Re: MFA vs. PhD

Subject: Re: MFA vs. PhD
From: mopani (
Date: Tue Nov 01 2005 - 04:58:58 EST
----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris DeLaurenti" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:40 PM
Subject: MFA vs. PhD

> Recently, I was part of a panel that fielded questions from students about
> various aspects of sound art, electroacoustic music, and improvisation. We
> covered everything from field recording/phonography to doing sound design
> for games to the annoying ubiquity of certain MAX/MSP patches.
> We came to an impasse when a music undergrad asked if she would be better
> off pursuing an MFA or a PhD. Apparently both are "terminal" degrees, but
> no one could agree. She makes electroacoustic music and is primarily
> interested in university/college teaching.
> For folks on the list: do colleges/universities hire MFAs to teach sound
> art or does the Ph.D still hold sway? Does one carry more "weight" than
> another?
> I have no experience in the matter - apart from seeing job postings
> seeking "Ph.D or equivalent (experience)" - and kept mum while the sparks
> (some of which seemed to be born of traumatic experience) flew.
> Perhaps the question (and answers from the wise souls who know) might be
> of interest to others on the list?
> Chris

I'm curious about this topic and have been tentatively opening the debate on
another newsgroup devoted to sound art. You would hope that practising sound
artists backed up by academic certification would make the best teachers,
but there are many differing definitions of sound art going about.


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