Comprehensive Exams

Comprehensive Exams are taken in May of PhD 3.


  • End of your first semester: Make initial selection of 5 topics on which the reading list will be based.
  • First semester, second year: Circulate rough sketch of reading list to supervisors for input . It will have 5 general topics related to the techniques of the discipline and current research trends as exemplified in the literature. Supervisors will form the committee at the same time, based on topics in the reading list. Topics may include, among others:
    • Acoustics
    • Audio Quality Evaluation Audio Signal Processing Behavioral Statistics Electroacoustic Measurement
    • Human Factors in Audio Devices and Applications Microphone Techniques
    • Multichannel Loudspeaker Reproduction
    • Production Techniques Psychoacoustics Technical Listening Skills
    November 1: Notify [at] (Graduate Studies) of your intent to take the exams next semester. Indicate whether you would like to write the exam on a MAC or PC and any request for a French keyboard.
    November 1: Finalize reading list and obtain committee member’s approval (with copy to [at] (Graduate Studies))


    Written Exams

    General Topics: Four hours.

    • Answer three of five diverse questions based upon your selected General Topics. 

    Oral Exam

    When: The week following the written examination.
    Duration: 60-90 minutes
    Scope: Opportunity to elaborate, correct and enhance essay answers through committee questions.


    Begin preparing as early as possible. Preparation should include:

    • Weekly meetings with supervisors
    • Analyzing and responding to sound recording problems
    • Preparing mock presentations
    • Defending mock questions


    • Three full-time staff members from Sound Recording and/or the student's area of specialization
    • One member from a different area within the Department
    • The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in Music, or an appointed representative, severs as Chair.


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