Texas Tech University

Doctoral Dissertation

Each student in a D.M.A. program is expected to write a formal research-oriented document under the direction of the Doctoral Advisory Committee for submission to the Graduate Dean. While the topic for the research document will most often be the same as that for the lecture recital, the student (with the advice of the committee chair) may choose another topic. The D.M.A. document is to be a study of a repertoire-based, pedagogical, or other professional topic that is related to the primary area of study of the student. The goal of the document is to provide other members of the profession with a research-oriented resource.

Each candidate for the Doctorate in Fine Arts will write a formal dissertation under the direction of the Doctoral Advisory Committee for submission to the Graduate Dean. Students are encouraged to identify dissertation topics and begin their research as soon as possible after beginning their course work. The form of the dissertation project will vary from student to student, but will generally follow one of three options: internship study (see below), a professional problem, or traditional research. Students are encouraged to develop dissertations within an interdisciplinary approach, in which case the advisory committee (perhaps with co-chairs) should reflect the breadth of the choice. In any case, the project will involve some mode of research and analysis, and will be written according to the guidelines listed on the Graduate School website.

A manual entitled Texas Tech University Graduate School Thesis-Dissertation Formatting Guidelines (revised June 2013) is available at this link. All manuscripts must conform to published policies. The final copy of the dissertation must be submitted electronically in PDF format as an ETD to the University Library's server. Deadlines and more information on this process are available at this link. The Graduate Council mandates that students must provide the committee chairperson with a bound paper copy of their dissertation unless a waiver form is submitted by the student and signed by the chairperson. The waiver form is available at this link. Paper copies may be required by the academic unit in which the student pursues the degree. All copies of a dissertation, whether electronic or paper, must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 350 words.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is constituted of five faculty members, all of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty of the University. The chair, usually the student's major professor, must hold a doctoral degree. Two other members of the committee are to be from the School of Music. The remaining two members may be from the fine arts areas, or may be from any area in the University.

For current instructions on submission of the thesis, please visit this link at the Graduate School web site. The dissertation work must earn a grade of B or better in order to qualify the student for graduation. For Performance majors, the dissertation requirement is met in part by the last two of the four required recitals. For Conducting majors, the dissertation requirement is met in part by the two required recitals. Pedagogy majors write a full-scale dissertation; their two recitals substitute for the major area exam and are therefore not a part of the dissertation.

Below are guidelines for

  • the dissertation proposal for all areas except Composition
  • the dissertation proposal for a composition
  • an internship

All proposals for Doctoral dissertation projects must be approved by the Doctoral Advisory Committee (including the members from outside the School of Music) and the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Music.

Guidelines for a Doctoral Dissertation Proposal in Traditional Music Research or for a Professional Problem

Doctoral students are encouraged to consider and select a dissertation project as soon as their program allows. Before a project can be declared officially, it must be proposed to and approved by all members of the student's advisory committee and then by the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Music. The student should prepare the proposal in close consultation with the major professor. In preparing the proposal, please include the following:

  • Heading and Personal Data
    A heading stating the student's name, the degree sought, the major area, and the chair of the advisory committee should identify the project proposal. Include also your e-mail address, Lubbock address and telephone number, and your permanent address and telephone number. List names of all members of the advisory committee and certify that all have approved this proposal.
  • Proposed Title
    The title should clearly and succinctly indicate the nature of the study.
  • Justification and Thesis Statement
    Explain the purpose of and the need for this study.
  • Review of Related Research
    Summarize previous research in the area. Indicate where your study fits in. Document your statements with definite citations.
  • Methodology and Materials
    State briefly the methods and steps to be followed. Specify the sources and materials necessary.
  • Preliminary Outline
    Give chapter titles and sub-headings. Then include a short statement regarding results or conclusions expected, if possible.
  • Bibliography
    Provide a bibliography of all pertinent sources.

Guidelines for a Doctoral Dissertation Proposal in Music Composition

Composition majors are encouraged to consider and select dissertation projects as soon as their program allows and as soon as their major professor is satisfied as to their readiness. The student should prepare the dissertation proposal in close consultation with the major professor. It must then be approved by all members of the student's advisory committee and also by the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Music. In preparing the project proposal, please include the following:

  • Heading and Personal Data
    A heading stating the student's name, the degree sought, the major area, and the chair of the advisory committee should identify the project proposal. Also include your e-mail address, Lubbock address and telephone number, and your permanent address and telephone number. List names of all members of the advisory committee and certify that all have approved this proposal.
  • Proposed Title of Original Composition
  • Proposed Medium of Performance
  • Detailed Statement
    Please include a detailed statement regarding aesthetic and/or methodological approaches to be used in realizing the composition, materials (show examples), instrumentation, special features, etc.
  • Plans for Performing the Completed Work

Internship Guidelines

A professional internship may be approved as a part of the dissertation requirement of the Doctoral program in Fine Arts. The internship itself is extended as a research project that requires analysis, evaluation, and synthesis within a dissertation. Ordinarily, approval is given through the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee on behalf of the Fine Arts Doctoral Program and is based on review of the stated professional goals of the student and on the nature and location of the internship proposed. Specific regulations are given in the Fine Arts Doctoral Program Guidelines, located at this link.

 

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