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Boston University

  • Boston University Reviews

    Ranking: #47
    Non-Profit: Yes
    Country: USA
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    Accreditation: NASM

3.3
8 Reviews
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Boston University Reviews:

Not Perfect, but Improvements Have Been Made

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - August 7, 2018
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Given that the most recent reviews come from ~2016, I thought it might help if a more recent graduate made a review. I'll start off by saying that the program appears to have improved since some older reviews, and indeed BU made efforts to improve student experiences while I was enrolled. However, by no means did I find the program perfect. Pros: I felt that my classes enriched my knowledge of music education and were rigorous enough to make them compare to many (not all) in-person doctoral programs. The professors and TAs were personable, approachable, and fair. You definitely feel like you have earned your degree, and while you can expect it to run closer to six years than four, the light at the end comes quickly when it finally comes. Cons: As many have mentioned, the dissertation stage can frustrate students. The reasons for this are legitimate. The major problems, as I see them, are as follows. First, the classes don't prepare you for the IRB approval process. The qualitative methods and bibliography courses I took were great, but the IRB simply follows different, specific rules compared to the general knowledge students learned in class. IRB is a pain, full stop. Second, the dissertation approval process (for the music school) had only a few submission opportunities per year. If your prospectus fails, you find yourself derailed by half a year. Third, it can feel like your advisers/readers have too much on their plate and, therefore, communicate with you less than you'd like. However, I will say again that the end comes comparatively quickly when it comes. There appears to be a snowball effect applied to momentum during the dissertation. Other details on my experience: The school has listened to the concerns of my cohort, and worked with me when I had issues in my personal life. Also, I loved my adviser/readers, and learned a lot from them. They were great to me and, I feel, prepared me for success as a researcher. A mixed bag, I suppose, but I 'do' feel satisfied by the overall experience. I hope the program will continue to listen to students, and perhaps devote more faculty to managing the online students. If so, BU's program will be truly excellent in a couple of years.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Don't start if you want to finish

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - May 14, 2016
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I was quite happy with the program overall until I progressed to the dissertation phase where I learned that BU does not have the infrastructure in place for supervising the dissertations. They have accepted too many students and do not have the instructors to help them finish the degree. While some people have made it through the dissertation process, I suspect that the percentages of completed DMAs are much lower than at other institutions. Unfortunately, I do not recommend the program.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful

Dissertation Stage

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - May 19, 2015
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Everything was perfect up the stage of dissertation. I have not ever seen a doctoral program with no advisor up to almost finishing your thesis ( in the 4th chapter you're assigned). We are not allowed to seek information or help from advisors/professors while in proposal stage. We work alone with no guidance, and then they just break up everything you do alone....and charge you 1500 per semester for working on your own. I had to change myself to a certificate doctoral degree in MUED to not loose my credits. I now am planning to move on in another university with a degree in EDUC which only accepted 15 credits from BU, and I will be stuck for at least 5 years....thanks to BU! I do not recommend this program to nobody!

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful

This was a great choice and must disagree with other reviewers...

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - November 6, 2014
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This program was an outstanding program to go through. The DMA in Music Education program is definitely set up for students to be successful if you take advantage of the resources that are offered. I know some students are struggling to get through the dissertation process, but the process is meant to challenge you to become a scholar yourself and put what you have learned into practice. The program focuses on critical thinking and moving from simply a practitioner to a scholar-practitioner. The program is doable in a five to six-year timeframe if you really just stick with it. The course work takes two years, then your comps, dissertation proposal, and final dissertation. The program is excellent and I enjoyed every one of my instructors. I felt challenged and valued. Also, as an online student you pay half of the tuition cost you would as a full-time residential student. I was encouraged all the way through the program and am now working on my own research and publications. Is it an easy program? No. Should it be? No. Is it doable and can you gain a lot from it? Yes. Now being an alum, I can honestly say it was worth the time, sacrifice, and money and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

A Very Bad Experience at Boston University

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - June 5, 2014
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I had a horrible experience at Boston University as an online DMA student. As and older student coming back into the educational system I was shown no mercy. While I had some compassionate instructors, the majority of them were arrogant and unsupportive. I was treated as just a number which has now cost me $90,000 in school loans. Yes it’s a very expensive school to be as a student, treated like crap. I never once heard from my advisor and could NOT get to her. Emailing a question or a concern to some instructors seemed to agitate them. While the theme and the goal of education is critical thinking, this could work to your disadvantage with some of these instructors. As in any university, politics will play an important role, but some of these instructors will give new meaning to borderline ethics. Disagreeing with the department chair and some of these instructors will get you nowhere but an on an unwanted list. While the book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire is required reading, many of the instructors practice oppression of the students. Some of my classmates are struggling in the proposal and dissertation process. Remember, we need something from them, (Boston University) a degree. It cost me a lot on money to find out that they didn’t want this southern boy in their New England club. I didn’t do my homework and I made a very bad choice by enrolling in this program. Be warned, everything that shines is not gold.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Lackluster Program with Impossible Dissertation

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - March 26, 2014
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VERY UNHAPPY..I did exceptionally well and felt I was making outstanding progress until the dissertation. I did not feel my advisor supported me, or was instrumental in helping me adequately verbalize a topic I could be passionate about. Instead, I was directed to a topic that supported his research. Feedback was nebulous, ambiguous, evasive, and overly critical. There was more focus on form and style rather than on content. Not student centered, not groomed for success. VERY UNHAPPY..

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Excellent Program Until Dissertation

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - July 14, 2012
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I totally agree with the last reviewer. A very similar scenario (identical in some respects) occurred with me. The coursework is wonderful and enjoyable, but the ending is a different story entirely and this is not the fault of students. Clearly the dissertation process is not a priority for those in charge at present. Anyone planning to enroll in this program should consider that unfortunate reality. The new department chairperson as well as faculty all have too much on their plates and this is a problem for those paying for their services. When the school doesn't do what they agreed to do at the beginning of the degree process, that's a problem. Taking legal action against Boston University is not something I and others envisioned when starting this program. So beware of this program, because you may at the very end of a fine experience, wind up a victim in a very unfair situation - the unbelievable last act of an otherwise wonderful play.

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful

All good until several dissertation supervisors dismissed

Online Doctoral program in Music Education - September 16, 2011
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I was delighted with the DMA program, and all was well until a new Music Ed Department Chair came on board. Faculty left in droves. My excellent dissertation supervisor was dismissed "due to contractual issues". Doctoral candidates were not warned that a new, micromanaging contract was being prepared for all advisors, regardless of what stage their advisees were in, and that some advisors would refuse to sign it. My dissertation was finished and awaiting the selection of a committee for reading. Rather than switching policies near the end of the older cohort's program, I believe the new dept. chair should have initiated the changes for the newest cohort and let the prior ones finish according to the initial agreement. I have been without a dissertation supervisor for over 2 months, a time period I had planned to use to work on rewrites with my committee. No end in sight, either. Beware! Write your dissertation quickly, and get out well before your 7 years are up.

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful


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