Related program information
Students are encouraged to participate in Doctoral Seminar every semester of study (four times for credit, as indicated above).
Qualifying examination and dissertation committees
The qualifying examination and dissertation committees are made up of a minimum of three members. These faculty must be tenure-track faculty at Oakland University, and at least two members must be from the Department of Music. In addition, the student may choose to add a fourth member to the dissertation committee. This additional member can be another faculty member from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance or other department in the College of Arts and Sciences; a faculty member from the School of Education and Human Services; or a faculty member from another institution, provided this person is approved by the Oakland University members of the dissertation committee.
The dissertation chair oversees the student’s candidacy, assists the student in developing the dissertation proposal, guides the student’s research, and certifies to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning that all degree requirements have been fulfilled.
All core coursework and admission to candidacy must be completed, with no outstanding (P) or (I) grades, before students may register for credit in Dissertation Research (MUS 9999 ) using their dissertation chair as instructor of record. Students advanced to candidacy must be continuously enrolled in Dissertation Research (MUS 9999) each semester in the academic year, including the semester of the dissertation defense. To satisfy degree requirements, students must have completed a minimum of 16 credits of MUS 9999 by the end of the semester in which their dissertation is registered and defended.
Upon completion of all required coursework, the student must pass a qualifying examination in the fields of music education philosophy, psychology, research and practice. Failure to pass the examination within two attempts shall constitute failure and dismissal from the Ph.D. program.
The qualifying examination provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate achievement of a level and quality of knowledge and skill sufficient to be considered a Doctor of Philosophy in music education. It also provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate preparedness and readiness to engage in the dissertation study.
The examination will consist of three questions, generally one dealing with philosophical, psychological, and sociocultural foundations of music education; a second dealing with literature related to the candidate’s interest area within the field; and a third with research methodology.
Students must complete all core courses before officially initiating the examination process. Once initiated, students have one calendar year to complete their responses. Non-core coursework may continue during the period of examination, but should be substantially completed. To initiate the process, the student invites faculty members to serve on his or her Qualifying Examination Committee. The committee then writes three questions.
An integral and major component of the program is the successful completion of original research to study a problem of current interest in the field. Each student shall, in consultation with his or her adviser, prepare a dissertation proposal consisting of a general introduction explaining relevance to the field, an extensive literature review, and an explanation of methodology of the study. Approval of the proposal by the dissertation committee is required.
The work shall be deemed ready for submission as a dissertation at such time as the committee agrees that the student has completed the work and has demonstrated a sufficiently high level of expertise in the area of focus to be called an expert in that area. At that time, the student shall submit the dissertation to the committee and shall defend the dissertation in an oral examination conducted by the committee. This defense shall be open to the public.
Acceptance of the dissertation by Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning requires favorable recommendations by the dissertation committee. All dissertations must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).
Upon acceptance into the program, the coordinator of the Ph.D. in music education program advises all students. After the first year of study, each student seeks a dissertation chairperson who will then serve as adviser.
Plan of study
All accepted applicants, in consultation with their committee adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the student will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the committee adviser and submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Students must complete a residency for the purpose of concentrating study and fostering close and continuous contact with faculty and fellow graduate students. Residency is established by completing 16 credits in two consecutive semesters or 20 credits in one calendar year.
The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.
The maximum time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree is no more than ten years from the term of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program.
The Time Limit for Completing a Ph.D. Degree policy requires a student to achieve candidacy within six years from the first course enrollment in the doctoral program. After being advanced to candidacy, a student is expected to complete the remaining degree requirements within four years (including the dissertation defense).