The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree program is the most advanced course of study offered in the School of Music at James Madison University. The program has been designed to make graduates more marketable in higher education by emphasizing pedagogy and literature along with advanced performance or conducting skills. The program seeks candidates who have the potential to pursue the highest level of achievement in conducting/performance and teaching.
The degree requires completion of a minimum of ninety (90) credit hours, including 18 hours of applied instruction plus 6 elective credits; 22 hours of literature, analysis and topical seminars; 18 hours of recitals, documents and research methods; 6 hours of pedagogy; and 20 hours of area-specific courses.
During the degree program, exceptionally qualified students may earn up to 30 credit hours by examination and/or transfer. After completion of all course work and three recitals, D.M.A. students must pass comprehensive written and oral examinations.
Doctor of Musical Arts Admissions Requirements
- The Graduate School Application, available online
- D.M.A. Program Application (part of The Graduate School application)
- Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
- Written statement of future goals (professional and educational)
- Curriculum vitae (C.V.)
- Three current letters of recommendation from professors, employers and other professionals qualified to judge the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral studies
- A live audition (or a high-quality audio/video recording for conditional admission)
- TOEFL of at least 550 (written test)
- A financial statement prior to application
Additional Requirements for International Applicants
See the Office of International Programs website for other requirements and information for international students.
Financial Aid is administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in the Student Success Center. The chief source of aid for graduate study is through assistantships awarded by the school. Teaching assistantships are awarded each year on a competitive basis. In keeping with the pedagogical nature of the D.M.A. degree at James Madison University, all doctoral assistantships will include a variety of supervised teaching experiences: assisting professors in classes and/or being responsible for teaching a class, teaching applied lessons (for performers) and conducting ensembles (for conductors). In addition to a stipend, assistantships include a tuition award. Approximately seven doctoral teaching assistantships per year will be offered on a competitive basis.
There is a once per semester fee for enrollment in MUAP 600 and MUAP 700, applied lessons. See MyMadison for details.
Prior to the first week of classes, all applicants must take JMU School of Music diagnostic examinations in music history, written theory and ear training. The results are used for placement and advising. Applicants for assistantships in areas related directly to these examinations may be required to take them before assistantships are granted.
Students graduating from the D.M.A. program (with Concentrations in Performance, Pedagogy and Literature or Conducting, Pedagogy and Literature) will be able to:
Conducting, Pedagogy and Literature:
- demonstrate application of musical and physical conducting skills through the performance of advanced repertoire in the student’s area of specialization (instrumental or vocal).
- demonstrate effective rehearsal techniques through the preparation of representative repertoire in the student’s area of specialization (instrumental or vocal).
- create and deliver effective pedagogical instruction.
- formulate advanced insights into the artistic and formal structure of music through score study in the student’s area of specialization.
- communicate effectively about music through a) writing and b) speaking.