The Doctoral School of the Liszt Academy of Music offers the possibility of obtaining DLA and PhD degrees in music. The DLA (Doctor Liberalium Artium / Doctor of Liberal Arts) Department is aimed at composers and performers who wish to achieve artistic development integrated with complex theoretical training. The department was launched in 1996, inaugurated by the church music programme (led by László Dobszay). By 1998 the programmes in composition (led by Zoltán Jeney) and performance practice (led by Sándor Falvai) gained accreditation, followed by the music theory programme (led by Katalin Komlós) in 2000. The PhD (Philosophiae Doctor / Doctor of Philosophy) Department is unique in Hungary as it offers the only accredited doctoral program in musicology in the country. It was established by György Kroó in collaboration with Tibor Tallián, and was launched in 1995 under the direction of László Somfai. Since 2001 the DLA and PhD departments function as the Doctoral School of the Liszt Academy.
The full-time doctoral programs consist of four years of training in theory and practice, followed by a doctoral procedure of one year. In the course of their studies, the doctoral students are required to obtain 240 credits in total and pass two major exams (a complex exam at the end of the second year and a preliminary dissertation debate at the end of the fourth year) that focus on their progress in dissertation work and (in the case of DLA students) musical performance. The submission of the doctoral student’s masterwork and/or the final written dissertation is due no later than three years after the complex exam. After the written dissertation has been approved by two official reviewers, it is defended in a public debate. In addition, the DLA candidates also give a concert as part of the defence procedure (normally within two weeks prior to the public debate).
Apart from the full-time programs, the Doctoral School also offers the possibility of part-time training in accordance with the provisions of the Doctoral Regulation. This option is primarily reserved for artists or musicologists aged over 35 who already have significant professional/academic output. At the beginning of their two-year tutorial training, the part-time students are required to pass their complex exam, and in the course of their studies, they are required to obtain 120 credits in total. As the completion of their two-year study, the part-time students also have a preliminary dissertation debate. Likewise, the submission of the students’ masterwork and/or final written dissertation is due no later than three years after the complex exam, and the same requirements and rules apply to the defence procedure in the part-time programs as in the full-time programs.
The language of instruction in the doctoral programs is primarily Hungarian, and the students are provided with comprehensive education in the theory and practice of music. The high standard of artistic and scholarly training is guaranteed by renowned professors from Hungary and abroad.