Requirements and Courses

The Composition Ph.D. requires a minimum of three years full-time resident study (six full-time terms) beyond a bachelor's degree.  A candidate who holds a master's degree in the area of specialization may, on the recommendation of the Department, be permitted to count the work done for the master's degree as the first year of resident study.

Additional prerequisite courses may be assigned following transcript review and/or placement exams.

Placement Exams

All students beginning a Ph.D. in Composition are required to take placement examinations in order to determine that their academic preparation in Music in sufficient.

Thesis

You must successfully complete all courses, language requirements and your comprehensive examinations before submitting your thesis proposal.  

Language Reading Requirements

  • There is one foreign-language reading requirement for this program.  An additional language may be required if necessary for your research.
  • You must complete your language requirements before you can sit your comprehensive examinations. 
  • If your mother tongue is French, you are exempt from taking French language reading requirements.

Students may fulfill the language requirement by taking language course(s) at McGill. Proficiency will be measured by either 12 credits of beginner’s undergraduate or 6 credits of intermediate study or by passing the Language Reading Examination.  The examination consists of two passages from the scholarly literature.  The student is asked to translate both passages into her/his mother tongue in good literate style within three hours.  One of the passages will usually have a theoretical/analytical emphasis in order to test the student’s knowledge of technical vocabulary.  Dictionaries may be used.  The exam can be taken in December, May and August of each year.

The exam may be taken no more than twice. Students are encouraged to register for a course if the first effort is not successful.

Required Courses

MUGS 701 Comprehensive Exam Part 1
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MUGS 702 Comprehensive Exam Part 2
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Additional Required Courses for Gender & Women's Studies Ph.D.

WMST 601 Feminist Theories and Methods 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

WMST 602 Feminist Research Symposium 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Courses (6-36 credits)

Students entering in Ph.D. 1

A minimum of five 3-credit graduate courses approved by the Department (the Doctoral Tutorial is considered a course).

Additional graduate courses (normally two to seven 3-credit courses) will be assigned by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Area Chair at the time of the admissions decision.

Students entering in Ph.D. 2

Approximately two to seven 3-credit courses will be assigned by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the Area Chair at the time of the admissions decision.

At least four approved 3-credit graduate courses and 12 credits (two years) of the following courses must be completed:

MUCO 722D1 Doctoral Composition Tutorial 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MUCO 722D2 Doctoral Composition Tutorial 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Doctoral Colloquium

Attendance for four terms of the Doctoral Colloquium, and at least one presentation of the student's thesis research is required.

MUGS 705 Colloquium
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Composition Performance

The candidate must present his/her compositions.  With the permission of the Composition Area Committee, the compositions may be presented as parts of two or three concerts, or as a list of national and international performances since the student began his/her residency.