Music: Music PhD, Music Theory Field

Doctor of Philosophy

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 3997H 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 3997H 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." One of the languages will ordinarily be German but students may petition to substitute another language if it is more relevant to their research. The goal is to have the language requirement fulfilled by the end of Year 2.

    • "Secondary" language requirements are the same as those at the MA level. That is, one language other than English is required. The default language at the PhD level is German. Students can fulfil the 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 and department.

    • Students who have previously fulfilled the MA language requirement at U of T may count this as the secondary language, use it as a stepping stone towards the primary language, or select two new languages. It is expected that students complete the secondary portion of the language requirement by the end of Year 1.

    • "Primary" language requirements involve advanced reading proficiency in the chosen language. The primary language requirement is satisfied by passing an in-house exam or by taking an exam in another graduate unit by arrangement through the Graduate Department of Music. The in-house exam is normally offered three times per year (in September, December, and April) and there is no limit to the number of times it can be retaken. It is mandatory that students attempt the exam by the end of Year 2.

  • ​Students who wish to choose two languages not including German for the language requirement must submit a petition to the divisional coordinator by the end of Year 1. Once the petition has been approved, the procedure is the same as for German. The request must be approved by the coordinator in consultation with the relevant subdivision and the Associate Dean, Graduate Education.​

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 3997H 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 3997H 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." One of the languages will ordinarily be German but students may petition to substitute another language if it is more relevant to their research. The goal is to have the language requirement fulfilled by the end of Year 3.

    • "Secondary" language requirements are the same as those at the MA level. That is, one language other than English is required. The default language at the PhD level is German. Students can fulfil the 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 and department.

    • Students who have previously fulfilled the MA language requirement at U of T may count this as the secondary language, use it as a stepping stone towards the primary language, or select two new languages. It is expected that students complete the secondary portion of the language requirement by the end of Year 2.

    • "Primary" language requirements involve advanced reading proficiency in the chosen language. The primary language requirement is satisfied by passing an in-house exam or by taking an exam in another graduate unit by arrangement through the Graduate Department of Music. The in-house exam is normally offered three times per year (in September, December, and April) and there is no limit to the number of times it can be retaken. It is mandatory that students attempt the exam by the end of Year 3.

  • ​Students who wish to choose two languages not including German for the language requirement must submit a petition to the divisional coordinator by the end of Year 2. Once the petition has been approved, the procedure is the same as for German. The request must be approved by the coordinator in consultation with the relevant subdivision and the Associate Dean, Graduate Education.​

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years