The objective of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (DMA) in solo performance, conducting, jazz studies, or composition is to develop the musician-scholar -- one who displays a mastery of a professional medium and is well equipped with scholarly attitudes and abilities. The program leading to the degree prepares students as performers, conductors, composers, and teachers for a career in higher education. It is expected that a student entering the DMA program has achieved an advanced level of artistic performance and technical mastery, and shows capability of in-depth academic study.

 The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in any field provides a program of studies by which students become producers of new knowledge in their respective disciplines. Currently, the Ph.D. in Music has three areas of emphasis: music education, piano pedagogy, and vocal pedagogy. The curriculum in these programs prepares researchers, professors, performers and other professional leaders with the skills, values, and intellectual rigor needed for the most advanced leadership and investigation for music study. The purpose of the Ph.D. in Music with an emphasis in Music Education is to prepare students to be music teacher educators in research-oriented universities and to educate those who aspire to be reflective leaders in PreK-12 school settings. The purpose of the piano pedagogy emphasis is to provide students with rigorous background in research skills while allowing for continued development of piano performance skills. The purpose of the vocal pedagogy emphasis is to serve the voice students, those with only a music background as well as those with a speech pathology and music background, who wish to pursue a teaching career in higher education and focus on research in vocal pedagogy.