Composition Department


Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Doctoral Dissertation

Revised, March 2020

Resources at the Graduate Office site


Document Style Guidelines

How to Prepare and Submit the Final Document

Critically Important Notes:
Reading Copy Deadline

Be sure to carefully read the Notation Style Guide and prepare your score in accordance with it. Reading copies must include all front matter, using the template available at the graduate office siteCandidates must submit the reading copy of the dissertation by November 1 for fall graduation or Thursday the week after spring break for spring graduation. See Sequence.


Candidates are advised that approval of the dissertation by the research committee during the summer is not possible. 


Dissertations (or portions thereof) with a duration of 15 minutes or less will be considered for performance with an IU orchestra, band, or the New Music Ensemble. Works involving chorus, concerto soloist or with durations exceeding 15 minutes will likely NOT be programmed. To have a dissertation placed in the pool for performance consideration, composers MUST:

  • Turn in sample parts (one wind, one percussion, all string) to the committee chair and to PED for approvals, preferably hard copies, but PDF can be acceptable if the chair agrees.
  • Format their dissertation so that it is usable (readable) by a conductor. It will not be acceptable for performance if the music is sized extremely small to avoid having to make page by page vertical adjustments in staves.
  • Make a PDF version of the score available online, either at your own website, or by sending it to the chair to post on the IU composition department server. A web page listing dissertations awaiting performance is maintained and sent to prospective conductors. This page is not 'published' as part of composition department website, so will not be found through casual browsing.
  • Deliver a coil bound hard copy to the PED librarian and inform the chair of this.
  • Turn in a full set of parts BEFORE August 1 ahead of the academic year the performance is scheduled for.