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Doctor of Philosophy in Music Theory

Three to Five Year Degree (62-30)

The Supervisory Committee creates the Doctor of Philosophy program for each student in order to fulfill the best interests of that student’s education. Therefore, it is important that a student form a Supervisory Committee as soon as possible after entering the doctoral program. It is the responsibility of the Supervisory Committee to assure an appropriate program of study for each student. Program requirements assume an academic background equivalent to a master’s degree. See the master’s degree program requirements. The Graduate School requires ninety (90) credits for the doctoral degree, sixty (60) of which must be taken at the University of Washington. With the approval of the degree-granting unit, thirty (30) credits from an appropriate master’s degree may be counted toward the total enrollment requirement. In addition to coursework at the master’s level, the following is a breakdown of coursework required for the doctoral degree.

Major Area: 27  
MUSIC 800, Dissertation Writing. A student must register for a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation writing over a period of at least three (3) quarters. At least one of the three quarters must come after the student has passed the General Examination. See under Final Examination. 27
Other Studies in Music: 33  
A minimum of 33 credits of courses and/or seminars chosen by the Supervisory Committee from the 400- or 500-level of Music Theory, Music History and Ethnomusicology, and other courses in music or in other disciplines according to the needs and interests of the student. 33
Electives: 30  

Total Credits: 90

Other Requirements:

  • Language: Doctoral students are required to pass a graduate reading knowledge examination in two approved languages before the General Examination is scheduled.
  • General Examination: All course and language requirements must be fulfilled before the student can sit for the exam. The General Examination consists of written and oral examinations. The oral examination is scheduled after the student has successfully completed the written examinations. Doctoral students should have their committee established at least four months before the General Examination. The student submits the online General Examination request to the Graduate School no later than three (3) weeks before the exam.  The Graduate School requires completion of 60 credits of coursework (including coursework taken for the master’s degree) prior to the General Examination, 18 of which must be from the 500-level or above and 18 of which are from the 400-level or above and numerically graded.
  • Final Examination: Students must submit a draft of the dissertation to the Reading Committee no later than five (5) weeks before the Final Examination date. Once the Reading Committee has read a draft of the dissertation and agrees that it is ready to defend, the student submits the online Final Examination request to the Graduate School no later than three (3) weeks before the exam. See the Graduate School home page,, for information on formatting the exam, turning in the dissertation, etc. A student must satisfy the Graduate School’s requirements for the degree at the time the degree is to be awarded.

Rev. 12/04