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Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Performance: Voice

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D.M.A. Degree Requirements

Research Skills

Before being admitted to the comprehensive examinations, all D.M.A. students must present satisfactory evidence of research skills relevant to completion of the document or lecture-recital. These skills must include 1 of the following with the approval of the adviser, division, and associate dean:

1. Reading proficiency in a foreign language(s).

2. Proficiency in computer techniques by completing 1 of 2 tracks:

Track A

  • Complete MEMT 116 Performance Media: Computers, Synthesizers, and Electronics or equivalent.
  • Complete at least 1 graduate seminar in computer applications in music.
  • Design and implement a substantial project relevant to the candidate’s professional development. This project may be developed using a traditional or music-oriented authorizing system.

Track B

  • Complete EECS 268 or equivalent.
  • Design and implement a substantial programming project relevant to the candidate’s professional development. This project should be written using a traditional structured or object-oriented programming language.

3. Proficiency in techniques for measurement of quantitative research.

All doctoral students entering after fall 2011 must meet the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement before proceeding to comprehensive exams. This requirement includes at least 2 components

  • Every doctoral student is required to have training in responsible scholarship pertinent to the field of research.
  • Every doctoral student is required to obtain research skills pertinent to the doctoral level of research in their field(s).

To meet both components, D.M.A. students in performance or composition and Ph.D. students in Musicology or Music Theory must complete MUSC 801 Music Bibliography and Research and, if available, participate in advanced performance seminars.


Advisory Committee

Each graduate student selects a faculty advisory committee, in consultation with the major adviser, subject to the consent of the faculty members involved, and approved by the associate dean. This usually occurs during the second semester of full-time enrollment. The committee consists of 5 faculty members: at least 2 faculty members from the major division, at least 1 from musicology or music theory (at least 1 from musicology for D.M.A. composition), and 1 from outside the School of Music. This committee participates with the major music division faculty in evaluating required recitals and administers the comprehensive and final oral examinations. All candidates for graduate degrees must pass the final oral examination at least 4 weeks before the date on which they expect to receive the degree.


All students in performance and in choral, orchestral, and instrumental conducting must perform a total of 3 recitals. This number does not include the D.M.A. lecture-recital if the student selects a lecture-recital as a final project. Each recital program should be approved by the faculty in the major area before the recital is performed. 1 or 2 recitals may be presented before taking the comprehensive oral examination.

Doctoral conducting students are expected to perform 3 recitals, each consisting of 50 to 60 minutes of programmed music. Up to 2 recitals may consist of the combination of works conducted with various official university ensembles over the course of several semesters. The third recital must be a single program with a major ensemble assigned as part of course work or teaching duties and presented as a regular program in that ensemble’s performance schedule. The third recital may include a complete performance of an opera, ballet/dance, or musical. A student who wishes to use an ensemble other than an official university ensemble must obtain permission to do so from the directors of ensembles.

Note: In addition to this requirement, the student is still required to present a lecture-recital.

For the first 2 required recitals in the D.M.A. program in performance and conducting, a recital preview is left to the discretion of the faculty members of each division. In divisions with no preview requirement, the option to have a preview is still available to students and faculty members. Divisions must approve the recital content well in advance but no less than 3 weeks before the recital date. Normally, there is no recital preview for the final recital.

All recitals and public appearances required for the D.M.A. are graded by the student’s advisory committee and the faculty of the major division. The student must achieve at least a grade of B on each recital for satisfactory completion of degree requirements.

Music Theory, Musicology, and Oral Comprehensive Examinations

Students must take written examinations in music theory and musicology when most of the course work has been completed and the research skills/language requirements have been fulfilled. Some major divisions also may require a written examination in the major area. Students entering before the spring semester of 2008 may elect to complete 2 theory papers in lieu of taking the written examination in music theory. After successful completion of the written examinations, the student is eligible to schedule the oral comprehensive examination administered by the student’s graduate advisory committee. Majors in performance and conducting must have presented 1 or 2 of the 3 required recitals before taking the examinations.

Final Recital

This recital, which is analogous to the doctoral dissertation, should occur near the end of the degree program but before completion of the D.M.A. document or the D.M.A. lecture-recital. The recital can be performed before the comprehensive oral examination.

Document, Lecture–Recital, or Large-Scale Composition

No later than the end of the semester after successful completion of the comprehensive examination, candidates in performance, conducting, and composition must submit to the graduate advisory committee a prospectus for a D.M.A. document or D.M.A. lecture-recital. A candidate in composition must submit a prospectus for a large-scale composition. The prospectus for a document or lecture-recital should include a preliminary bibliography and an outline of the content. The composition prospectus should outline a large-scale work for orchestra, with or without soloists, a work for chorus and orchestra, or an opera, and should include a preliminary analysis.

The D.M.A. document is a scholarly paper roughly equivalent in scope to a master’s thesis. The lecture-recital is a public presentation based on a paper written in scholarly form.

Upon satisfactory completion of all other degree requirements, candidates must schedule a final oral examination. For students in performance and conducting, the examination covers the third recital and the research reported in the document or lecture-recital. For students in composition, the examination is primarily a defense of the large-scale composition.

The student must receive at least a grade of B on the document, lecture-recital, or composition for satisfactory completion of degree requirements. 2 unbound copies of the work must be submitted to the Graduate Division of the School of Music. The lecture-recital paper also must include a DVD or CD recording.


At least 3 months must elapse between the successful completion of the comprehensive oral examination and the date of the final oral examination for candidates for the D.M.A. degree.

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Voice Program

Master’s degree in performance 30
Applied music (4 semesters, 5 hours a semester) 20
Seminars in voice 9
Recitals (1 full recital, to be given in the final semester, plus 2 of the following:
An additional solo recital, a major role in an opera, a major solo in an oratorio,
a full chamber music program, or a lecture-recital)
MUSC 801 Music Bibliography and Research 3
Advanced courses in musicology and music theory 9-12
D.M.A. document or lecture-recital 3
Electives 7-10
Oral comprehensive examination 0
Final examination 0

View a check sheet for this degree program.

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