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Music Theory - Composition - Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of the Arts

School of Music

E101 Kent State University's Center for the Performing Arts
Tel: 330-672-2172
Undergraduate Programs E-mail:
Graduate Programs E-mail:


The Ph.D. in Music Theory–Composition prepares composers, research scholars and college and university teachers in the area of music theory. This degree program is based on the premise that original composition of high quality requires a strong background in theory, and that significant scholarship in theory requires experience in original composition.

Admission Requirements

Official transcript(s); 3.0 GPA; three letters of recommendation; resume; statement of career goals; a substantial term paper on a theoretical topic or a master's thesis in music theory written in English; and at least three scores of original compositions demonstrating a variety of genres (chamber, orchestral, piano, choral, etc.).

Please refer to the university policy for graduate admission.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum of 60 to 64 credit hours.

Thesis/ Dissertation

The Ph.D, program requires a dissertation.

All students writing a dissertation must pass a dissertation defense. Dissertation defense may be attempted two times.


This examination will normally be taken when the student has substantially completed his/her coursework and has received the consent of the advisory committee to attempt the examination. The written portion of the examination will cover the major and supportive areas of study and will be followed by a comprehensive oral examination. Students who fail the candidacy examination two times will be dismissed from the doctoral program.


National Association of Schools of Music