The Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry doctoral program in the Department of Music is designed as a special opportunity for exceptional, engaged artist-scholars. Such individuals might frame themselves as composer-performers whose work is driven by a research sensibility, or as committed scholars whose concurrent active involvement in music-making informs and propels their intellectual projects.


Candidates interested in this category should clearly lay out their academic interests and musical experience, including research goals and a portfolio of creative work. They should present a clear rationale for the integrated, cross-disciplinary nature of their work. In the first two years of coursework, students survey multiple fields of intellectual inquiry while nurturing and refining their creative work.


Students in the program may take any of the graduate courses offered by the Department of Music, and occasional courses in other departments and programs with approval from the graduate advisor, as well as practice-based music-making courses (composition, improvisation, creative music, and interdisciplinary collaborations). During the summer after the second year of study, candidates will take three to four exams, to be determined in close consultation with the faculty. These include a preliminary portfolio of creative work, written exams on theoretical/analytical and historical/cultural topics relevant to the candidate’s individual research goals, and an oral exam encompassing all of the above. The dissertation should offer original research and creative work that strikes a balance within this unique combination of interests. Language Requirement: Once enrolled, CP/CI students must pass a language exam in a language relevant to their research interests, to be approved in writing by the graduate advisor.