Near the completion of course work, all doctoral students in the Ball State School of Music must take comprehensive written and oral examinations administered by their committee with assistance from graduate faculty who prepare questions over the required courses. The committee determines the appropriate areas to be covered in the exams.
At the time of the comprehensive exams, doctoral students are expected to demonstrate the following:
The preliminary written exams are divided into four parts--each about 4-5 hours in length--and cover the required doctoral courses and the areas of primary and secondary emphasis. If the written exams are passed, an oral exam is taken within three weeks that covers subject matter appropriate to a student's primary and secondary areas of study. At the end of the oral exam, the committee votes on the comprehensive exams in their entirety.
The committee decision on the comprehensive exams may be any of the following: pass, partial pass, or fail. Students may pass the exams with one dissenting vote. A single portion of the exams may be repeated at the committee's discretion. If two or more members are dissatisfied with the results, the entire exam must be repeated. Students who fail the second exam are ineligible to continue the doctoral program.
Doctoral candidates must take a final oral exam in which they are expected to defend their dissertation. All deficiencies from the first exams must be cleared before scheduling the dissertation defense. Should the dissertation need substantial revision, the student will not pass the final exam. This exam is open to members of the graduate faculty.
For complete information on program requirements, please consult the Music Graduate Handbook 2013-2014 (PDF) and the Ball State University Graduate Catalog, or contact the Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Music.
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