Academic Advising Resources for Graduate StudentsExpand All
The Major Professor serves as the graduate student’s primary advisor during his/her course of study. In addition, the Major Professor oversees and directs the student’s thesis, treatise or dissertation.
New students should identify a Major Professor early in their program. For music performance students, the Major Professor is typically the student’s applied lesson instructor. For assistance in establishing a Major Professor, students may conference with the Area Coordinator appropriate to their specific degree plan.
The Graduate Office in the College of Music provides general support and advisement to graduate music students, including answering questions about degree requirements, providing forms, and describing academic procedures, due dates and time lines. However, the selection of particular courses and other degree-area specifics lie under the purview of the Major Professor as each student’s primary academic advisor.
The Master’s committee consists of a minimum of three faculty members, including the Major Professor and at least one other member from the major area. Additional members may be appointed if deemed desirable. Committee membership should be discussed with the Major Professor early in the program.
In order to establish the committee officially, the student must (1) obtain the Master’s Supervisory Committee Form, (2) have it signed by all committee members, and (3) return the completed form to the Graduate Music Office for approval by the Associate Dean/Director of Graduate Studies in Music. This should normally occur during the second semester in residence (or as soon as possible thereafter).
A Supervisory Committee of four members should be selected by the student, in conference with the Major Professor and with the approval of the Associate Dean/Director of Graduate Studies in Music, including:
- The Major Professor and at least two other members from the major field (excepting Guitar and Organ).
- At least one faculty member from outside the major area (University Representative). In cases where the directing professor is not the major professor, he/she cannot also serve as the University Representative.
All doctoral committee members (including the University Representative) are required to hold Graduate Faculty Status. The University Representative must be a tenured member of the faculty.
In order to establish the committee officially, the student must (1) obtain the Doctoral Supervisory Committee form, (2) have it signed by all committee members and, (3) return the completed form to the Graduate Music Office for approval by the Associate Dean/Director of Graduate Studies in Music.
The supervisory committee typically should be established and on file with the Graduate Office by the end of the student’s second semester. Performance majors must establish their committee prior to the first recital. Non-performance majors must establish their committee prior to taking the Preliminary Examination.
Additional information regarding the University Representative:
The University Representative is drawn from outside the student’s department or “area.” The University Representative’s primary role is to ensure that the student is treated fairly and equitably in accordance with University and College guidelines and policies, and that decisions made by the supervisory committee reflect the collective judgment of the committee. The University Representative should verify that the defense is conducted appropriately. This individual should be free of conflicts of interest with other members of the supervisory committee. The University Representative may also provide writing guidance, although content knowledge in the subject of the treatise or dissertation is valuable, but not required. The University Representative is required to attend the Defense, either in person or via distance technology. Within one week (or by no later than the final Manuscript Clearance Deadline) following the Defense, the University Representative must complete the University Representative Report. In this report, the University Representative will complete a brief summary and evaluation on the student’s Defense. A written critique of the Defense is also required. Failure to complete the form and submit it to the Graduate Office in a timely manner may delay clearance of the student’s Treatise or Dissertation for graduation.
In addition, the University Representative must hold GFS (Graduate Faculty Status) and be a tenured member of the faculty.