Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Performance

Performance Majors

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

    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 Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts students are required to take both proficiency examinations in music theory and music history. These examinations are given online before the start of classes. Incoming 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 purposes of 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 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.

    Program of Study

    Students must complete a minimum of 48 graduate credits including music history and music theory, 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 (as appropriate) 18 cr
    Approved Music Electives 18 cr

     Qualifying Examination

    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. Further details on the qualifying examinations are available in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.

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

    Dissertation Track

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

    For candidates in collaborative piano, the programs for the three recitals should reflect the specific interest of the individual student, who may wish to specialize in either vocal or instrumental literature. Chamber music (compositions for three or more instruments) must make up at least one-third of each recital program.

    For candidates in string performance, two of the recitals will consist of solo literature (unaccompanied and/or works with piano, including sonatas), and one recital will be composed entirely of chamber music (not including sonatas with piano).

    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 performance and 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.