Music: Music PhD, Music Theory Field

Doctor of Philosophy, Music Theory Field

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master's degree or 2) direct entry following completion a bachelor’s degree.
 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Music's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • The PhD in Music, Music Theory field is a research degree. Applicants must hold a master's degree with appropriate specialization (normally music theory or musicology), and must have an average standing of B+ or better.

  • Applicants must submit an essay of approximately 3,000 words pertaining to music theory and which demonstrates their ability to handle a research problem.

  • Applicants, whether from the University of Toronto or elsewhere, may be interviewed by the department.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete of a minimum of 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • 0.5 FCE: MUS 1250H PhD Seminar (taken in the first session).

    • 0.5 FCE: MUS 3997H0 Research in Music Theory.

    • 1.0 FCE in graduate-only seminars in music theory.

    • 1.0 FCE in electives, of which 0.5 FCE may be taken outside of musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory (either in the Graduate Department of Music or another graduate unit). With approval from the CPA committee, one 0.5 FCE course may be deferred to the first session of Year 2.

    • Coursework should be completed during Year 1 with an average grade of at least A–. The exception is MUS 3997H0 Research in Music Theory, which lays the groundwork for the field examination and dissertation: this course must be started at the beginning of the second session of Year 1 and completed by the end of the first session of Year 2.

    • Students may be required to take additional courses or acquire other skills to meet the needs of their proposed subjects of study.

    • A course and program advising (CPA) committee will review course selections. The CPA committee will ensure course selections meet the requirements of the program and are appropriate to the field.

  • A set of three (written) comprehensive exams in (1) history of the field; (2) current issues in the field; and (3) repertoire and analysis, to be taken at the beginning of Year 2.

    • Students are permitted two attempts to complete each exam. A second attempt must take place at the beginning of the second session. If the second attempt is unsuccessful, the department will recommend termination of the student's program.

  • Two research languages in addition to English are required: one secondary and one primary. The goal is to have all language requirements fulfilled by the end of Year 2.

    • The secondary language requirement is the same as the MA language requirement. The default language for the secondary language requirement is German. Students who wish to choose languages other than German must submit a petition to the Division Head (either Musicology or Music Theory) by the end of the first session of Year 1. Students can fulfil the secondary language requirement in one of the following three ways:

      • Complete GER 300H at U of T or its equivalent from another university, with a minimum grade of B+; or

      • Complete GER 6000H; or

      • Pass a proficiency exam set by the Division.

    • Students who have fulfilled the MA language requirement at U of T may count this as the secondary language or use it as a stepping stone towards the primary language. Students are expected to complete the secondary language requirement by the end of Year 1.

    • The primary language requirement involves advanced reading proficiency in the chosen language. Students who wish to choose languages other than German must submit a petition to the Division Head (either Musicology or Music Theory) by the end of the first session of Year 1. Information on petitioning is available at the Faculty of Music Graduate Studies Office. Students can fulfil the primary language requirement in one of the following three ways:

      • Complete a 400-level language course at U of T or its equivalent from another university, with a minimum grade of B+; or

      • Pass a proficiency exam set by the Division; or

      • Pass an exam in another graduate unit by arrangement through the Graduate Department of Music.

  • Students are allowed two attempts at the in-house exam, after which they must take a language course at the appropriate MA or PhD level. All language requirements must be completed by the end of Year 3. Exceptions are granted only in extenuating circumstances and by petition.

  • Students must prepare a thesis under the direction of an advisor and a committee and will defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The thesis, including bibliography and appendices, should ideally be between 75,000 and 80,000 words in length. The department will not consider a thesis that exceeds 100,000 words.

  • The residency requirement for all students is two years, whereby students must be on campus full-time and consequently in geographical proximity to be able to participate fully in the University activities associated with the program..

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years
 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Music's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • The PhD in Music, Music Theory field is a research degree. Exceptional students may be admitted directly to the doctoral stream with an appropriate four-year University of Toronto bachelor's degree (normally in music theory or musicology), or its equivalent from a recognized university, with at least an A– average in courses.

  • Applicants must submit an essay of approximately 3,000 words pertaining to music theory and which demonstrates their ability to handle a research problem.

  • Applicants, whether from the University of Toronto or elsewhere, may be interviewed by the department.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 3.0 FCEs at the graduate level in Year 1 with a minimum average of A–. The exception is MUS 3997H0 Research in Music Theory, which lays the groundwork for the field examination and dissertation: this course must be started at the beginning of the second session of Year 1 and completed by the end of the first session of Year 2.

    • An intermediate-level language exam in Year 1. All language requirements must be completed by Year 3.

    • Following successful completion of Year 1, students must then complete all program requirements of the four-year PhD program.

    • 0.5 FCE: MUS 1250H PhD Seminar, taken in the first session of Year 2.

    • 0.5 FCE: MUS 3997H0 Research in Music Theory.

    • 1.0 FCE in graduate-only seminars in music theory.

    • 1.0 FCE in electives, of which 0.5 FCE may be taken outside of musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory (either in the Graduate Department of Music or another graduate unit). With approval from the CPA committee, one 0.5 FCE course may be deferred to the first session of Year 2.

    • Students may be required to take additional courses or acquire other skills to meet the needs of their proposed subjects of study.

    • A course and program advising (CPA) committee will review course selections. The CPA committee will ensure course selections meet the requirements of the program and are appropriate to the field.

  • A set of three (written) comprehensive exams in (1) history of the field; (2) current issues in the field; and (3) repertoire and analysis, to be taken at the beginning of Year 3.

    • Students are permitted two attempts to complete each exam. A second attempt must take place at the beginning of the second session. If the second attempt is unsuccessful, the department will recommend termination of the student's program.

  • Two research languages in addition to English are required: one secondary and one primary. The goal is to have all language requirements fulfilled by the end of Year 2.

    • The secondary language requirement is the same as the MA language requirement. The default language for the secondary language requirement is German. Students who wish to choose languages other than German must submit a petition to the Division Head (either Musicology or Music Theory) by the end of the first session of Year 1. Students can fulfil the secondary language requirement in one of the following three ways:

      • Complete GER 300H at U of T or its equivalent from another university, with a minimum grade of B+; or

      • Complete GER 6000H; or

      • Pass a proficiency exam set by the Division.

    • Students who have fulfilled the MA language requirement at U of T may count this as the secondary language or use it as a stepping stone towards the primary language. Students are expected to complete the secondary language requirement by the end of Year 1.

    • The primary language requirement involves advanced reading proficiency in the chosen language. Students who wish to choose languages other than German must submit a petition to the Division Head (either Musicology or Music Theory) by the end of the first session of Year 1. Information on petitioning is available at the Faculty of Music Graduate Studies Office. Students can fulfil the primary language requirement in one of the following three ways:

      • Complete a 400-level language course at U of T or its equivalent from another university, with a minimum grade of B+; or

      • Pass a proficiency exam set by the Division; or

      • Pass an exam in another graduate unit by arrangement through the Graduate Department of Music.

  • Students are allowed two attempts at the in-house exam, after which they must take a language course at the appropriate MA or PhD level. All language requirements must be completed by the end of Year 3. Exceptions are granted only in extenuating circumstances and by petition.

  • Students must prepare a thesis under the direction of an advisor and a committee and will defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The thesis, including bibliography and appendices, should ideally be between 75,000 and 80,000 words in length. The department will not consider a thesis that exceeds 100,000 words.

  • The residency requirement for all students is two years, whereby students must be on campus full-time and consequently in geographical proximity to be able to participate fully in the University activities associated with the program.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years