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Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

The objective of the doctoral program in conducting is to guide the student toward the development of a comprehensive fluency in the language of conductorial gesture through acquiring advanced technical skills; 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.

Through a program of professional apprenticeships, the understanding of the diverse conductorial roles, i.e., symphonic and chamber orchestras, wind ensembles, choral ensembles, accompanying, opera, contemporary ensembles, presentations which require verbal communication to young and mature audiences, and rehearsal efficiency.

1. Major Area: 32 Credits

  • Mus 8450 Graduate Seminar in Conducting: 32 credits
  • 20 credits in the primary area of concentration (a maximum of 4 credits of conducting may be transferred from the master’s degree into the primary area)
  • 8 credits in a secondary area
  • 4 credits in a tertiary area

2. Other Areas of Music: 27 credits

  • MUS 5xxx/8xxx Courses in musicology/ethnomusicology and theory/composition, with a minimum of one 3-credit course in each area taken at the University of Minnesota: 12 credits
  • MUS 5xxx Courses directly related to the emphasis, e.g., literature, performance practice, conducting, secondary instrument, ensemble participation, or additional conducting credits: 8 credits
  • MUS 5xxx “Choral and Instrumental Performance Pedagogy”: 4 credits
  • MUS 5611 Resources for Music Research: 3 credits

3. Electives: 6 Credits. 5xxx/8xxx; may include courses from any UMN department; may only include up to 3 credits of ensemble.

4. Recital/Thesis: 20 Credits

  • MUS 8999 Two recitals in the area of concentration: 8 credits.
  • MUS 8999 One recital in the secondary area: 4 credits.
  • MUS 8999 One lecture recital related to the final thesis: 4 credits.
  • MUS 8888 Doctoral Thesis: 4 credits.
  • Programs and ensembles conducted will be determined in consultation with the major advisor.

5. Language Proficiency

  • Wind and orchestral concentration: reading knowledge in German.
  • Choral concentration: reading knowledge in German, French, or Italian and diction proficiency in German and French.
  • It is recommended that the language requirement be met in the first three semesters of graduate work to facilitate research. Credits earned towards reading requirement do not count towards the degree. Earned diction credits may be applied towards the degree.

6. Comprehensive examinations. Exams include preliminary written exam, preliminary oral exam, final oral examination.  

View the requirements for the DMA in conducting.