The Graduate College has established a residency requirement for the purpose of ensuring that the doctoral program should be reasonably compact, continuous, and coherent; and that a substantial portion be in fact done at and under close supervision by the University. The residency requirement is part of the student's approved program.

A student beginning a doctoral program in the University of Nebraska system with a bachelor's degree, the residency requirement for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree is 27 hours of graduate work within a consecutive 18-month period or less. Fifteen of these 27 hours may be brought forth from the UNL Master of Music degree, provided they are taken in the same 18-month period.

A student who transfers to the University of Nebraska system with a master's degree from another institution, or who has a time interval between earning a masters degree at the University of Nebraska and beginning work on a doctoral program, the residency requirement for the Doctoral of Musical Arts degree is 27 hours of graduate work in a consecutive 18-month period or less.

A member of the University staff who is engaged at least half time in instruction or research in a major department, or a person employed in a major field, the residency requirement is 24 credit hours of graduate work within a consecutive two-year period with the further provision that the student take at least 12 of these after receiving the master's degree or its equivalent. Not more than one-third of the work for residency or 9 hours total credits may be taken during the summer sessions.

In exceptional circumstances, where it is clear that the purpose of residency will be fulfilled although the above formal conditions are not met, the student's Supervisory Committee may, with the approval of the Dean for Graduate Studies, designate an alternative procedure for satisfying the residency requirements.

A minimum of three full years of graduate study is normally required to complete a program for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts. Neither the courses taken nor the time spent in study determines the granting of the degree. It is given primarily for high attainment in some special field of scholarship, performance and for demonstrated power of independent research in a subdivision of this field.

The time limit for granting the Doctor of Musical Arts degree is eight years from the time of filing the student's program of studies in the Office of Graduate Studies.


Graduate students are expected to maintain active status through continuous registration from the time they matriculate until they graduate. However, the Office of Graduate Studies recognizes that sometimes life events may make it impossible to continue active participation in a degree program. An Academic Leave of Absence makes it possible for a student to temporarily suspend his or her graduate studies and the pursuit of a degree.  Providing a process for students to request—and take—an approved leave of absence from their studies for a specified period of time ensures that students have an opportunity to return to the University under the rules and policies in effect when they left and without affecting their time to degree. For a detailed exposition of the rules and policies surrounding academic leaves, see