Master's Thesis

Graduate students in the Master of Music degree program with a specialization in Music History are required to write Theses. Those with a specialization in Music Education and students in the Master of Arts degree program may choose the Thesis option, only if future doctoral study is contemplated. For procedures, policies, and regulations regarding written Theses, students must consult the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual available from the Graduate College.

The Associate Director for Graduate Studies in Music, in consultation with each student, will assign a Thesis Committee during the semester prior to the graduation semester. The Committee will consist of three members of the Graduate Faculty in Music and will be chaired by a faculty member in the student's primary area of study (music education, piano pedagogy, etc.) Faculty who do not hold Graduate Faculty status may be additional members of committees if appropriate or necessary.

Criteria for the School of Music theses:

  1. Discuss proposed project with major professor.

  2. Develop Thesis Proposal in consultation with major professor and submit in written form to Associate Director for Graduate Studies in Music. This should be done as soon as possible, but no later than the semester preceding the semester of graduation. (PLEASE NOTE: With the exception of some faculty in the Music Education Division, committee members are NOT normally available during summer months. Therefore students who wish to graduate in the summer should plan to have all the requirements for the Thesis completed by the end of the spring semester.)
  3. Submit Thesis committee member approval form to the Graduate College.
  4. After approval is granted, the student should begin collection of data pertinent to the project. If data will be collected from human subjects, permission must be obtained from the Graduate College by submitting the Human Subjects Review Form available from the Graduate College. Students are advised to remain in frequent contact with all members of the committee throughout this process. The Thesis should conform in scope and content to the original proposal. Deviations from the approved Thesis format must be approved by the Thesis committee.
  5. When the Thesis is completed, the document must be approved by the student's Thesis Committee.
  6. Each student shall meet with an appropriate person in the Graduate College for purposes of determining adherence of Thesis to written policies of the Graduate College. Students are advised to be in contact with the Graduate College soon after approval of the Thesis proposal.
  7. Copies of the Thesis in final form must be filed with the Graduate College according to regulations specified in the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual

Criteria for the MM - Music Education emphasis thesis

  1. The function of the Thesis is to systematically investigate a research problem, with outcomes that generate insights or answers related to that problem. These outcomes may or may not yield new knowledge, but they are expected to investigate a new problem or to replicate a published study in a different setting in order to verify or dispute previous findings.
  2. The Thesis is expected to demonstrate a practical understanding of scholarly process. It will contain all of the elements of a research document, including data collecting and analysis, and will use a recognized or logically structured research design.
  3. The degree candidate must possess the necessary data collection and analysis skills that address the needs of the study. Examples of these skills may be statistics, narrative analysis, foreign languages, computer programming, or music analysis.
  4. The topic of the Thesis will be based on a problem that can be systematically investigated.
  5. The Thesis will be developed from a formal written proposal that has been approved by the graduate student's Thesis Committee. This proposal will include an explicit problem statement, study parameters, and selected literature review. It will contain a description of research method, data collection, and data analysis. There will also be data presented from a pilot study or other preliminary investigative process that is consistent with the purposes of the study and its design.
  6. The Thesis must follow the form and content of the accepted Thesis proposal and can only be changed upon approval of the Graduate College, Associate Director for Graduate Studies in Music, Chair of Music Education, and all members of the student's Thesis Committee.
  7. The Thesis will adhere to the guidelines indicated in the style manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual available from the Graduate College.

All Thesis proposals and/or Thesis drafts must be submitted to the Chair of the respective graduate student's Thesis Committee according to the dates listed on the last page of this handbook, including proposals from those individuals seeking to continue or complete Thesis work during the summer. Failure to meet these deadlines could affect timely review of submitted materials. Student supervision of Thesis work during the summer is dependent on availability of committee members. (PLEASE NOTE: With the exception of some faculty in the Music Education Division, committee members are NOT normally available during summer months. Therefore students who wish to graduate in the summer should plan to have all the requirements for the Thesis completed by the end of the spring semester.)

For all matters of writing style, consult one of the approved style manuals and the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual. A preview meeting must be scheduled during the first eight weeks of the semester in which the student wishes to graduate (exact dates will be posted). The preview meeting is scheduled with the Graduate College Thesis reader who will check for appropriate formatting. All formatting MUST adhere to the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Manual.

Three copies of the final version of a Thesis or Recital Abstract are due in the Graduate College, along with forms and fees discussed during the preview meeting, by published deadlines, normally the end of the 10th week of the semester in which the student wishes to graduate (exact dates will be posted). All copies must be on acid-free paper.