Registrar – Eastman School of Music
05.00 Graduate Academic Policy
|05.02||Continuous Graduate Registration|
|05.03||Orientation, Placement Examinations, and Remediation|
|05.04||Graduate Transfer Credit|
|05.05||Graduate Credit and Grading|
|05.06||Satisfactory Academic Progress|
|05.06.01||Financial Aid Warning|
|05.06.03||Financial Aid Probation|
|05.07||Eligibility for Graduate Awards|
|05.08||Graduate Award Benefits|
|05.11||Graduate Student Association|
|05.13||Reinstatement into Graduate Degree Program|
It is expected that all work for a graduate degree will be done in residence. This includes the thesis for programs and majors in which such a document required. In rare cases, permission will be granted for credit to be transferred for courses taken at other institutions, as noted in section 05.04 (Graduate Transfer Credit). Students may also request permission from the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies to register for thesis work in absentia, provided that the basic research has been completed, all residency requirements have been met and satisfactory arrangements can be made for close supervision of the work by the advisor. It should be understood, however, that such a procedure is decidedly exceptional, and the permission of the advisor must be obtained in advance.
Full-time residence is defined as two consecutive semesters exclusively devoted to graduate study. A full-time course load consists of:
- 12 credits per semester OR
- 9 credits per semester for students holding a graduate assistantship
When a graduate program cannot be completed in one residence year, as in the case of doctoral programs and certain master’s degree programs, it is strongly urged that the candidate arrange his or her residence plans so as to be in residence writing the thesis during the academic year. Thus, for example, when only a single complete academic year may be devoted to a graduate program, the required course work should be completed largely in summer sessions before the residence year.
Students should also refer to the sections pertaining to their specific degree and major for additional information regarding residency requirements.
The Council on Graduate Studies of the University of Rochester has established a principle of continuous registration for graduate students. This means that graduate students must register every fall and spring semester from their first semester of study until their degree is completed.
The exception to this requirement is that music education graduate students who are admitted with “Summers Only” status (program code: MES) must be continuously enrolled during consecutive summer sessions, but are not required to register during fall or spring semesters. Traditional music education graduate students (program code: MTL) who wish to change their status to ‘Summers Only’ must first obtain approval from the chair of the music education department. See: (Music Education ‘Summers Only’).
There are three registration options that enable graduate students to maintain continuous enrollment when not registered for coursework or thesis/dissertation credits. All three require approval from the Office of Graduate Studies. International students with F-1 or H-1 visa status must also obtain approval from the International Services Office. Students intending to register for one of these three registration options must submit the appropriate form to the Graduate Office prior to the end of second full week of classes for each semester or they will be charged a late registration fee. The three registration options are as follows:
ESM 995: Continuation of Graduate Enrollment (part-time status). For graduate students who are completing non-credit-bearing requirements (e.g., writing a dissertation, preparing a recital, taking qualifying exams, etc.) after all coursework and thesis or dissertation credits (if applicable) have been completed. Students are not considered to be in residence and therefore comprehensive, activity, and health fees are not charged. Students registered for ESM 995 are considered to have less than half-time status and are not eligible for financial aid or student loan deferment.
ESM 999: Continuation of Graduate Enrollment (full-time status). For graduate students who are completing non-credit-bearing requirements (e.g., writing a dissertation, preparing a recital, taking qualifying exams, etc.) after all coursework and thesis or dissertation credits (if applicable) have been completed. With approval from the Office of Graduate Studies, ESM 999 may be taken with coursework in certain cases. Students are considered to be in residence and therefore subject to comprehensive, activity, and health fees. Students registered for ESM 999 are considered to have full-time status and are eligible for financial aid and student loan deferment.
ESM 985: Inactive Status. For graduate students who, for extraordinary reasons, must temporarily delay progress on their program of study. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, medical problems, military service, employment opportunities, or study elsewhere. Usually, though not always, this means that the student is not in residence at Eastman. Medical reasons require documentation in the form of a written statement from the Director of University Health Services.
Students who are enrolled in ESM 985 Inactive Status for longer than three consecutive years must make a formal request for reinstatement to their degree program.
See section 05.12 (Reinstatement to Graduate Degree Program) for more information.
Orientation is mandatory for all new graduate students. Should you choose not to attend, please be aware that there are serious consequences that may affect your ability to complete your degree in a timely manner. For graduate students, the main purpose of orientation is to provide a time and place for you to take a variety of placement exams, and if you miss these exams you will not be allowed to register for classes until you successfully complete them.
Students who do not attend orientation must make their own arrangements to make up their placement exams by contacting the relevant department chairs and scheduling mutually agreeable times to take them. Since you are not allowed to register for classes until you successfully complete all of your placement exams, and you cannot take make-up placement exams until AFTER orientation, it is likely that you will not be able to register for classes until the first or second week of the fall semester. At this point, many courses are at capacity and it is possible that you will be forced to delay some of your required academic coursework.
In addition, it is extremely important that international students attend orientation, as the staff of the International Services Office will be at Eastman to perform your immigration check-in. Should you miss your immigration check-in at Eastman, you will be responsible for completing it on your own. This requires a trip to the ISO office on the River Campus and a potentially long wait for a walk-in appointment.
All entering graduate students are required to take placement examinations in music theory and music history before registering for any course. Students majoring in jazz and contemporary media should also refer to their individual degree requirements for information regarding additional placement exams within their department.
Details about content of the music history and music theory placement exams, and suggestions about how to prepare for them will be made available to new students by the admissions office once the student’s enrollment deposit has been received. These exams are normally given during the week preceding the start of fall, spring and summer terms. Faculty members of the music theory and musicology departments grade the exams, and the results are made available to the students prior to course registration. Students are urged to carefully note their placement exam results, and to take any required remedial courses as early in their degree program as possible.
Students who are unable to take the placement examinations on the prescribed date due to a documented emergency may, with the permission of the chairs of the music theory and musicology departments, be able to take them after classes have begun. Those who follow this procedure will, as a result, register late, miss class sessions, and may find that space is no longer available in some classes.
Students whose background in music theory is found to be deficient will be required to take one or both of the remedial music theory courses: TH 117 and TH 118: Theory, Analysis and Musicianship Review I and II (1.5 credits each). These courses will not count toward the total credits of any degree program nor fulfill any degree requirement, and they may not be used as electives. However, credits earned in these courses will count toward the student’s credit load during the semester that they are taken.
Masters students who must take TH 117 and/or 118 may not enroll for any 400- or 500-level music theory courses until TH 118 has been satisfactorily completed.
Masters students whose BM degrees were earned at Eastman are advised to take TH 401 rather than 400 for their masters’ theory requirement unless they place into the 117-118 sequence. If they are required to take TH 117-118, then they should take TH 400 after successful completion of TH 118.
If a doctoral student receives a grade of “B+” or better in TH 118 s/he will have met the DMA Theory Skills Exam requirement. Should a doctoral student fail to pass the Theory Skills Exam upon matriculation, and should s/he not attain at least a grade of “B+” in TH 118, s/he will be required to retake TH 118 (preferably in the subsequent summer session) before s/he is allowed to register for any theory courses at the 400 or 500 level.
MM and MA degree students who continue on to a DMA or PhD program will be required to take only Part 3 of the Graduate Placement Exam in Theory (Counterpoint/Style Composition), as distinct from Parts 1-2, which they previously took when entering the masters degree.
Students whose music history background is found to be deficient will be required to make up for this in a manner which may vary from individual to individual. Some may be required to take MHS 119 Music History Review (1.5 credits), a review course that does not count toward the total required credits for any degree, and may not be used as elective credit. However, the course will count toward the student’s credit load during the semester that it is taken. Students who are required to take MHS 119 (Music History Review) may not enroll for any 400- or 500-level music history or musicology courses until MHS 119 has been satisfactorily completed. The only exception to this is MHS 480: Bibliography, which may be taken at the same time as MHS 119. MHS 480: Bibliography is commonly taken by Masters students for degree credit. However, it is considered remedial for Doctoral students and if required, must be taken above and beyond the Doctoral degree credits.
Other students may be required to take one or more of the music history courses numbered MHS 421 through MHS 426, each of which concentrates on a specific historical period. Master’s students may use these courses to satisfy their required courses in music history, or as elective credit. Based on placement test results, if doctoral students are required to take two such MHS courses, one will count toward elective credits in the degree (and may be covered by a tuition scholarship); the other will be considered remedial and will not count toward the total required credits for the degree. Students are strongly encouraged to take any required courses as soon as possible.
Those entering the DMA or PhD program with a previous master’s degree from Eastman are not required to take the music history placement exams for a second time, unless they did not receive passing scores on the Medieval and Renaissance portions of the exam (the first 32 questions of the exam). Students in this situation should plan to retake this portion of the placement exam and achieve passing scores; if not, they will be required to take MHS 421 and/or MHS 422 to make up the deficiencies.
English-language proficiency of international students will be evaluated during the admissions process and in individual interviews during orientation. Based on the interview and review of each international student’s file, some students may be required to take EAP 101G and 102G: Graduate English for Academic Purposes I and II (3.0 credits each, billed as 1.5 credits each). These courses are review courses that do not count toward the total required credits for any degree, and may not be used as elective credit. However, the course will count toward the student’s credit load during the semester in which it is taken. Other students may be required to take EAP 201G and 202G: The Versatile Musician I and II (3.0 credits each, billed as 3.0 credits each). These courses may be used towards elective credit for a master’s or doctoral degree. If the number of required credits of course work in music history and electives is fewer than the number of credits of EAP courses required of a student (following the individual language interviews), the courses must be taken above and beyond the degree requirements. If a student does not attend the individual interview, assessment will be based solely on review of the student’s admissions file. Students who are required to take EAP 101G and/or 102G may not enroll for 200-level EAP courses until EAP 102G has been satisfactorily completed.
In addition to the courses mentioned above, please check your specific degree and major requirements for any additional remedial courses that may be required. Remedial courses do not count toward the total required credits for any graduate degree, and may not be used as elective credit. However, they will count toward the student’s credit load during the semester that they are taken. Courses at the 100 level may not be used as elective credit and are not covered by tuition scholarships.
The music theory department does not allow a student to retake any portion of the music theory placement exam. In rare cases, the musicology department will allow a student to retake a portion of the music history placement exam, but only with permission of the department chair.
A maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit taken not more than five years before matriculation at Eastman may be accepted for graduate degree requirements. The subject(s) taken must form an integral part of the student’s program of study, and the student must have earned a grade of “B” or better in the courses in question.
Normally, no transfer credit is given for applied music or ensemble taken at another institution, as these courses must reflect the unique resources of the Eastman School. Academic credit, such as music history or music theory, may be eligible for transfer. Students should submit an official transcript and other supporting documentation (such as papers, projects, assignments, a syllabus, etc.) for the courses in question to the appropriate department chair for evaluation. If the department chair approves graduate credit or credits for transfer, written approval should be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies along with the student’s academic transcript for final review.
Permission to transfer credit from another school must normally be secured before the student registers for those course(s). In rare cases, transfer credit is granted retroactively, provided such credit has not been used toward another degree.
In addition, any transfer credit requested by doctoral students must be for coursework taken above and beyond a 30-credit master’s degree. Requests coming from doctoral students will be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies who will forward them to the Graduate Professional Committee (for DMA students) or the Graduate Research Committee (for PhD students) at the same time the student proposes his or her program of study.
Additional information concerning the transfer of credit is available from the Office of Graduate Studies.
Each faculty instructor determines the grading criteria for their courses and must publish them in the class syllabus. The syllabus must include learning outcomes, assignments and exams, specific stipulations for successful course completion, a statement on disability accommodations, a statement on Eastman’s academic integrity policy, and attendance policies for the course.
Semester hours of credit are assigned to courses in accordance with the recommendations of the National Association of Schools of Music and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. In general, for classroom subjects, one semester hour of credit is assigned for each hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work per week per semester. Exceptions to this policy are made for large ensembles and chamber music, where less out-of-class time is required; and applied lessons, where significant out of class work is expected. For large ensembles and chamber music, two to four hours of instruction per week may be required for each hour of credit, while weekly applied lessons will receive two to four credit hours due to the significant amount of preparation required for each meeting.
Grades for graduate studies are reported on one of the following two systems:
- Letter grades: “A” excellent; “A-“; “B+”; “B” good; “B-“; “C” poor; “E” failure
- “S” satisfactory; “E” failure
A grade of “INCOMPLETE” (I) will be assigned when a student is unable to complete all course requirements within the prescribed period and receives the instructor’s permission to complete certain requirements at a later date. Before the end of the examination period of the semester during which the “Incomplete” is to be given, the student will negotiate with the instructor a mutually acceptable method for completing the class work, and an agreement signed by the student and the instructor outlining the agreed upon method must be submitted to the Registrar. The final grade, once recorded, will be preceded by an “I” on the official transcript. For example, a grade of “A” will appear as “IA”. A final grade of “E” will be awarded if work is not completed by the specified deadline.
A grade of “NO GRADE” (N) will be assigned when a student is unable to complete all course requirements due to serious illness or other similar incapacitating circumstances within the prescribed period. The “No Grade” request form, along with official documentation (medical/other), must be submitted to the Registrar’s office before the end of the examination period of the semester during which the “No Grade” is to be given. The final grade, once recorded, will eliminate the “N” on the official transcript. For example, a grade of “A” will appear as “A”.
- Required registrations that carry no credit are to be graded on the “S/E” basis. These include degree recitals (ESM 401, 402, 405, 406, and 501-506), continuation registrations (ESM 985/995/999), and studio accompanying (ACY 100G).
- Other courses that will be graded as “S/E” include: RPO management internship (ORC 421Z), study abroad (SAB 400), theory colloquium (TH 591), jazz department forum (JCM 491-492), and thesis and dissertation registrations.
A grade of “E” in a pass/fail course is considered a failure and may cause the student to be placed on academic probation.
Graduate students may not receive degree credit for courses in the Arts Leadership Program. For additional information on this policy, please see Graduate Policy on Arts Leadership Program Course Credits.
Exceptions to the above letter grade requirement must be approved by the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. Minimum passing grades for graduate courses are “C” (except that “C” is considered a failure for a student on probation), or “S”. See (Graduate Probation).
Proposals for new course offerings are presented to the Graduate Professional Committee, and/or the Graduate Research Committee. Each course proposal includes a rationale for the assignment of credits to the course, based on the type of course and the proposed number of clock hours of meeting. The Eastman School of Music Registrar is responsible for ensuring accurate and reliable application of credit hour policies and procedures.
Graduate students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards completion of their degree in order to remain in good standing with the School. Every student’s academic progress is reviewed at the end of the fall and spring semesters by the Office of Graduate Studies.
Graduate students maintain their eligibility for Graduate Awards and Title IV federal aid by meeting the following requirements, which constitute the minimum standards for making Satisfactory Academic Progress:
- Graduate students must successfully complete at least 50% of their attempted coursework in any given semester. Courses in which a student has received grades of incomplete (I), no grade (N), no credit (NC), withdrawal (W), or failure (E) will be calculated as attempted and not completed. Remedial courses are factored in this calculation, while credits transferred from another institution are not.
- A master’s student may not accumulate six or more credits of C or E over the course of their degree program. A doctoral student may not accumulate three or more credits of C or E over the course of their degree program. All credits of C earned beyond these limits will not count towards the degree.
Students who do not maintain SAP may face sanctions as described below. Students will be notified in writing should there be any concerns regarding their progress in their program of study and an electronic notation will be put into their academic and financial aid records. The Registrar, Financial Aid, the Graduate Office, and the student’s academic advisor will receive copies of any written correspondence regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress.
In addition, in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid, master’s students must complete their degree within five years of their first registration and doctoral students must complete their degree within seven years following the bachelor’s degree or within six years following the master’s degree. Students may petition the appropriate graduate committee to extend their time to degree, but will not automatically be eligible for any additional financial aid if granted an extension. Students beyond their time to degree, while ineligible for federal financial aid, are not placed on Financial Aid Probation status.
Graduate students who do not meet the minimum standards for SAP as defined above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Graduate awards are merit based; therefore, students on warning status may not hold a Graduate Award or represent the Eastman School in non-curricular University sponsored events.
Students will be notified in writing by the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies of the requirements that must be satisfied in order to remove themselves from Financial Aid Warning status.
A student who is unable to remove him/herself from Financial Aid Warning status after one semester will be placed on Financial Aid Probation, and deemed ineligible to receive Title IV federal aid, including federal student loans.
Students who are placed on Financial Aid Warning may appeal to have their funding reinstated. Students may appeal only in cases of extenuating medical or personal circumstances. The Graduate Academic Progress Committee, comprised of the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Advisor, the Registrar, and the Director of Financial Aid, will review all appeals.
Appeals must be made in writing no later than ten business days after the date on their warning letter. Students must document their reason for appeal and provide any supporting documents.
If the appeal is successful, the student will retain their Title IV funding and have their Graduate Award funding restored.
Graduate students on Financial Aid Warning who do not satisfy the requirements outlined by the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies to remove themselves from warning status within one semester will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student placed on Financial Aid Probation is ineligible to receive Title IV federal aid, including federal student loans. In addition, the students will remain ineligible to receive a Graduate Award or represent the Eastman School in non-curricular University-sponsored events.
In cases where a student is unable to remove him or herself from Financial Aid Probation after one full semester, s/he will be dismissed from studies at the Eastman School of Music. Once a student has been dismissed, s/he is not permitted to re-apply for future graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music
A Graduate Award holder is not required by the School to enroll as a full-time student, though the student must make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion during the period in which s/he holds an Award, as discussed in section 5.06 above. To maintain eligibility for Graduate Awards, students must also adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy, earn a grade of B- or higher in any lessons on their primary instrument, pass any required performance juries, and carry out their assigned service to the school. Assuming that the student’s Award requires her/him to provide service to the School in return for the Award’s financial support, the School, in consideration of the work-time required by the Award, will classify the Award-holder as a full-time student if s/he is carrying nine (9) or more credits in a given semester.
Assuming satisfactory academic progress and satisfactory discharge of the duties of his/her Graduate Award, a student will be given favorable consideration for continuation of the Award during the subsequent year on the basis of the following:
- A maximum of four semesters of support during work on a master’s, or a maximum of six semesters of support while pursuing a doctoral degree.
- A maximum of ten semesters of support during graduate study at the Eastman School of Music for students who pursue the master’s degree and continue in the doctoral program.
Graduate Awards are not available to support summer study.
Health-Insurance Policy Coverage for Eastman Doctoral Students
(effective Fall 2019)
The following policy pertains only to doctoral students at Eastman (DMA and PhD) who matriculate in fall 2019 and thereafter. Students who matriculated prior to fall 2019 fall under the previous policy.
Doctoral students who teach 10 or more hours per week for the entire academic year will receive coverage of their health-insurance premiums (single person) for that year. They will not receive coverage in years when they do not teach 10 or more hours per week for both semesters of the academic year in question.
In Composition, this policy will affect primarily the TAs in EARS. The new policy will not normally affect doctoral students in Conducting or in Music Teaching and Learning. In piano, this policy will affect primarily the TAs in piano class. In musicology, the policy will pertain to those who teach the 120 courses, the MHS 280 courses, MHS 119, or an MUR course for a semester within a given academic year; even though those classes meet for only a single semester, they are treated as a double course because the TA has full autonomy and is responsible for all aspects of the course design and implementation. The policy will also pertain to graduate students who assist for both fall and spring semesters within a given academic year in an MHS 120 or an MUR course. In music theory, the policy will apply to all TAs, including those who teach Th 205 (as a double load in only one semester).
Graduate degrees are conferred in August, October, December, March and May of each academic year. It is the student’s responsibility to verify with his or her academic advisor and with the Registrar’s Office that all degree requirements have been satisfied. The student must also complete a Degree Application with the Registrar’s Office at least three months prior to the intended graduation date (e.g.- by February 1 for May commencement.) If the student’s program of study includes any major or primary applied study, the student also must present at least one jury examination to allow ratification of that applied study.
The actual diploma and transcript showing degree completion will be available from the School only after all degree requirements have been satisfactorily completed, and the degree(s) are officially conferred. Graduate students may participate in May commencement ceremonies only after ALL credit and non-credit requirements are complete. There is no option for graduate students to participate in commencement ceremonies “on completion”. Students awarded degrees in August, October, December, March can participate in the following May commencement. Students are not permitted to participate in May commencement ceremonies prior to the completion of an August, October, December or March degree.
The Graduate Calendar is maintained by the Graduate Studies Office, and can be found on following web page: www.esm.rochester.edu/grad/calendar/.
All graduate students at Eastman are automatically members of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), the primary purpose of which is to provide an effective forum for communication among graduate students and a communication channel between those students and the faculty and administrative officers of Eastman and the University of Rochester. This communication may concern curriculum, policies, or daily problems that graduate students may have. To this end, the officers of GSA have ready access to the School’s Dean, the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and the Assistant Dean for Student Life. Communication also may take the form of an informal exchange of ideas between faculty and students.
The GSA also has provided other services, including the funding of various educational projects, both curricular and non-curricular, proposed by and for individual graduate students. More information is available at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/studentactivities/graduate-students-association/.
A variety of difficulties may arise during a graduate student’s degree-study. If things are not going smoothly between the student and the major applied teacher, advice should be sought from the relevant applied department chair and/or the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs. Problems with other courses should be taken to the appropriate department chair and subsequently, if necessary, to the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. If a student feels that the difficulties s/he is experiencing are also affecting other graduate students, these difficulties should be brought to the attention of the officers of the Graduate Student Association, to see if they are indeed shared by others and to learn if concerted effort by the Association might be the most effective way to find a solution.
No problem which adversely affects a student’s work at the School needs to be borne by the student alone. In addition to the avenues suggested above to secure assistance with School-related problems, help with personal problems also is available from the Office of Graduate Studies and others. In some cases, discussion by the student with different people of varying backgrounds (the Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, faculty members) may afford a wider choice of viewpoints. Problems will be treated confidentially in all faculty and administrative offices.
Students who have been enrolled in ESM 985 (Inactive Status/Leave of Absence), or those who have not maintained continuous registration, for longer than three consecutive years and who wish to be considered for reinstatement into a graduate degree program at the Eastman School of Music must contact the chair of their respective department and make a formal request for reinstatement. With this request, documentation for the reasons or circumstances for the student’s absence must be given; in addition, extra materials (such as tapes or CDs, research papers, and the like) may be required by the department. Should the department recommend reinstatement, the request is then taken to the relevant graduate committee, which makes the final decision on requests for reinstatement. (rev. 8/1/05)
See section 05.02 (Continuous Registration) for more information.