re: MFA vs PhD

Subject: re: MFA vs PhD
From: Jim Harley (
Date: Mon Oct 31 2005 - 23:28:01 EST

I tend to agree with the comments thus far on this topic. In my
experience on the hiring side of this equation, the combination of
degree and professional/educational experience would be the most
important factors. At some universities, terminal degree would matter
more depending on whether the person would be expected to teach at the
graduate level or not.

It's interesting to note the recent hire in the composition area at
McGill University (not in the electroacoustic realm), where
professional experience was deemed to have priority over any university
experience, either as student or instructor (the person has none). In
this case, neither MFA nor PhD mattered at all. It would be nice to
know how the committee justified "ongoing commitment to higher
education" (according to the position description) in this context.

An exceptional situation, but significant given McGill's position as a
leading music faculty in Canada.

(And no, I did not apply for the job!)


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