The PhD in Music

The PhD in Music offers concentrations in four areas: composition, ethnomusicology, music education, and musicology. Students work closely with faculty advisors to define coursework in their specialties and in related areas of study, remove pre-program deficiencies, and prepare for the comprehensive exam and dissertation.

Exam-driven rather than course-driven, the Ph.D. in Music requires a variable number of credits depending on the concentration chosen and the background of the individual student. In general, the student takes courses required by his/her area as well as those specified by an advisory panel. Coursework to improve scholarly graduate level writing skills may also be required. At a minimum doctoral coursework must satisfy program residency requirements. (see Program Residency Requirements, below)

All doctoral students must take at least 50% of their coursework at the graduate level (courses numbered 600 and higher).

Doctoral students who have not passed a course in bibliography/library research methods at the master’s level will be required to take Mus 661 as a deficiency course at UHM.

Three semesters of full-time work at UH Manoa or its equivalent in credits fulfills the doctoral program residency requirement. These three semesters may consist of fall semesters, spring semesters, summer sessions, or any combination thereof. Please note that in some areas required coursework may be spread out over a four semester sequence. Students are therefore advised to find out which courses these are and take them when offered.

Up to two semesters of residency earned during a UHM master’s degree may be credited toward doctoral residency requirements if doctoral work continues in the same field. For part-time classified graduate students, completion of 8 credits of required coursework serves as the equivalent to one full-time semester.

Students must earn a minimum grade of B- in music courses that count toward the PhD. This rule applies to students entering in Fall 2016 and after.

Required of all PhD students

Course
Credits
659 Seminar in College Music Teaching*
(649 College Level Teaching Practicum)
3
702 Seminar for Doctoral Students** (repeatable) V
800 Dissertation Research (minimum one cr) V

*659 is ideally taught/supervised by a faculty member in the student’s area of concentration.

The Seminar in College Music Teaching is usually followed by or is concurrent with supervised college teaching experience in the area of concentration.

Required of Ph.D. Students not Concentrating in Ethnomusicology

NOTE: The number of credits may be adjusted by the advisory committee, basing its determination on previous ethnomusicology courses taken. Refer to the ethnomusicology courses in the list of graduate music courses.

Course
Credits
407 Music Cultures of the World 3
472 Sound Systems of World Musics 3
657 World Musics in Undergraduate Education 2
Choose three credits from the following
311/411 Ethnic Music Ensembles (1–2 cr)
312/412/413 Hula/Chant I/II/III (2 cr)
370 Music in Modern America (3 cr)
477 History of Rock & Roll (3 cr)
478 Musical Cultures (3 cr)
600c Seminar: Ethnomusicology (3 cr)
670 Regional Music (3 cr)
(b) Asia; (c) Oceania
3
Total for the Ethnomusicology Component 11

For doctoral students in Composition, Ethnomusicology and Musicology, as well as Music Education doctoral students interested in comparative music education, proficiency in one or more foreign languages is required of student whose native language is English. This requirement can be met in one of three ways:

  1. Foreign Language 202 or its equivalent (at the intermediate level of study) in which the student receives a grade of B or higher.
  2. A reading proficiency examination administered by the appropriate university department.
  3. Native speakers of a language other than English will be considered to have fulfilled the foreign language requirement, if their native language is relevant to their thesis research.

At the doctoral level both Ethnomusicology and Musicology require two foreign languages, Composition one foreign language, and Music Education one foreign language when it is relevant to the intended dissertation topic.

Area specific foreign language requirements:

  • Composition: One dissertation research language.
  • Ethnomusicology: One dissertation research language and one library research language.
  • Music Education: Language appropriate to the area of research or research statistics.
  • Musicology: Two European languages: German and one other language, preferably French.

All requirements must be completed within seven years after admission in the doctoral program.

Course
Credits
649 College Teaching Practicum (1 cr × 3) 3
702 Seminar for Doctoral Students (V) 3
800 Dissertation Research (minimum 1 cr)
V
Ethnomusicology Component of Courses
407 Music Cultures of the World (3 cr)
472 Sound Systems of World Musics (3 cr)
657 World Musics in Undergraduate Education (2 cr)Choose three credits from the following
311/411 Ethnic Music Ensembles (1–2 cr)
312/412/413 Hula/Chant I/II/III (2 cr)
478_ Musical Cultures (3 cr)
600c Seminar: Ethnomusicology (3 cr)
670_ Regional Music (3 cr)
(b) Asia; (c) OceaniaNOTE: The number of credits may be adjusted by the advisory committee, basing its determination on previous ethnomusicology courses taken. Refer to the ethnomusicology courses in the list of graduate music courses.
11
Composition Requirements
787 Doctoral Composition Practicum (3 cr × 4)NOTE: The number of credits required in the courses below may be adjusted by the advisory committee, basing its determination on previous composition courses taken
410e Composer/Performer Collaboration (1 cr)
488 Contemporary Techniques (2 cr)
680d Advanced Analysis (3 cr)
685 Intercultural Composition (3 cr)
21
Recital Requirement
A full (50–60 minute) recital of original works composed during the doctoral residency here.
Minimum Required Credits 39
Course
Credits
Required courses
601 Ethnomusicology Forum (≤ 4 semesters) (1 cr)
657 World Music in Undergraduate Education (2 cr)
659 Seminar in College Music Teaching (3 cr)
702 Seminar in Doctoral Students (3 cr)
800 Dissertation Research (V)
min. 13
Ethnomusicology Requirements
As advised from the following
600c Seminar: Ethnomusicology (3 cr)
649 Teaching Practicum in Ethnomusicology (V)
670_ Regional Music (b) Asia, (c) Oceania (3 cr)
678b Transcription of Music Performance (3 cr)
678d Other: Fieldwork Methodology (3 cr)
699 Directed Readings (V)
min. 12
Other Music courses
As advised from the following
660 Studies in Music Literature (3 cr)
680 Studies in Music Theory (3 cr)
701 Topics in Music (3 cr)
V
Ethnomusicology Component of Courses
As advised from the followingAnthropology (ANTH)
601 Ethnology (3 cr)
608 History and Memory (3 cr)
611 Contemporary Anthropological Theory (3 cr)
620 Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology (3 cr)Asian Studies (ASAN)
463 Gender Issues in Asian Society (3 cr)
600 Asian Studies Seminar: Scope and Method (3 cr)
620 Problems/Issues of Contemporary Asia (3 cr)
651 East Asia Now (3 cr)Hawaiian Studies (HWST)
620 ‘Ike Pono-Visual/Cultural Interpretations (3 cr)
621 ‘Ike Maka-Visual/Cultural Knowledge (3 cr)
640 Mo‘olelo ‘iwi: Historical Perspectives (3 cr)History (HIST)
612 Ethnographic History (3 cr)
613 Introduction to Cultural Studies (3 cr)
657 Historiography of Southeast Asia (3 cr)
665 Seminar in Japanese History (3 cr)
667 Seminar in Korean History (3 cr)Pacific Studies (PACS)
601 Learning Oceania (3 cr)
602 Re/Presenting Oceania: Pacific and American Perspectives (3 cr)
640 Women in Oceania (3 cr)Sociology (SOC)
611 Classical Sociological Theory (3 cr)
612 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3 cr)*The advisor, in consultation with the area committee, will recommend 4–7 graduate courses like those listed above to prepare students for the comprehensive examination and dissertation research. The list may be adjusted to accommodate new offerings and/or the specific focus of the student’s dissertation/specialty.
min. 12*
Course
Credits
659 Seminar in College Music Teaching 3
702 Seminar for Doctoral Students (V) (or 750_) 3
800 Dissertation Research (minimum 1 cr)
V
Ethnomusicology Component of Courses
407 Music Cultures of the World (3 cr)
472 Sound Systems of World Musics (3 cr)
657 World Musics in Undergraduate Education (2 cr)Choose three credits from the following
311/411 Ethnic Music Ensembles (1–2 cr)
312/412/413 Hula/Chant I/II/III (2 cr)
370 Music in Modern America (3 cr)
477 History of Rock & Roll (3 cr)
478 Musical Cultures (3 cr)
600c Seminar: Ethnomusicology (3 cr)
670_ Regional Music (b) Asia; (c) Oceania (3 cr)NOTE: The number of credits in ethnomusicology may be adjusted by the advisory committee, basing its determination on previous ethnomusicology courses taken.
11
Research Requirements
Two (2) Statistics 600-level courses, 3 cr each
6
Music Education Requirements
As advised from the following
600f Seminar in Music Education (3 cr)
601 Advanced Topics in Music (3 cr)
649 Practicum in College Music Teaching (1 cr, repeatable)
651 Foundations of Music Education (3 cr)
655 Music in Childhood Education (3 cr)
699 Directed Work (var. cr)
701b Psychology of Music (3 cr)
701c Research in Music Education (3 cr)
750_ Seminar in Music Education (3 cr)
min. 6
Other courses relevant to the degree (e.g., foreign languages, cultural studies, etc.). as well as courses recommended by the advisory committee to strengthen any pre-program deficiencies and/or prepare the student for the comprehensive exam and dissertation research (e.g., music theory, music history, applied music, ensembles, graduate seminars other than 600F or 750, etc.) may be added to the above list.
Course
Credits
659 Seminar in College Music Teaching 3
702 Seminar for Doctoral Students (repeatable) 3
800 Dissertation Research (minimum 1 cr)
V
Ethnomusicology Component of Courses
407 Music Cultures of the World (3 cr)
472 Sound Systems of World Musics (3 cr)
657 World Musics in Undergraduate Education (2 cr)Choose three credits from the following
311/411 Ethnic Music Ensembles (1–2 cr)
312/412/413 Hula/Chant I/II/III (2 cr)
370 Music in Modern America (3 cr)
477 History of Rock & Roll (3 cr)
478 Musical Cultures (3 cr)
600c Seminar: Ethnomusicology (3 cr)
670_ Regional Music (b) Asia; (c) Oceania (3 cr)NOTE: The number of credits in ethnomusicology may be adjusted by the advisory committee, basing its determination on previous ethnomusicology courses taken.
11
Musicology Requirements
As advised from the following
701d Research Methods in Musicology (3 cr)
600d Seminar in Music Literature (3 cr, repeatable)
660_ Studies in Music Literature (3 cr, repeatable in different alphas)
649 Teaching practicum in musicology (1 cr, repeatable twice)
and/or 699 Directed Readings (v)
min. 12
Non-music courses relevant to the degree (e.g., foreign languages, history or cultural studies), as well as music courses recommended by the advisory committee to recognize any pre-program background, strengthen any pre-program deficiency, and/or to prepare the student for the comprehensive exam and dissertation research may be added to the above list (e.g. graduate music theory, applied music, ensembles, etc.).

Diagnostic Exam

Prior to enrolling for the first semester of study, each classified graduate student will take a diagnostic examination in music history (part I) and music theory (part II) to determine whether or not the general exams or qualifying exams in those areas (or specified courses in lieu of the general exams) are needed to clear pre-program deficiencies. Students are also tested in their area of concentration (part III). The purpose of this examination is twofold: (a) to assess the student’s background and determine if there are deficiencies that should be remedied, and (b) to assist the advisor and the student in planning a program of study. Detailed information about the examination is available on request. Successful performance on specific parts of the diagnostic examination exempts the student from the equivalent parts I and II of the general examination or qualifying examination.

Entering doctoral students who are continuing directly from a master’s degree in UHM Music are exempt from taking parts I and II of the diagnostic/general exams, since the student has fulfilled this requirement. In Ethnomusicology and Composition, the student will also be exempt from part III; however, Musicology and Music Education doctoral students must take part III, the qualifying exam, upon entering the doctoral program.

The diagnostic/general/qualifying examination is offered in August (before the beginning of the fall semester), in January (before the beginning of the spring semester) and in the third week of April.

  • Students who enter in the fall semester will take the diagnostic examination in August. If the student does not pass any portion of the diagnostic examination, he or she may re-take the examination in January and April or take the recommended course(s) between August and May and clear deficiencies in the first academic year of study by earning a grade of B or higher.
  • Students who enter in the spring semester will take the diagnostic examination in January. If the student does not pass any portion of the diagnostic examination, he or she may re-take the examination in August and the following January or take the recommended course(s) between January and December and clear deficiencies in the first year of study by earning a grade of B or higher.

N.B. Students who enter in the spring semester will be exempt from taking the April examination and will not need to submit a petition for approval to the graduate faculty.

Dismissal from the graduate program will occur if the student does not pass any part of the diagnostic examination and then: (1) does not pass the general examination or qualifying examination twice; or (2) does not take the prescribed course(s) to clear deficiencies in their first year of study; or (3) does not earn a B or better in the prescribed course(s).

Students with deficiencies are strongly advised to take the recommended course(s). Students may also wish to study on their own and re-take the examination. Keep in mind that many classes recommended to rectify deficiencies are offered only once per year. The student should consult with his or her advisor to discuss the most suitable course of action.

For a more detailed overview of the Graduate Diagnostics Exams, visit this page.