General Schedule and Important Milestones

The nominal duration of the degree program for the Master of Science in Music and Technology degree is 21 months or 4 semesters, starting late August. Graduation is in May. Exact dates are available by consulting the Carnegie Mellon University Academic Calendar.


Early August:

Select and register courses


Apr 30:

The thesis committee should consist of at least two people: your advisor and one other member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty or staff. To select the second member of your committee, you should first consult your advisor and get approval of one or more candidates. Then, you should ask the candidate to be on your committee.


Early August:

Select and register courses. Remember to sign up for reading and research to allow time for your thesis project.

Summer and early September:

Prepare a thesis proposal of about 2 pages.The proposal should include:

Sep 30:

Oral thesis proposal given in Music and Technology Seminar.

The committee in consultation with other faculty will decide to pass or fail the thesis proposal. If the proposal is not passed, the student must address the problems and present another proposal.


Jan 1:

Start writing thesis (if not already started).

Mar 1:

Finish thesis project.

Mar 15:

Completed thesis delivered to advisor.

Mar 25:

Make final revisions to thesis.

Apr 1:

Final thesis draft to committee.

Apr 1 - May 1:

Further editing and committee approval of changes.

May 1:

Master's defense should be complete by this date. A defense consists of a Master's oral presentation and a Master's recital.

The Master's oral presentation is a technical talk similar to a conference presentation. The talk should be carefully prepared and supported by slides with appropriate graphs and equations. If possible, the talk should include sound and/or video examples.

The Master's recital should ideally be a concert or recital, possibly a joint recital or even one piece on a longer program. Alternatively, the oral presentation and recital can be combined. The music should be professional in quality and relate to the thesis. The Master's candidate need not be the performer or composer provided that the thesis results are used in the music composition or performance.

A more technical thesis may not result in music appropriate for a concert. Although a music performance in a recital is the ideal, the recital requirement can be satisfied by a musical demonstration given as part of the oral presentation with the approval of the thesis committee.

The committee can either pass or fail the thesis oral presentation and recital. The committe can also request further changes in the thesis.