Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Historical Performance

Degree Requirements

The Doctoral of Musical Arts in Historical Performance is granted upon successful completion of a program of study, written and oral qualifying examinations, and terminal projects appropriate to the student’s field of specialization. Students must complete a minimum of 48 semester credits with grades no lower than B- in graduate-level coursework. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of the date of matriculation.

Proficiency Examinations

All entering Doctor of Musical Arts students are required to take proficiency examinations in music theory and music history. These examinations are given online before the start of classes. Accepted students are notified in advance of the exam dates and contents, and are responsible for taking them by the specified deadline. Exam results are used for advisement and may establish prerequisite or required coursework. Material covered in these examinations is commonly presented in most undergraduate degree programs in music. Students in historical performance will additionally be examined in counterpoint.

Students with insufficient background in music theory and/or music history may be required to take the appropriate review courses, which may earn elective credit.  Descriptions of these courses appear in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.

Historical Performance Program Outline

Students must complete a minimum of 48 graduate credits, as follows:

Music Research Techniques
(to be completed within the first three semesters of doctoral study.)
3 cr
Doctoral Proseminar in Theory 3 cr
Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
Applied Music (if appropriate) 18 cr
Approved Music Electives 18 cr

Qualifying Examinations

In any semester after completing at least 30 credits, students may undertake the doctoral qualifying examinations, written and oral. There are two written examinations: one in the area of music theory, and one in the areas of music history and the major field. Either or both of these examinations may be taken in a given semester.

The student has three opportunities to pass written examinations in each of the three areas. Once a student has passed an individual area exam, he or she need not repeat it even if required to retake another area exam. The student proceeds to the oral examination only after passing all written examinations.  Requirements vary by concentration. There are also three opportunities to pass the oral examination. Further details on the qualifying examinations are available in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.

Doctoral students in historical performance may elect one of two program options: the dissertation track or the recital track.

Dissertation Track

Each candidate in historical performance must present three public recitals, each consisting of at least one hour of performing time.

Terminal Project: Independent Research/Dissertation and Lecture-Recital

The student must write a substantial document demonstrating the ability to conduct independent research. This document should stress source materials, comparative editions, score analysis, and performance practice. The student must give a lecture-recital based on this document and use the medium of performance to illustrate it. The lecture-recital must be supervised and approved by assigned faculty readers. A copy of the lecture must be included as an appendix in the final copies of the document.

Recital Track

DMA candidates may pursue the recital track following successful completion of one semester of DMA-level coursework and applied lesson study, and upon approval by their major teacher and area head. Appropriate paperwork must be filed with the applied department chair. In lieu of the dissertation as terminal project, each candidate in historical performance must present five public recitals: solo recital, concerto recital, chamber music recital, recital prepared without guidance, and lecture recital. Detailed requirements for each recital vary by area, and applicable written and research components require faculty approvals.