Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Music — (Composition, Music Education, Musicology, Music Technology, Sound Recording, Theory)

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Offered by: Music     Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of three years of full-time resident study (six full-time terms) beyond a bachelor's degree. A candidate who holds a master's degree in the area of specialization may, on the recommendation of the Department, be permitted to count the work done for the master's degree as the first year of resident study.

Details concerning the comprehensive examinations, thesis, and academic regulations are available from the Graduate Studies Coordinator, Schulich School of Music or from the Music Graduate Handbook (

Additional prerequisite courses may be assigned to candidates in Composition, Music Education, Music Theory, Music Technology, and Musicology following transcript review and/or placement exams.


A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

All courses and language requirements and the comprehensive examinations must be successfully completed before the thesis proposal is submitted.

Language Reading Requirements

No foreign-language reading examinations required in Sound Recording and Music Technology.

One foreign-language reading examination required for students in Composition and Music Education.

Two foreign languages required for students in Musicology and Music Theory. Normally, one of these will be German and the other related to the candidate's field of research.

An additional language may be required if considered necessary for the candidate's research.

Students whose mother tongue is French are exempt from the French Language Reading examination.

Note: The language reading examinations must be passed before a candidate will be permitted to sit the comprehensive examinations.

Required Courses

Complementary Courses (6-36 credits)

Students entering in Ph.D. 1

A minimum of five 3-credit graduate courses approved by the Department (the Doctoral Tutorial will be considered a course for purposes of this requirement).

Additional graduate courses (normally two to seven 3-credit graduate courses), will be assigned by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the area chair at the time of the admissions decision.

Students entering in Ph.D. 2

Applicants who have completed a master's degree before entering the Ph.D. program will be admitted into Ph.D. 2, and assigned graduate courses (normally two to seven 3-credit graduate courses) beyond the master's requirements.

The number of courses will be assigned by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the area chair at the time of the admissions decision.

Applicants in composition will be required to complete at least four approved 3-credit graduate courses and 12 credits (two years) of:

Doctoral Colloquium

Required attendance for four terms of the Doctoral Colloquium:

Note: Regular attendance and at least one presentation on his/her thesis research in the colloquium during the course of their doctoral studies is required.

  • MUGS 705 Colloquium

    Offered by: Music Research (Schulich School of Music)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Graduate Faculty Music Courses

    Terms: Fall 2012, Winter 2013

    Instructors: Isabelle Cossette (Fall) Isabelle Cossette (Winter)

Composition Performance

Composition applicants only:
The candidate must present a concert of his/her compositions. With the permission of the Composition Area Committee, the compositions may be presented as parts of two or three concerts, or as a list of national and international performances since the student began his/her residency.

Schulich School of Music—2012-2013 (last updated Jan. 8, 2013) (disclaimer)