Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Performance

Performance Majors

  • Bassoon
  • Flute
  • Organ
  • Trumpet
  • Cello
  • French Horn
  • Percussion
  • Tuba
  • Clarinet
  • Harp
  • Piano
  • Viola
  • Collaborative Piano
  • Harpsichord
  • Saxophone
  • Violin
  • Double Bass
  • Oboe
  • Trombone
  • Voice

Each student is assigned to a member of the faculty for private instruction. Individual instruction is given in one-hour lessons; every effort is made to consider the student’s preferences in studio assignment.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Musical Arts in 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 earn a minimum of 48 course 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.

Participation in musical organizations is a vital component of the graduate programs in performance. Each major has specific requirements for ensemble participation.

Proficiency Examinations

All entering Doctor of Musical Arts students are required to take proficiency examinations in the areas of music theory and musicology. These examinations are administered online before the start of classes. Incoming students are notified of the exam dates and contents in advance 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 with insufficient background may be required to take review courses as appropriate.

Language Requirement

Reading proficiency is required in one language, chosen from German, French, and Italian. Students may demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by passing its corresponding reading course at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: GRS LG 621, GRS LF 621, or GRS LI 621. Students may also satisfy the requirement by passing a foreign language examination, administered once each semester by the School of Music.

Program of Study

A minimum of 48 graduate credits is required for the degree. Students are expected to declare either Dissertation or Recital Track by the beginning of the second year of study.

MH 711 Music Research Techniques* 3 cr
MT 701 Doctoral Proseminar in Theory 3 cr
Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
MU 995 Dissertation 3 cr
ML 501–40 Applied Music (as appropriate) 18 cr
Approved Music electives 15 cr

*To be completed within the first three years of study.

Dissertation Track Recital Requirements

Students pursuing the DMA Dissertation Track must present three public recitals, each consisting of at least one hour of performing time. Detailed recital requirements vary by area.

DMA candidates may declare the Recital Track following successful completion of one semester of doctoral-level coursework and applied lesson study, and upon approval by their major teacher and area head.

MH 711 Music Research Techniques* 3 cr
MT 701 Doctoral Proseminar in Theory 3 cr
Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr

MP 705 Writing for the DMA Recital Track

1 cr
ML 501–40 Applied Music (as appropriate) 18 cr
Approved Music electives 17 cr

*To be completed within the first three years of study.

Recital Track Recital Requirements

Students approved to pursue the DMA Recital Track must present five public recitals: solo recital, concerto recital, chamber 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. These five recitals are given in lieu of the dissertation as terminal project.

Qualifying Examinations

In any semester, after completing at least 30 credits, students may undertake 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.

Dissertation and Lecture Recital

Students pursuing the DMA Dissertation Track 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.