Academic Planning (DMA): Program of Studies

The Program of Studies

The Program of Studies is intended to function as a uniquely personalized academic program for a doctoral student's career at UNL, which is planned out during the first few weeks of the first semester in residence and then followed through all subsequent semesters. It is best arranged in semester-by-semester fashion, consulting degree requirements and the rotation of courses to ensure completion of all necessary academic work without surprises and in a timely manner.

Ideally an initial draft of the Program of Studies will be prepared very early during the first semester of studies, and in any case before Priority Registration (i.e., by the end of October or the end of March), so that it will specify all five subsequent semesters of study in a three-year, six-semester program. Particular care should be taken to make decisions about courses taught in semester 2 that will not return in the rotation until semester 6. Moreover, in completing the Program of Studies, it is important for DMA students to realize the function of the choice of coursework in preparing for their comprehensive examinations. It is highly recommended that DMA students evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in history and theory as they relate to the expectations of performance on the comprehensive examinations.

After initial planning that begins early in the fall of the first semester in residence, the student and the chair of the Supervisory Committee together prepare the form Program of Studies for the Doctoral Degree:
This form can be downloaded from the Office of Graduate Studies website:
under "Current Students" under "Forms and Deadlines" under "Doctoral Degree Forms and Deadlines."

The completed form must then be approved by the members of the student's Supervisory Committee, preferably before the beginning of the second semester of study, and preferably at a face-to-face meeting, but in any event so that no more than 45 semester credit hours have a recorded letter grade, or grades of incomplete or pass, on the student's transcript and program at the time the program is submitted to the Graduate College. (NOTE: The outside Committee member will be informed of the face-to-face meeting, but is not required to attend.)

The Supervisory Committee is not obligated to reduce the doctoral program of studies by applying all coursework taken toward a previously earned master's degree. Each course accepted must be determined to be current and relevant in relation to the desired degree.

After approval by the student's Supervisory Committee of the Program of Studies, the form must be submitted to the Graduate Committee for approval. It may be approved without further comment by the Graduate Committee, or it may be sent back to the student for modifications. After approval is obtained, the form is then sent to the Office of Graduate Studies with a minimum of 45 hours to be taken at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln exclusive of language and/or research skills remaining to be taken.

NOTE: Changing a Program of Studies is easy. If, at any point down the road, there is a desire to change the course content in the Program of Studies, the student's Supervisory Committee must approve all changes to the originally approved Program of Studies prior to the semester that the course(s) requested is (are) being taught. (Experience has taught that to avoid a variety of problems, the  change should be anticipatory, not retrospective.) The Chair or co-Chairs then sign the request indicating Supervisory Committee approval of the change. A model or example of the form that must be used to ask for this change is available on the Glenn Korff School of Music website under "Current Students" under "Forms." Once drafted and signed, the substitution request is given to the Graduate Secretary in hard copy and then circulated within the Graduate Committee for approval.


A degree-seeking graduate student enrolled for nine (9) or more hours in one semester is considered a full-time student for that semester. All graduate assistants must register for a minimum of seven (7) hours of degree graduate work each semester. Any exceptions must be granted by the Director of the Glenn Korff School of Music.


A graduate student who has registered in error (for example, enrollment in the undergraduate level of a 400/800 course) should correct the error through the normal drop and add process during the term in which the error occurred.

In the even the error is not recognized until a grade is posted, the student may appeal for correction of registration within sixty (60) days of the posting of the grade report in the Office of the University Registrar. Changes to a student registration record will not be made more than sixty days after grades are posted.