation of the critical essay, or both) prior to graduation. This may include Spectrum, Music Now, or an off-campus venue (e.g., conference, festival), and may take place before or after the final oral examination. Any presentations on campus are to be coordinated in consultation with the major professor and the composition division chair.
    2. Doctoral students intending to participate in commencement exercises should inform the major professor at the beginning of the semester of graduation in order to make adequate arrangements for the hooding ceremony.
    3. It is important that students are familiar with all graduation procedures and deadlines outlined by the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies in order to graduate in a timely manner.