Jun 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Musical Arts, DMA

The School of Music offers the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) with specialty areas in performance (including choral or instrumental conducting) or composition.


Admission Requirements 

The applicant for the D.M.A. degree is expected to have earned appropriate undergraduate and master’s degrees and successfully audition for the faculty.  

Entrance Requirements  

Applicants must meet the entrance requirements of The Graduate School as well as those of the School of Music. Applicants for performance degrees must audition. Some areas require a pre-recorded preliminary audition as part of the screening process. Live auditions should be scheduled by contacting the faculty member in charge of the student’s performing area or filling out an audition request form on the School of Music web page. 

Entrance exams in Music History and Music Theory (written and aural) are given the week before classes begin in the Fall semester to determine whether review classes are necessary in the first semester of study. Admission for all degrees is conditional upon either passing the entrance exams or passing any required review classes with a grade of A or B before accumulating 12 credit hours 


Degree Requirements  

The Doctor of Musical Arts program offers opportunity for full development as a performer, composer, or teacher of music performance or composition. A thorough background is a prerequisite for admission into the program; doctoral study emphasizes work in adjunct areas of music, related fields, and research as they enhance and support the major area.  

Language requirement differs among performance areas. If required and if deficient, a student must enroll in language courses each semester of study until the deficiency is removed. Language classes must be passed with a grade of B or higher.  

The student’s Advisory Committee must be formed and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School prior to advance registration for the student’s third semester.   

Recital requirement differs among performance areas. At least three weeks prior to each recital, the student must do a pre-recital hearing for three members of the applied faculty who must sign and submit a Pre-Recital Hearing Form to be placed in the student’s file. The program content of the recitals will be established in cooperation with the student’s Advisory Committee. Immediately after each successful recital, a Recital Approval form must be signed by three members of the Advisory Committee and placed in the student’s file. The student should complete at least one recital prior to taking the Qualifying Exam.  

DMA students are required to pass a Qualifying Exam (QE) upon completion of all coursework. Part I of the QE (History and Theory, 3 hours each) will be given as a common exam early every semester. Students should pass Part I prior to taking Part II of the QE which is the Specialty Area portion (six hours) of the QE. Part III of the QE is the oral exam (2 hours maximum) and should be taken last, after completing Parts I and II successfully.  

Requirements for doctoral projects differ among the performance areas. The Project for the D.M.A. specializing in Composition will consist of two parts. Part 1 is a large-scale original composition. The candidate is responsible for arranging a public performance of the work. Part 2 is an in-depth analysis and discussion of the composition. The composition and in-depth written analysis and discussion are to be approved by the Advisory Committee in the same manner as a Ph.D. dissertation. For specific requirements in each performance area, please consult the Graduate Music Handbook posted at https://finearts.uky.edu/sites/default/files/Uploads/Documents/graduate_handbook_2020.pdf 


The minimum course requirements for all DMA students beyond the master’s degree are as follows:  

  • MUS 618 RESEARCH METHODS * (3)   
  • Music History and Literature# (9)   
  • Advanced Music Theory** (6)   
  • Performance Major (12)   
  • Minor (optional)*** (9)  

Total (30-39)  

#Must include two regular courses offered by the Division of Musicology (one 700-level course recommended) and those required by the specific performance major area. One course may be from the Division of Musicology, Theory, Music Education, or Performance.  

For students in D.M.A. degrees, entrance exams will be scheduled the week before the first semester of classes to assess competency in music history and music theory Students who have not passed the entrance exams in music history and/or music theory will be required to take review classes in those areas during the first 12 hours of study.  


Doctor of Musical Arts (Voice Performance)  

  • MUS 618 RESEARCH METHODS * (3)   
  • Music History and Literature (must include MUS 623   or MUS 627 *) (6)   
  • Advanced Music Theory** (6)   
  • Voice Performance (12)   
  • Performance Related Study (must include MUS 665 *, MUS 667 *, and MUS 620 *) (9-15)   
  • Directed Research in Vocal Literature (MUS 780 ) (6)   
  • Minor (Optional)*** (9)   

Total (33-51)  

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: 1 year of French, 1 year of Italian, 1 year of German; In addition, one semester of a Reading for Knowledge course is required, this can also substitute for an entire year of a language requirement if passed). The second semester of all languages must have a grade of B or above to be accepted. 


Doctor of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting)  

  • MUS 618 RESEARCH METHODS * (3)  
  • Music History and Literature (must include MUS 625 ) (9)   
  • Advanced Music Theory** (6)   
  • Advanced Choral Methods (MUS 660 ) (3)   
  • Performance Major**** (12)   
  • Minor (Optional)*** (9)   

Total (33-42)  


Doctoral of Musical Arts (Instrumental Conducting)  

  • MUS 618 RESEARCH METHODS * (3)   
  • Music History and Literature (must include MUS 622  or MUS 680 ) (9)   
  • Advanced Music Theory** (6)   
  • Advanced Rehearsal Techniques (MUS 681 ) (3)   
  • Performance Major (6 hours of MUP 658  and 6 hours of MUP 758 ) (12)  
  • Minor (Optional)*** (9) 

Total (33-42)  


*If not completed at the master’s level.  
**MUS 578 cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.  
***The minor may be taken within or outside the School of Music, and is subject to the approval of the Advisory Committee and the chairman of the department concerned.  
****Must include a minimum of 4 credits of MUP 758