The music major comps process involves three main parts:

  1. Framing a proposal for your project, normally during the spring term of Junior year
  2. Completing your project in either fall or winter term of Senior year
  3. A public presentation of your comps during spring term of Senior year

Comps Calendar

Spring Term Jr. Year

Week 3

  • Attend Music Comps Presentations (senior project presentations)
  • Select a tentative advisor and schedule first appointment

Weeks 4 & 5

  • Meet with advisor
  • Select type of comps project; consult with new advisor if topic focus was changed in previous meeting
  • Second reader will be recommended by the advisor, student should meet with that faculty member to discuss the project and get his/her signature
  • Complete comps proposal form, including choosing fall or winter term comps

Note: under most circumstances, students who have chosen composition for their project should take comps in the fall term.

Week 6

  • Tuesday after midterm break: Comps Proposal forms due
  • Faculty review and provide an assessment
  • Approved
  • Revise or Fail – student must submit a revised or new proposal no later than Monday of Week 8.

Week 8

  • Monday: Revised proposal form due (if required)
  • Faculty review and provide an assessment
  • Approved
  • Fail – on Week 9 student will be assigned a different project and possibly a new advisor (depending on assigned project and advisor availability.)
  • Students and advisors should prepare and submit a list of supporting materials needed for the project.

Summer between Jr. and Sr. years

  • Students are encouraged to begin preliminary work on their approved comps over the summer months 

Fall or Winter Term, Sr. Year

  • Start, Finish, and End Comps project; deadlines during the term are set by the advisor
  • Finished composition or paper due by end of term
  • Juried performance for advisor and second reader by the end of the term, usually to be held during regular juries.
  • The student will receive written feedback from both the advisor and the second reader by the end of the grading period; feedback is consolidated by the advisor, and communicated in one document to the student. This feedback should serve to guide future performances, or further refine a composition in preparation for performance, or allow the student to improve a paper that might be used for graduate school applications. Feedback should be incorporated into the spring term Comps presentation.

Spring Term, Sr. Year

  • Week 3: Public Presentation of Comps Project

A Note about Comps Presentations

Seniors will typically present their comps projects at the Music Comps Presentations, typically on the third Saturday of spring term. For composition and performance comps this will involve a public performance, as well as a few brief remarks (~5 minutes). For research comps, this may involve either a brief talk (15-20 minutes) or a poster-style presentation.