Composition Student Handbook

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. Creation of this profile account acknowledges that the student understands the composition division policies and procedures posted on this website and has registered on the UNT composers email list. Students are expected to keep their profile pages updated in order to receive course restriction codes each semester.

Instructions for accessing and updating the student profile page are as follows:

  1. Click here to go to your student profile page.
  2. Log in with your EUID and password, if you are not already logged in.  
  3. At the bottom of the page, click the Edit button.
  4. Click on the links to access the various sections: Personal InformationComposition Student Information (which also includes Instructor preference requests), and Files (to upload materials for student evaluations, readings, etc.).
  5. At the bottom of the Composition Student Information section, you will see fields labeled First Choice and Second Choice.  Select available instructors from the dropdown menus.  The composition faculty will make every effort possible to accommodate your request.  
  6. Once you have indicated your preferred instructor(s), click Save at the bottom of the page.  

 

Subscribing to the UNT-composers E-mail List

All active composition students are expected to sign up for the unt-composers E-mail list in order to receive important announcements regarding division activities, opportunities for composers, and other professional information.  The listserv portal may be accessed here: to sign up, submit the requested information and click the "Subscribe" button; to unsubscribe or change your preferences, enter your email address at the bottom of the page and click on "Unsubscribe or edit options." 

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 lesson 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, a list of works and performances, and other related documents (vita, concert programs, reviews, etc.). This portfolio is to be submitted electronically 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/formatted, clearly labeled, etc. Improperly formatted, poorly organized, or incomplete portfolios will negatively impact the evaluation results. Additional information regarding the content of the undergraduate and graduate composition portfolios may be found in the appropriate sections on this site.

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 Hearing and 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 on this site.

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, as well as off-campus venues. 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 capstone (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 Music Advising Office — CH 211; music.advising@unt.edu.
    2. Graduate students: contact the Composition Division Chair, Joseph Klein — MU 2005; 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 composition student profile page; in those instances where the student's choice(s) may not be accommodated, all attempts will be made to place the student with the preferred instructor in the following semester.
  4. Students who intend to continue studying with their current composition instructor should confirm this with the instructor 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 composer's 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: weekly composition labs with a teaching fellow; weekly lectures with the freshman faculty mentor.
    2. MUCP 2080, 2180, 2190: weekly individual and/or small group lessons with a teaching fellow; weekly seminar (MUCP 2200) with the sophomore faculty mentor.
    3. MUCP 4080: weekly individual and/or small group lessons with a teaching fellow or faculty member (as space permits); optional seminars every other week with a faculty instructor.
    4. MUCP 3180, 3190, 4180, 4190: weekly lessons with a faculty member; seminars every other week with faculty instructor(s).
    5. MUCP 5080: combination of weekly seminars and individual meetings with faculty instructor(s).
    6. MUCP 5180, 5185: weekly individual and/or small group lessons with a faculty member.
    7. MUCP 5190, 6190, 6200: weekly individual 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 students planning to enroll in composition lessons must first create a student profile page on this website and be registered on the UNT composers listserv.  
  2. 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.
  3. Students typically meet with the instructor on a weekly basis, beginning the second 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.
  4. Weekly meetings may include a combination of private lessons, small group discussions, and studio seminars, as arranged by the individual faculty members (see under Course Registration and Restriction Codes for details). Students should be prepared to present their work and contribute to discussions at every meeting.
  5. 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 may be required to meet with the composition faculty during the student evaluation session at the beginning of the semester to discuss terms of continuation in the program.
  6. Composition students are encouraged to explore a range of compositional perspectives in their selection of composition studios. To that end, it is expected that all composition majors will take lessons with at least two composition faculty members during their time in the program.
  7. At the beginning of each semester, students 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.
  8. 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 readings, listening and 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 will be evaluated by the instructor at the end of each semester.
  9. All students enrolled in composition lessons will receive a 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.
  10. Grading will be based upon the following criteria:
    1. Completion of composition project(s), demonstrated effort, technique, and imagination.
    2. Completion of any supplemental assignments (as assigned).
    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 capstone (MUCP 4195), 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. Undergraduates submitting electroacoustic works for Spectrum must also have successfully completed Introduction to Electroacoustic Music (MUCP 3670). Students enrolled in Intermediate Composition (MUCP 2180-90) or Secondary Composition I (MUCP 2080) may be considered in exceptional cases, as determined by the composition faculty.
  2. An online Spectrum Submission Form must be submitted by 5:00 pm on the day of the posted deadline, and must include the following:
    1. All performance materials, which may include a score, complete set of performance-ready parts, performance instructions, etc.
    2. Detailed tecnhical information for works requiring technology. 
    3. Detailed and accurate performance set-up, including number and placement of music stands, chairs, microphones, etc.
    4. Program note (including texts for vocal works).
  3. All information included in the form must be accurate and presented exactly as it should appear in the program; it is particularly important that all timings are accurate and all performers’ names are spelled correctly.
  4. Scores and parts must be complete, legible, and thoroughly proofread prior to uploading; incomplete, messy, or carelessly copied/engraved works will not be considered.
  5. Works incorporating technology requiring more than basic audio playback should be presented in the MEIT. Contact the CEMI director for available formats.
  6. 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. It is imperative to credit the source of all texts submitted and to provide permission information for texts not in the public domain.
  7. The instructor’s approval will be required upon completion of the Spectrum Submission Form
  8. 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.
  9. 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 Composer's Forum logo, from the Composers Forum page.
      • 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 TAs in charge of the particular programs; assignments will be made based upon preferences indicated on the Spectrum Submission Form, and will be posted on the composition bulletin board and to the composers listserv.

  10. It is 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.
  11. Works that have not been adequately rehearsed and/or sound-checked prior to the dress/tech rehearsal will be removed from the program at the discretion of the student’s composition instructor, the composition division chair, and/or the CEMI director.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 are expected to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
    1. Current enrollment in upper-division (3000- or 4000-level) or graduate composition lessons, thesis, or dissertation.
    2. Good standing in the composition program.
    3. For orchestral and wind submissions: successful completion of Orchestration (MUCP 4320/5320) or the equivalent; optionally, the student may have worked on the submitted piece for at least one full semester with a member of the composition faculty.
    4. For choral submissions: the student should have worked on the submitted piece for at least one full semester with a member of the composition faculty.

    Exceptions to the above requirements may be considered upon recommendation of a faculty mentor. 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 work in each category (thus, a composer could submit as many as three works—one each for orchestra, winds, and choir):
    1. For each work submitted, an information form must be completed.  These forms will be sent to the listserv along with the announcement each spring, and returned to the administrative coordinator by the posted deadline. 
    2. Links to a score, a sample part (see details below), and a recording (optional; MIDI acceptable) are to be included in the form.  Physical copies or electronic file attachments will not be accepted.  
    3. The following information must be included on the cover and/or prefatory pages of the score:
      • Title
      • Composer’s name
      • Year of composition
      • Approximate duration of the work (to the nearest 30 seconds)
      • Instrumentation (including all percussion instruments required)
      • Concert or transposed score indication
      • Program note
  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 must be formatted for easy page turns and for printing in booklet form.
  4. The submission deadline is typically at the end of each spring semester (for consideration during the following academic year), and will be announced to the UNT composers listserv. 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 ensemble directors.
  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. Physical copies of scores and parts for selected works will be provided to the ensemble directors and must adhere to the following specifications:
    1. 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. Title page and prefatory pages must include the information listed in item 2c above.
    3. Parts for orchestral and wind works must be formatted as indicated in item 3 above, and 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..
  8. Orchestra readings are scheduled at the end of each fall semester, and will be posted on the events calendar on this 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).
  9. Wind and choral readings will be scheduled by the individual ensemble directors as the schedule allows each semester; in those instances, ensemble directors may contact selected composers directly with further details.
  10. 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.
  11. Unless otherwise indicated by the ensemble director, student composers are responsible for preparing scores and parts, including any associated costs.  Students should also confirm (with the Composition Division chair and/or respective ensemble directors) how their works are to be recorded.

CEMI Studio Access and Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater User Information

The physical facilities of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (CEMI) include a suite of studios and the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (MEIT). These facilities are staffed and maintained by the CEMI director and the CEMI staff, who oversee the use of the studios, as well as programming and producing events in the MEIT.  For information on studio access and availabilty, scheduling, usage and safety policies, staff support, and all other issues related to these facilities, please visit the User Information page of the CEMI website.

Undergraduate

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 academic advisor on a regular basis throughout the remainder of the degree, in order to stay on track and avoid any potential delays as they proceed towards graduation.
  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.  Students who are unable to meet this requirement will be counseled out of the BM Composition degree, but may remain active in the composition program under another major.   

 

Laboratory Requirement

  1. Undergraduate composition majors must participate in a music laboratory (MULB) each semester they are enrolled, and must complete eight semesters of laboratory requirements including at least four semesters of band, orchestra, or choir.  Composers enrolled in the BA Music program are required to be enrolled in a music laboratory for only six semesters during the course of their degree.  
  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 their scholarship.
  5. Students who change their majors out of BM 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 at the discretion of the major area.

Undergraduate Composition Portfolio

  1. All composition majors are to maintain a portfolio that includes completed works, recordings, a list of works and performances, and other related documents (vita, concert programs, reviews, etc.).
  2. The BM 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 capstone hearing and final portfolio review must be included in the senior capstone presentation.

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 BM Composition 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; however, they may continue to be involved in the composition program as a BA Music student or in another BM major.

Undergraduate Composition Jury

In order to qualifying for Advanced Composition lessons, students must pass a jury before the composition faculty at the end of the semester they are enrolled in Intermediate Composition II (MUCP 2190). In extenuating circumstances (determined in consultation with the sophomore faculty mentor, the student's composition instructor, and the Composition Division chair), students may request to take the jury during the student evaluation session at the beginning of the subsequent semester.

  1. In order to be eligible to take the undergraduate 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 an academic advisor to obtain the requisite information and signature, and submit the completed form to their composition instructor by the end of the day on the Friday 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 first week of the semester (for make-up and deferred juries).
  4. Each eligible student will submit a portfolio for review by the faculty. The portfolio materials must be available electronically and uploaded to a personal website, YouTube, Soundcloud, Google drive, Dropbox, etc.  A separate document with a list of links to these portfolio materials must then be uploaded to the student's profile page on this site, which is due by the end of the day on the Friday prior to the scheduled jury. The student portfolio must include the following:
    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/formatted, clearly 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, with the approval of the compositon lesson instructor and the sophomore faculty mentor.
    3. List of all works composed while at UNT. This list must be typed, clearly organized, labeled with the student's name, and include the title, medium, composition date, 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/engraving quality will be considered.
    2. Academic standing (including GPA, laboratory enrollment, and concentration status).
    3. Overall productivity and participation in division activities, including attendance at division events.
    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 success 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 a student is unable to pass the jury after the second attempt, the composition faculty may recommend dismissal from the BM composition program; however, the student may continue to be involved in Composition Division activities as a BA Music student or in another BM major.

Senior Capstone Hearing and Final Portfolio Review

Students prepared to present a senior capstone project may enroll in Senior Composition Capstone (MUCP 4195) and must schedule a Senior Capstone Hearing and Final Portfolio Review with the Composition Division chair. These hearings are typically scheduled during the second week of classes in the fall and spring semesters; a hearing schedule will be posted on the composition division bulletin board and on the calendar section of this 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 capstone hearing.
  2. All students planning to enroll in MUCP 4195 will meet as a group with the composition faculty in order to schedule their capstone events.  This preliminary planning meeting will take place during the student evaluation session at the end of the semester prior to the capstone semester.  Students are expected to search the appropriate websites (www.music.unt.edu/events and www.music.unt.edu/roomview) ahead of that meeting, and identify possible dates and locations for their capstone presentations. Students should be cognizant of the composition calendar in order to avoid conflicts with previously scheduled division events.   
  3. At the beginning of the capstone semester, eligible students will be scheduled for a hearing with the composition faculty.  Prior to this meeting, and after confirming and reserving the presentation/recital date and location, students must complete Section I of the Senior Capstone Hearing and Final Portfolio Review form and submit the form to their composition instructor by the Friday prior to the scheduled hearing date.
  4. Each eligible student will submit a portfolio for review by the faculty. The portfolio materials must be available electronically and uploaded to a personal website, YouTube, Soundcloud, Google drive, Dropbox, etc.  A separate document with a list of links to these portfolio materials must then be uploaded to the student's profile page on this site, which is due by the end of the day on the Friday prior to the scheduled hearing. The student portfolio must include the following:
    1. Scores of works composed while at UNT.
    2. A complete set of performance-ready parts for each composition.
    3. 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, with the approval of the composition lesson instructor and the Composition Division chair. 
    4. A current résumé or curriculum vitae, which includes:
      • 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.
    5. The proposed senior capstone project: include format type (e.g.,  live recital, online recital, film collaboration, musical theater work, installation, etc.), as well as title, complete instrumentation, year of composition, collaborators, and duration for each work. The senior capstone project should adequately demonstrate the breadth of the student's composition portfolio.
      All materials submitted for review—in both electronic and physical formats—must be well organized and professionally presented: i.e., accurate, properly notated/formatted, clearly labeled, etc.
  5. Students should arrive promptly to the scheduled hearing, at which time the senior capstone proposal, composition portfolio, division attendance records, and transcripts will be discussed.
  6. Following the hearing, the composition faculty will make its recommendation concerning the student’s continuation in MUCP 4195. Only those students who have fulfilled the following requirements will be eligible to present a senior capstone:
    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 capstone hearing.
  7. Students not approved for the senior capstone 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 Capstone Hearing and Final Portfolio Review on the second attempt, the composition faculty may recommend dismissal from the program.

Senior Composition Capstone

  1. Students approved for the senior capstone may proceed with scheduling the public event in consultation with the composition faculty. The student will confirm a senior capstone 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 Capstone Event Approval Form and return the form to the student.
  2. Once the student and the composition faculty have determined a mutually acceptable presentation date (no later than six weeks prior to the event; see items 2 and 3 under Senior Capstone Hearing and Final Portfolio Review above), the event may be scheduled through the online event scheduling system or contact the Music 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. Presentations 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 TA is required to provide technical support for events 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 capstone; any additional expenses (including CEMI TA overtime) incurred in the production of the senior capstone are the sole responsibility of the student; contact the CEMI director for current CEMI hourly rates.
    3. All CEMI TA assignments must be coordinated through the CEMI director.
  4. All rehearsal/tech times should be scheduled as early as possible, but no fewer than three days in advance. Use of the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater (either for rehearsals or presentations) will require CEMI technical assistance and must be approved by the CEMI director in advance.
  5. The student will submit event information to the program coordinator at least three weeks prior to the scheduled presentation. If the event is a performance (e.g., recital, musical production), the student will submit a complete and accurate program that includes 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 event; these must be submitted to the composition instructor for approval at least one week prior to the presentation.
  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 Capstone Event 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 capstone program to the Composition Division chair. Forms not completed and received by the due date may result in the cancellation or postponement of the capstone presentation.
  9. Senior capstone presentations 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 event, the student is expected to organize a stage crew; those assisting with the presentation 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 capstones presented in November or April may necessitate combined events; students who do not wish to share a capstone presentation with another composition student should plan to schedule their events earlier in the semester.
  11. In the case of combined events, each student must complete a separate Senior Capstone Hearing and Final Portfolio Review Form and Senior Capstone Event Approval Form, although it is recommended that the same review committee be used for both students. It is expected that students sharing a capstone event will coordinate their efforts with regard to all aspects of the production.
  12. Following the senior capstone presentation, each committee member will complete a Senior Capstone Evaluation, which is forwarded to the student's composition instructor; once the evaluations have been received, the composition instructor will complete the Senior Capstone 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 event.

Graduation File

The following materials comprise the graduation file for the BM in Composition:

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

While most of these materials will have been submitted during the course of the final semester (e.g., at the Senior Capstone Hearing and Final Portfolio Review, prior to or following the capstone presentation), students are expected to confirm receipt of these materials by the Composition Division chair prior to graduation.  Once this file is complete, the Composition Division chair will contact the Music Advising Office and confirm that the student has been approved for graduation. 

Graduate

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).
    4. Schedule an advisory meeting with the Composition Division chair to determine placement in composition courses (including any prerequisite or leveling courses) and general course scheduling; this meeting will take place after the GPE results have been posted.
  2. New international graduate students who are required to enroll in the Intensive English Language Program (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 regarding new graduate student orientation may be found on the College of Music Graduate Studies and the UNT Toulouse Graduate School websites.

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 and detailed on this site 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 in late March and/or early April. The Graduate Review schedule will typically be posted on the composition division bulletin board and the online calendar by mid-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. Each eligible student will submit a portfolio for review by the faculty. The portfolio materials must be available electronically and uploaded to a personal website, YouTube, Soundcloud, Google drive, Dropbox, etc.  A separate document with a list of links to these portfolio materials must then be uploaded to the student's profile page on this site, which is due by the end of the day on the Friday prior to the first scheduled Graduate Review session. The student portfolio must include the following:
    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, with the approval of the compositon lesson instructor and the Composition Division chair.
    3. Documentation of performances of original compositions (e.g., programs, flyers, news clippings, festival/conference acceptance letters) from the past year, as appropriate.
    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 are to arrive promptly to the scheduled review session, at which time the composition portfolio, division attendance records, and transcripts will be reviewed. All materials submitted for review must be well organized and professionally presented: i.e., accurate, properly notated/formatted, clearly labeled, 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. Probationary students may 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 at least three members:
    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).
    4. An optional fourth committee member may be appointed in consultation with the major professor.
  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 prior to beginning enrollment in Thesis, MUGC 5950 (in the case of master's students) or to scheduling 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 examination, 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 selected from a repertoire list of 200 works: 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 student's examination committee by the beginning of the spring semester.

  1. Prior to the completion of required coursework, students must select an examination committee, which compiles 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/related field professor (may be the same as ‘c’ or ‘d’ above)
  2. Students are expected to communicate with their examination committee members as they prepare for the qualifying examinations. Because the minor/related field examination is compiled and graded separately from the major field examination, it is particularly important that the student consults with the minor/related field 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—works are to be selected from each of the following historical periods:
      • one work from before 1600
      • one work from 1600-1750
      • one work from 1750-1825
      • one work from 1825-1900
      • two works from 1900-1960
      • two works from 1960-present
    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 examination is 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 or three 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 examination is to be administered.
  5. Upon approval of the exam repertoire by the advisory committee, and no later than the end of the semester prior to the scheduled qualifying examination, the student will forward the repertoire list to the Composition Division chair for final approval. 
  6. The student will be responsible for providing links to scores and recordings of each work on the repertoire list,  These materials must be made available no later than four weeks prior to the written examination date.
  7. Upon successful completion of the literature examination and all other coursework, students will be eligible to enroll in dissertation, MUGC 6950 (see Enrollment in Thesis or Dissertation below).  No more than one semester of MUGC 6950 may be taken prior to successful completion of all parts of the qualifying examination.  Doctoral students may enroll in Advanced Research in Composition (MUCP 6195) with the major professor in preparation for the written qualifying examination, although the course may not be applied toward the degree plan in this circumstance without approval from the major professor and the Composition Division chair.  
  8. The written qualifying examination must be scheduled in consultation with the major professor and the student's examination committee, no later than 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 examination: this includes submitting required paperwork, scheduling a room for the oral examination, and scheduling, changing, or canceling examination dates.

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 type. 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 coordinator on the first morning of the examination period, and must be returned by email to the administrative coordinator no later than 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. If the examination committee determines that the written portion of the qualifying examination is unacceptable in any way, it may require the student to retake one or more portions of the examination before proceeding with the oral portion of the exam.  In these cases, the student is expected to consult with the examination committee to determine the terms and expectations of the retake examination. 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 committee has determined that the student may proceed with the oral examination, the student may schedule the oral examination with the examination committee, making sure to reserve a room through the Music Scheduling Office. 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 may be difficult. It is recommended that students correspond with committee members by e-mail to facilitate scheduling. Alternatively, students may use a program such as Doodle to facilitate the scheduling process.  
    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), in one of the CEMI studios, 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 once it has been scheduled through the Music Scheduling Office.
  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 examination committee, in consultation with the Composition Division chair, may recommend dismissal from the program.

Doctoral Language/Tool Requirement

All doctoral students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a second language or tool subject prior to candidacy.  Students will not be designated as ABD (and thus eligible for Graduate Level III status as a TA or TF) until the language/tool requirement has been satisfied.  Therefore, it is recommended that this requirement be addressed prior to the final two semesters of enrollment in dissertation.

  1. Students who opt for a tool subject (e.g., computer languages) in lieu of a second language must contact their major professor and the Composition Division chair for approval and to make arrangements for acquiring and demonstrating proficiency.
  2. Students for whom English is a second language may satisfy this requirement with their native language. 
  3. Students may fulfill the language requirement in one of the following ways:
    1. Through the UNT World Languages, Literature, and Cultures Department. Several options are available (including exams, courses, or previous course credits), which are detailed on the WLLC website
    2. A translation exam may be arranged through the Division of Music History, Theory, and Ethnomusicology in the College of Music. Contact the MHTE Division Chair or administrative assistant for further information.

Once proficiency has been demonstrated—either through exam, course credits, or other means—it is the student's responsibility to provide appropriate documentation to the graduate advisor in the Music Graduate Office. 

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 advisory committee form must be approved and filed 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. Approval of the composition portfolio (including at least three substantial works composed since beginning the PhD program in composition) during the second-year Graduate Review. 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 Graduate Review.
    4. Doctoral Literature Examination.
    5. Additionally, the degree plan and advisory committee form must be approved and filed 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 three 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.
    2. The Composition Division chair approves the arrangement.
    3. Sufficient progress on the final document can be demonstrated to the graduate advisory committee and the 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 approved in writing by the Composition Division chair.
  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 credits.
  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 Division chair for consideration at the end of this period.  The chair may also convene a hearing with the student before the composition faculty to determine continuation in the program.
  8. If it is determined that the student has not made sufficient progress on the final document 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. Dismissal of the student from the program; or
    2. Temporary suspension until the student 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 the document can be completed  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 9 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, the major professor does not receive load credit and is not obligated to meet with the student on a weekly basis. 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 7 above.
  10. Students will be considered for no more than two extensions, after which they will be automatically dismissed from the composition program.

Final Document

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 the Approval Form) and includes the following:
    1. A completed Composition Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Approval form.
    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 Elaine Gould’s Behind Bars 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 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.  It is also important for students to comply with all copyright and fair use guidelines, which are detailed in the UNT Library's Copyright Quick Reference Guide
    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), in one of the CEMI studios, 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 once it has been scheduled through the Music Scheduling Office.
  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. (Note that doctoral students will have been tested on this material during the oral portion of the qualifying examination).  
  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 enrollment in 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 PhD 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 Graduate School in order to graduate in a timely manner.

Graduate Related Fields

The Composition Division offers related fields in Composition, Computer Music, and Contemporary Music Performance for eligible students in other graduate music programs (MM, MA, DMA, PhD). Please contact your major field professor or area advisor to determine if this is an option for your degree plan; application guidelines for these related fields are included on the Admissions page of this site. Below are the requirements for students accepted to these related fields:

 

Related Field in Composition—Degree and Graduation Requirements:

Master's Students—9 hours:
   • 3-6 hours, MUCP 5185 (Concentration Composition).
   • 3-6 hours selected from MUCP 5320 (Orchestration), MUCP 5460 (Contemporary Music), MUCP 5680 (History & Techniques of Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5690 (Topics in Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5580 (Contemporary Performance Practices), MUCP 5590/MUEN 5595 (Intermedia Performance Arts).

Prior to graduation, the student will submit an electronic portfolio that includes links to the following:
   • Scores and recordings of original compositions completed while in the program
   • Artist statement (750-1250 words)
   • Complete list of original works and performances.
This portfolio must be submitted to the related field professor at least one week prior to the scheduled oral comprehensive examination. The oral examination will include questions pertaining to the portfolio as well as the student's coursework and related topics.

Doctoral Students—12 hours:
   • 6 hours, MUCP 5185 (Concentration Composition).
   • 6 hours selected from MUCP 5320 (Orchestration), MUCP 5460 (Contemporary Music), MUCP 5680 (History & Techniques of Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5690 (Topics in Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5580 (Contemporary Performance Practices), MUCP 5590/MUEN 5595 (Intermedia Performance Arts), MUCP 6465 (Topics in Contemporary Music).

Prior to candidacy, the student will submit an electronic portfolio that includes links to the following:
   • Scores and recordings of original compositions completed while in the program
   • Artist statement (1250-1750 words)
   • Complete list of original works and performances.
This portfolio will serve as the related field portion of the qualifying examination and must be submitted to the related field professor at the time the written qualifying examination is administered. The oral examination will include questions pertaining to the portfolio as well as the student's coursework and related topics.

 

Related Field in Computer Music—Degree and Graduation Requirements:

Master's Students—9 hours selected from:
   • MUCP 5680 (History & Techniques of Electroacoustic Music).
   • MUCP 5690 (Topics in Electroacoustic Music): varied subjects; may be repeated for credit.
   • MUCP 5590/MUEN 5595 (Intermedia Performance Arts).

Prior to graduation, the student will submit a research paper (2000-2500 words) on a topic to be provided by a representative from the composition division (related field professor), which will be based on the student's research interests within the field of computer music and its relation to their work in the major field of study. The paper will be evaluated by the related field professor prior to the final oral examination.

Doctoral Students—12 hours selected from:
   • MUCP 5680 (History & Techniques of Electroacoustic Music).
   • MUCP 5690 (Topics in Electroacoustic Music): varied subjects; may be repeated for credit.
   • MUCP 5590/MUEN 5595 (Intermedia Performance Arts).
   • MUCP 6200 (Advanced Research in Computer Music): may be repeated for credit.

Prior to candidacy, the student will submit a research paper (2500-3500 words) on a topic to be provided by a representative from the composition division (related field professor), which will be based on the student's research interests within the field of computer music and its relation to their work in the major field of study. This research paper will serve as the related field portion of the qualifying examination and must be submitted to the related field professor at the time the written qualifying examination is administered. The oral examination will include questions pertaining to this paper as well as the student's coursework and related topics.

 

Related Field in Contemporary Music Performance—Degree and Graduation Requirements:

Master's Students—9 hours:
   • 3 hours, MUCP 5580 (Contemporary Performance Practices).
   • 3 hours selected from MUCP 5460 (Contemporary Music), MUCP 5680 (History & Techniques of Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5690 (Topics in Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5590/MUEN 5595 (Intermedia Performance Arts), MUCP 6465 (Topics in Contemporary Music).
   • 3 hours MUEN 5585 (Nova Ensemble).
Additionally, the student must demonstrate competency in the interpretation of contemporary music by performing at least one contemporary work each semester (in addition to performances with the Nova Ensemble) and including a substantial work composed since 1950 on the master's degree recital (to be determined in consultation with the major professor and related field representative).

Prior to graduation, the student will submit an electronic portfolio that includes links to the following:
   • Recordings of contemporary works performed while in the program
   • Programs including contemporary works performed while in the program
   • Artist statement (750-1250 words)
   • Complete list of contemporary projects and repertoire performed while in the program.
This portfolio must be submitted to the related field professor at least one week prior to the scheduled oral comprehensive examination. The oral examination will include questions pertaining to the portfolio as well as the student's coursework and related topics.

Doctoral Students—12 hours:
   • 3 hours, MUCP 5580 (Contemporary Performance Practices).
   • 6 hours selected from MUCP 5460 (Contemporary Music), MUCP 5680 (History & Techniques of Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5690 (Topics in Electroacoustic Music), MUCP 5590/MUEN 5595 (Intermedia Performance Arts), MUCP 6465 (Topics in Contemporary Music).
   • 3 hours Nova Ensemble MUEN 5585.
Additionally, the student must demonstrate competency in the interpretation of contemporary music by performing at least one contemporary work each semester (in addition to performances with the Nova Ensemble) and including at least two substantial works composed since 1950 on one or more of the doctoral degree recitals (to be determined in consultation with the major professor and related field representative).

Prior to candidacy, the student will submit an electronic portfolio that includes links to the following:
   • Recordings of contemporary works performed while in the program
   • Programs including contemporary works performed while in the program
   • Artist statement (1250-2000 words)
   • Complete list of contemporary projects and repertoire performed while in the program.
This portfolio will serve as the related field portion of the qualifying examination and must be submitted to the related field professor at the time the written qualifying examination is administered.

The oral examination will include questions pertaining to the portfolio as well as the student's coursework and related topics; doctoral students preparing for the related field portion of the oral qualifying examination will be expected to address the following:
   1) Speak in detail about the repertoire they have studied/performed as part of the related field.
   2) Speak broadly about music they have not yet studied/performed (e.g., are there holes in the student's repertoire?) and discuss future plans regarding contemporary music.
   3) Discuss important composers and works for the student's instrument from 1945 to the present.
   4) Discuss important practitioners of the student's instrument who have been active between 1945 and the present.
   5) Discuss any relationships between points (3) and (4) above.
   6) Discuss any recordings of relevance pertaining to contemporary music.
   7) Speak about their studies in performance practice class and in other related field courses.