- By October 1 of PhD 3: In consultation with your supervisor, determine the membership of your comprehensive exam committee.
- By November 1 of PhD 3: In consultation with your supervisor, select two proposed pieces for the music analysis essays. The selected pieces should afford the opportunity to use contrasting methods or analytical approaches; you should not have previously analyzed the same pieces in your coursework at McGill University or any other institution. Communicate your selection to your supervisor, who will obtain your committee’s approval.
- By May 1 of PhD 3: Submit two analytical essays to your supervisor, who will distribute them to your committee. Your supervisor will schedule an Oral Examination within 30 days of your submission. Once you have successfully passed the Oral Examination, your supervisor will inform Graduate Studies that you have satisfied the Comprehensive Exam degree milestone.
Procedure and Requirements
Other Policies and Procedures
These guidelines are subject to the McGill University Ph.D. Comprehensives Policy. In the event of any conflict or inconsistency, the University policies will apply.
The overall aim of the comprehensive exam is for candidate to synthesize a wide body of information about music and musical scholarship. A successful comprehensive exam has the character of a conversation among colleagues. It affords an opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate preparedness to undertake original research in the dissertation and to enter the field as an independent scholar.
Students with questions about comprehensive exam procedures or expectations are encouraged to speak to their supervisor, to members of their committee, to the Music Theory Area Coordinator, or any music theory faculty member.
Students are also encouraged to work collaboratively with other students who are preparing for, or who have recently completed, their comprehensive exams.
Students who require accommodations to the exam procedure due to a documented disability should speak to the Music Theory Area Coordinator, the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in Music, and/or the Office for Students with Disabilities.
In accord with McGill University’s Charter of Students’ Rights, students in this course have the right to submit in English or in French any written work that is to be graded.
It is the responsibility of both the Supervisor and Graduate Studies that the exam procedure be followed as described above. If students have concerns that the proper procedures were not observed during the comprehensive exam, the student is encouraged to discuss their grievance with the Area Coordinator and/or with the Music Graduate Studies Office.
Whenever these policies and procedures are revised, it is the responsibility of the Area Coordinator to email all current PhD students who have not yet taken their comprehensive exams to provide detailed information about the revision.
- your supervisor
- two other full-time staff members from the Music Theory Area
- one full-time staff member from a different area within the Department, and
- the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in Music or an appointed representative, who serves as Chair of the oral exam.