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Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

To guide the student toward the development of a comprehensive fluency in the language of conductorial gesture through acquiring advanced technical skills, and to encourage the establishment of a unique artistic identity; to promote the probing of how music works and what it means through continued exposure to theoretical studies and research techniques; and to foster the understanding of the diverse conductorial roles, i.e., symphonic and chamber orchestras, wind ensembles, choral ensembles, opera, contemporary ensembles, presentations which require verbal communication to young and mature audiences, and rehearsal efficiency.

Please review the admissions and audition processes for these programs, as they have been adjusted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The doctoral choral and orchestral conducting programs are not considering applications for 2021. 

Program Requirements: Minimum 85 credits

  1. Major Area: 28 Credits
    • Mus 8450 Graduate Seminar in Conducting: 28 credits
      • 20 credits in the primary area of concentration of conducting (i.e., choral, orchestral or wind band)
      • 4 credits in a secondary conducting concentration
      • 4 credits in a tertiary conducting concentration
    • (N.B. a maximum of 4 credits of conducting may be transferred from the master's degree into the primary area)
  2. Theory/Musicology: 15 credits
    • MUS 5xxx/8xxx Courses in Musicology/Ethnomusicology and Theory/Composition
    • A minimum of 9 credits, including one 3-credit course in each, must be taken at the University of Minnesota
  3. MUS 5611 - Resources for Music Research: 3 credits
  4. Elective: 23 Credits
    • To be chosen in consultation with faculty advisor
    • A minimum of 8 credits must be used in the area of "Performance/Pedagogy"
      • May include studio voice or instrumental study, Music Education courses, pedagogy related courses, diction classes, or repertoire courses. All 8 of these credits must be taken at the University of Minnesota.
    • May be used toward completion of a "Secondary Area" in another field of music (e.g., Performance, Music Education) - all "Secondary Area" coursework must be taken at the University of Minnesota. An additional audition may be required. See student handbook for specific information regarding "Secondary Areas". 
  5. Recital/Thesis: 16 Credits
    • MUS 8xxx: 3 recitals in the area of your concentration: 12 credits
      • 4 credits - Compilation of one year of programs with Campus Bands/Choruses/Orchestras
      • 4 credits - Recital with a community or recruited ensemble
      • 4 credits - Work with a School of Music Major Ensemble
        • Repertoire and ensembles conducted will be determined in consultation with faculty advisor.
      • Students will be given conducting opportunities in secondary and tertiary concentration as part of the seminar coursework.
      • MUS 8888, Doctoral Thesis or Final Project: 4 credits
  6. Language Proficiency
    • Wind Concentration - Diction proficiency in one of the three languages: French, Italian, or German.
    • Choral and Orchestral Concentration - Diction proficiency in German, French, and Italian
    • It is recommended that the diction requirement be met in the first three semesters of graduate work to facilitate research.
  7. Comprehensive Examinations 
    • Students are required to file a Degree Program form with the School of Music and the Graduate School after 24 credits have been completed. Other requirements include the Preliminary Written Exam, Preliminary Oral Exam, filing the Thesis Project Proposal form, filing the thesis title page to obtain the Thesis Reviewers Report form and the Final Oral Examination.  For further details on these requirements consult the Graduate School.