Guidelines - Doctoral - Music and Performing Arts

Guidelines for Topic Proposal

The purpose of the Topic Review is to approve the topic, the significance or need for the study, and to examine the doctoral candidate's preliminary grasp of pertinent issues articulated in the literature. A brief statement of method will be sufficient to enable the reviewers to assess the background and skills of the doctoral student in context of the proposed topic. The entire document is limited to ten pages, excluding bibliography and title page.

Research in Music and Music Education
Methods and Materials of Research in Educational Theatre
Research in Dance

The following conditions must be met by students before they are eligible to submit their topic for Departmental Topic Review:

  1. Students must have completed the required introductory research course required by their program.
  2. Students must have passed the doctoral candidacy examination. After passing Candidacy, students are eligible to secure the appointment of a Dissertation Chair.
  3. Students should secure a Chair, if possible, for the dissertation committee and secure approval from that Chair as well as the Program Director or Program Adviser (required) indicating their support of the topic. These faculty should notify the Director of Doctoral Research directly of their approval.

In addition, the following conditions apply to the Topic Review:

  1. The document is to be 6-10 pages. The document is to be double spaced. A title page and one-page curriculum vitae are to be included and not considered part of the 10 pages. There is no need for a Table of Contents in the Topic Review document. Do not use any special covers or binders. Paper fasteners or staples are appropriate.
  2. Generally, student participation in Topic Review takes place in the semester after passing the candidacy examination.
  3. Topic Review takes place during the proceedings of the Research Collegium for the Performing Arts which currently meets on the first Friday of each month from 6-8 p.m. during the academic year. Students are expected to attend the review.
  4. Topic Proposals must be posted on the internet at least two weeks before the meeting of the Collegium. Students should send approved proposals via email to Dr. Jonathan Jones (

For more information, see Preparing the Topic Proposal for Departmental Topic Review