Each of the graduate programs — composition, ethnomusicology, and history and literature — has a set of requirements that are tailored for the particular specialization. Please see the specific sections in the Graduate Student Handbook for details.
Doctoral students must satisfy a foreign language requirement of reading knowledge of two languages.
Proficiency in a language is usually demonstrated by a written examination consisting of a passage (or passages) totaling a minimum of 300 words, at least partly taken from the literature on music. Proficiency in the second language may be established either by examination or by four semesters of coursework with a grade of B or better. For students who enter at the M.A. level, one language must be completed before the M.A. exam. Students entering at the Ph.D. level must complete both language requirements prior to completion of the Qualifying Exam.
Graduate Student Instructors
The department employs graduate students after their first year of study to be graduate student instructors in a variety of courses in European music history, American music cultures, ear training, harmony, computer music, chorus, and orchestra. Teaching experience and training of this kind are philosophical and practical aims of the program, and a primary means of student support. The department has as one of its principal goals the preparation of teachers for colleges and universities. Every effort is made to ensure that graduates have the knowledge, imagination, and musical and pedagogical skills to enable them to inform and inspire others.
An unusual feature of the program, and a major advantage for students at Berkeley, is the number and variety of courses in which they are given employment and in which they teach under faculty supervision. Teaching experience of this kind is both a philosophical and practical aim of the program and a means of student support. The department employs graduate students (normally after their first year of study) as graduate student instructors in courses in European music history and appreciation, American music cultures, ear training, harmony, computer music, chorus, and orchestra.
The Ph.D. Qualifying Exam
The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to determine that the student is an expert in those areas that have been specified for the examination, and can in all likelihood design and produce an acceptable dissertation.
The Ph.D. Qualifying Exam Committee consists of four faculty members: three from the Department of Music and one outside member who must be a member of the Academic Senate. One of the members of the committee functions as chair. The chair of the committee must be a member of the Academic Senate and cannot be the same as the chair of the student’s dissertation committee.
The Doctoral Dissertation
Each doctoral candidate must be responsible for and prepare a dissertation representing his or her own contribution to original scholarship or creative work. The student’s project must be approved and guided by a Dissertation Committee comprising three members of the faculty, including the Dissertation Chair and two additional pertinent specialists, one of whom must be from a department other than Music.