Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Graduate Music Information, Policies and Procedures

 

V. Thesis Guidelines

A. Music Education, Music History, Music Theory, and Piano Pedagogy Degrees

Required title page (Word document) | Thesis Proposal Form (PDF)

The Thesis Advisor And Thesis Committee: The Director of Graduate Music Studies, in consultation with relevant faculty and the student, will assign a Thesis Advisor to the student. In most cases the advisor will be a faculty member in the student's major, i.e. a music history student would have a music history faculty member as Thesis Advisor.  An exception to this may be made with the unanimous support of the faculty in that area, the student, the proposed Thesis Advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies.  In such cases, at least 50% of the thesis committee members must be faculty members in the student's major. Following selection of a thesis advisor, the Director of Graduate Music Studies, with input from the Thesis Advisor and the student, will appoint a Thesis Committee of 2-4 additional faculty members who are qualified to offer advice and direction on the chosen topic.  The Thesis Advisor will serve as the Chair of the Thesis Committee.

Selection And Approval Of A Topic; Development Of The Proposal: The Candidate should consult with the Thesis Advisor so that an appropriate thesis topic is agreed upon. Topics frequently evolve from class discussions and lectures, term papers, conferences or collateral reading. Typically, a possible topic is determined by the second semester of enrollment. The Advisor will then assist the Candidate in formulating a Thesis Proposal, which will include a detailed research plan and annotated bibliography. The Proposal should be succinct but sufficiently developed to give clear indication of direction and methodology.

Once the Proposal has received the Advisor's approval, a copy of the Thesis Proposal Form must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Music Studies, as well as to all members of the Thesis Committee; copies of this form are available on-line or in the School of Music office. For graduation at the end of a spring or summer term, the Thesis Proposal Form must be submitted by October 1 of the previous calendar year. For graduation at the end of a fall term, the Thesis Proposal Form must be submitted by March 1 of the same calendar year. The Committee will then meet to review the Proposal. It is incumbent upon the Committee to carefully consider the Candidate's research plan and make alterations where needed. It is at this crucial stage that the fundamental essence of the thesis is shaped and basic premises given credence. Any primary objections to the project should be fully vetted. The Proposal may need to undergo one or more revisions until all members of the Committee are satisfied and vote to approve it. At that point the Candidate, with the Advisor's supervision, should commence the approved research plan.

The Committee should decide the manner and level of oversight it wishes to exert. Typically the Candidate will conduct the research and write a thesis draft in consultation with the Advisor, independent of the Committee. However, the Committee may direct that it wishes to remain actively involved, approving each chapter as it is produced in draft form. In all cases Committee members should remain ready consultants to both the Candidate and Advisor when called upon.

Directions For Format And Typing Of Thesis: The paper used for the Thesis will be 8 1/2 by 11 inches, 20-pound white bond. The Thesis must be letter-perfect with absolutely no evident corrections. The body of the Thesis will be double-spaced. The left margin should be 1 and 1/2 inches, and the right margin should be 1 inch. Only one side of the page is to be used. Page numbers must be Arabic numerals for the body, and small Roman numerals must be used for front matters, bibliography, and any appendices. The Thesis will be written in English unless the Committee has approved an exception. A standard Title Page format must be used.

The School of Music recommends Richard Wingell's Writing About Music: An Introductory Guide (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2002) as a resource to assist in thesis preparation; it is available in the reference area of Irwin Library (ML 3797 .W54 2002). The required style manuals are the most recent editions of either The Chicago Manual of Style (Z253 .C571) or Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations (LB2369 .T8 1996); both are available at the Reference Desk. The authority on spelling and usage is Webster's Third International Dictionary.

Final Oral Defense: When the Thesis draft is completed, a copy should be given to each member of the Committee at least two weeks before the oral defense is scheduled. During this defense the Candidate will be questioned about the conduct of the research, findings, and presentation. Minor alterations can be imposed, and errors of fact and grammatical/stylistic corrections are expected at this time. Substantive changes, though, that run contrary to the approved design of the Proposal are not allowed. However, if the Candidate has strayed from the intent and focus as articulated in the Proposal, the Committee has the right to require whatever revisions it deems essential. The Thesis draft may need to undergo one or more revisions until all members of the Committee are satisfied and vote to accept it.

Submission Of The Completed Thesis: Two copies of the Thesis in its final approved form (one for placement in Irwin Library and one for the School of Music's archives), and each accompanied by a completed Title page (see attached) with the original signatures of all members of the Committee, must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Music Studies. In addition, a receipt showing payment of the binding fee must be submitted as well. The fee is paid at the Irwin Library Circulation Desk; the Circulation Desk accepts cash and checks only, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm. The library pays for the binding of the Irwin Library Copy; the cost for the second copy is $15. The student may elect to bind additional copies for their personal use; the cost is $15 per copy and the library will pay the shipping and handling costs. The final grade for the thesis will not be awarded until the thesis copies and the receipt for payment of binding costs have been submitted to the Director of Graduate Music Studies.

 

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B. Composition Degree

Required title page (Word document)

Directions For The Format Of The Thesis: A standard Title Page format must be used. The only technical specification for the score itself is that it must be printed on a thesis type or acid free paper. There are no set margins; the bindery can accommodate most sizes.

Final Oral Defense: The Director of Graduate Studies in Music, together with the student's composition teacher and with input from the student, will appoint a Thesis Committee of at least four faculty members, including the primary teacher, along with members of the composition, conducting, history and theory faculty, and/or a faculty member whose area of expertise is directly related to the thesis itself.

When the Thesis draft (score, plus accompanying recording and analysis paper) is completed, a copy should be given to each member of the Committee at least one week before the oral defense is scheduled. During this defense the Candidate will be questioned about the work and corollary areas related to it. The Thesis draft may need to undergo one or more revisions until all members of the Committee are satisfied and vote to accept it.

Submission Of The Completed Thesis: Two copies of the Thesis in its final approved form (one for placement in Irwin Library and one for the School of Music's archives), and each accompanied by a completed Title page (see attached) with the original signatures of all members of the Committee, must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Music Studies. In addition, a receipt showing payment of the binding fee must be submitted as well. The fee is paid at the Irwin Library Circulation Desk; the Circulation Desk accepts cash and checks only, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm. The library pays for the binding of the Irwin Library Copy; the cost for the second copy is $15. The student may elect to bind additional copies for their personal use; the cost is $15 per copy and the library will pay the shipping and handling costs. The final grade for the thesis will not be awarded until the thesis copies and the receipt for payment of binding costs have been submitted to the Director of Graduate Music Studies.

 

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