Final Comprehensive Examinations

Final comprehensive examinations are required of all graduate music students; these must be taken during the second (or final) year of study, and will be given once each semester, on or about November 1 and April 1.  All deficiencies revealed by the diagnostic examinations must be remediated prior to taking comprehensive exams, and core courses must be successfully completed before students may take examinations in those subjects. Students are permitted a maximum of three attempts for each comprehensive exam.  A fourth attempt may be granted in cases of documentable exigent circumstances. Appeals should be made in writing (together with documentation) to the Associate Director of Graduate Studies. All appeals are at the discretion of the Examination Committee.

Graduate students may take the exams during the summer (August), if they have applied for summer graduation. Contact the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in Music for scheduling.

Specific dates and location of these examinations will be posted by the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in Music.

ALL graduate students intending to take the Graduate Comprehensive Examinations or to retake any portion(s) of them must complete the Graduate Comprehensive Examination Registration Form. Forms must be submitted to the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in Music at least three weeks before the scheduled examination date, including any summer administration of the examination.

Download Comprehensive Exam study guides .DOC |PDF   (requires Adobe Reader)

The exam will have a written section based upon the core classes, followed by the written examination in the area of specialization, where applicable.

To view the exam schedule and dates, click here.

Please note: Students whose primary language is not English, may have 30 minutes of extra time for each exam, but must request this time a week in advance.  Students may bring a hardback or paperback dictionary. No electronic dictionaries allowed.

The specialization portion of the exam for the Master of Music (individual instruments/voice, jazz pedagogy, and music education) has a written or an oral format as determined by specialization. The content of this exam is left to the individual area of concentration. Questions might include material on related instruments, methods, repertoires, and pedagogy. Sample exam questions are available from each Division of the School of Music.

Oral exams, when applicable, should be scheduled with the student's applied instructor and will cover the area of specialization. Oral exam committees will consist of faculty members assigned to the student's Recital, Thesis, or Research Paper committee.

Students are advised to begin preparations for these examinations prior to the semester in which they plan to take them.  Students are encouraged to visit with the members of their committees regarding appropriate areas of study. Students who have applied to graduate but fail to meet the standards required by the Examination Committee may schedule another examination (typically held at the end of the semester in which they have applied for graduation), for those portions of the original exam which were deemed unsatisfactory.  Students are permitted a maximum of three attempts per exam, including retakes of portions of each examination.