DMA in Performance

Programs of Study

  • Brass
  • Collaborative Piano
  • Organ
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Strings & Harp
  • Voice
  • Woodwinds

Application Requirements

  • Completed application for graduate admission to the College of Fine Arts
  • Non-refundable application fee of $80
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from music professionals/educators. These may be submitted online using supplied Letter of Recommendation Form, or an official letter from the recommender in a sealed envelope.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Personal statement indicating the applicant’s purpose in pursuing graduate work, career objectives, and particular interest in BU
  • Current résumé
  • prescreening recording must be submitted online by December 1 (required of Cello, Flute, Violin, and Voice applicants only).
  • An audition. Applicants should follow the audition repertory guidelines for the appropriate instrument.
  • International applicants: please click here for special requirements

Application materials deadline: December 15

Apply OnlineApplication Instructions

Mailing address:
Office of Graduate Admissions Room 230
College of Fine Arts
855 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Detailed Program Information

For detailed information regarding specific degree requirements for the Performance major, please click here.

Financial Aid

All applicants with completed applications are considered for all available scholarships and assistantships. There is no financial aid application. For more information regarding financial aid, please visit the financial aid link.

Course Selection

Every student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 48 graduate credits. Of these, 18 must be in the field of the applied major instrument, and 18 will be completed in approved electives. Choral conducting majors will take 8 credits of Choral Literature Seminar. Every student must take at least 12 credits in music history and music theory, including MU 749 Music Research Technique and MU 719 Doctoral Proseminar in Theory. MU 749 and MU 719 must be completed within the first three semesters of the doctoral program.

Qualifying Examinations

The qualifying examinations, written and oral, include two sections: (1) performance, and (2) history, theory, and literature of music. Organ students are required to extemporize briefly on a given theme, harmonize a melody at sight, realize a figured and unfigured bass, transpose at least a step up or down, and read at sight compositions of moderate difficulty in an open score.

Students must complete successfully all written requirements before proceeding to the oral examination.


Each candidate for the DMA in Performance must present three public recitals of one hour’s duration or longer.

Document and Lecture-Recital

While enrolled in CFA MU 995 Research and Directed Study in Musicology, the candidate must write a scholarly document demonstrating the ability to accomplish independent research. This document should stress source materials, comparative editions, score analysis, and performance practice. The candidate 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 the readers. A copy of the lecture must be included as an appendix in the final copies of the document.