Graduate Division

General Requirements for Doctoral Degrees

Time Limits

Doctoral students (DM, DME, PhD) must complete all coursework and begin qualifying examinations within seven calendar years from the date of matriculation in the doctoral program.

Students who do not complete their coursework and begin qualifying examinations within the prescribed time limit must be readmitted to the major field (through interview, submission of documents, or audition, as appropriate to the major), meet current requirements, and make any other curricular changes required by the major field department and the director of graduate studies. If a student is readmitted to the major, the term of readmission is three years from the date of readmission. If the student has not completed coursework by that time, the student must once again meet the terms for readmission described previously.

In addition, any doctoral course taken more than ten calendar years prior to the date of readmission must be revalidated. For PhD students, coursework completed more than ten years before the oral examination is passed, including courses from a master's degree used toward the 90 credits required for the PhD degree, must be revalidated. PhD students must receive permission to revalidate courses from the dean of the University Graduate School. Consult the University Graduate School Bulletin ( and the director of graduate studies for more information.

Proficiencies (music history, music theory, keyboard, performance, language reading, language grammar, language diction, musical styles) more than ten years old must be revalidated.

See "Graduate Revalidation Procedures" in this bulletin for information on how coursework and proficiencies may be revalidated.

Qualifying Examinations

All qualifying examinations, written and oral, must be completed within one calendar year.

After Qualifying Examinations

DM, DME, and PhD students must complete the degree within seven years after passing the qualifying examinations. After that time, students must be reinstated to candidacy. To be reinstated to candidacy, DM and DME students must:

  1. obtain the permission of the department chairperson and the director of graduate studies,
  2. fulfill any new departmental requirements in effect at the time of the application for reinstatement, and
  3. pass any qualifying examinations that may be required in the major and minor fields by the student’s advisory committee and the director of graduate studies. Examinations taken for candidacy reinstatement may be taken only once.

If reinstatement is granted, it is valid for a period of three years. Revalidation of coursework is not required.

PhD students follow the reinstatement procedure outlined in the bulletin of the University Graduate School (

These time limits are suspended for students in active military service for the duration of that active service.

Academic Bulletins

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Previous Bulletins

Students are ordinarily subject to the curricular requirements outlined in the Bulletin in effect at the start of their current degree. See below for links to previous Bulletins.