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Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation Defense Request Form

Check which exam you need to schedule and include the starting date you want the oral scheduled. Faculty will be polled for that date and beyond until a day and time works for everyone.  Doctoral students should keep in mind that once the oral date is set, we will look prior to it to schedule the written parts.  The Fall deadline for requests in October 1.  The Spring deadline is February 15.
Note that oral exams usually last one hour & scheduled Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

List below the names of your committee members.  You must secure their agreement to serve before submitting this form to Traci Hair.  Comprehensive Exam committees must be five members:  3 from your major area plus a history and a theory professor (see exceptions in the information pages).  Dissertation Defense committees must be comprised of four members:  3 from your major area plus one from outside your major area (this can be a history or a theory professor, etc.).
Note that if you have a doctoral minor, you must have a representative from that area on your committee as well.

 The following items must be completed/submitted BEFORE an exam is scheduled:

  1. Complete and submit the Program of Study form.
  2. All major coursework must be complete (or in progress).  Complete & pass any history proficiency exams required by the results of your Music Diagnostic Exam, as well as any language proficiency required of your degree.  Allow at least 2 weeks between a proficiency exam and comprehensive exams for grading.
  3. Doctoral Committee Appointment Request Form for the appropriate committee (Doctoral students only-found on the Graduate School’s website).
  4. Follow the Timeline of Documents before scheduling defenses (Doctoral Students only)


  • MASTER’S COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS are oral examinations.  Most take one hour and should be scheduled at least two months in advance of the desired exam date.  It must be passed prior to the last day of classes in that semester.

  • DOCTORAL COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS include both written and oral examinations.  Written exams are several parts (number varies by area) of three hours each, so be prepared to write for 2, 3 or more days.  If you have declared a Doctoral Minor, you will have a written part for that as well.   You will be provided a laptop for answering the written exams and set up in the music library.   You may bring pen/pencil and something to eat and/or drink with you.  No outside materials or cell phones are allowed, and you are prohibited from using any resources in the library.  You may not take notes from the exam with you afterward.  The faculty need a minimum of three days to read and grade the written exams before the oral exam.  The oral exam typically lasts one hour. 
  • DOCTORAL DOCUMENT DEFENSE typically lasts one hour.  The comprehensive exams must be completed before the document can be defended.  A document prospectus should also be approved and submitted to the Music Student Services office prior to submitting this form for defense scheduling.
  • ALL STUDENTS must be registered for at least one credit in the semester you graduate.


  • Your Program of Study must be submitted and approved (located on the Graduate School’s website, in their forms library)
  • All major coursework must be completed or in progress before you can schedule comprehensive exams.  TALK WITH YOUR MAJOR PROFESSOR BEFORE THE SCHEDULING PROCESS to insure he/she thinks you are ready
  • You must complete and pass any history proficiency exams as required by the results of your Music Diagnostic Exam.  Allow at least two weeks for the grading of any proficiency exam.
  • Any language proficiency requirements, as determined by your degree, must be fulfilled prior to the comprehensive exams.
  • Doctoral students must complete the Doctoral Committee Appointment Request Form (once for the comprehensive exam and again for the defense), located on the Graduate School’s website in their forms library.
  • Doctoral students should follow the Timeline of Documents before scheduling a defense.  TALK WITH YOUR MAJOR PROFESSOR BEFORE THE SCHEDULING PROCESS to get his/her OK.

By submitting the form below, you agree that you have read and understand all of the information included above.

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Select your comprehensive exam or dissertation defense.

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