D.M.A. - Composition

Important Dates

For priority consideration for funding (GTAs or fellowships), Graduate Applications must be completed by:

January 15th, 2018

(All Degrees Programs)

April 1st, 2018

(Summer MM-Music Educ ONLY)

Preferred graduate audition days:

February 16, 2018

Conducting & Jazz Performance auditions

February 17, 2018

All other area auditions

Submissions will be reviewed starting on January 15, 2018.

Admission Criteria:

  • M.M. GPA = 3.25/4.00 scale
  • Successful Portfolio submission (Compositions)
  • Evidence of scholarly writing ability
  • Evidence of fit between the applicant's goals/interests and the School's ability to address those goals/interests
  • (For International Students Only) TOEFL minimum=Paper-600 Internet-100 (IELTS 7.0)

Deadline for Audio Materials - January 15 

All Audio materials <Audio SlideRoom Submissions> will be reviewed starting on January 15.

Application Checklist - Specific Requirements

  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation. You will need to provide contact information, including an email address, for each person from whom you wish a reference. Then for each one you must click the send request button to notify your reference writer.
  • Upload audio/score materials (details below)
  • Submit required writing samples (details below)
  • Schedule an interview/audition. To begin with, select the Saturday Graduate Audition Day in February within G.A.M.E.S.  You should then schedule the time of day of this interview directly by contacting the head of area  Dr. Greg Simon
    This personal interview with members of our composition faculty is required. Discussion topics may include your background as a composer and performer, your theory proficiency, and other relevant topics.
Prepared Creative/Scholarly Materials (submitted during G.A.M.E.S. process):
  • Submit a portfolio of 3 to 5 scores (PDF) in an array of media and genres, direclty through G.A.M.E.S. Your audio materials are handled through another website, SlideRoom and PDF scores are handled through G.A.M.E.S. . The fee for audio submissions to Slideroom (up to five files) is $6. Portfolios should be submitted not less than 4 weeks in advance of the scheduled audition day.
  • Two required writing samples (submitted in G.A.M.E.S.)
  • First, submit a statement of purpose (500-700 words; Times, 12-point font; Word, rtf or pdf format; double-spaced). Statement should be written by the applicant describing his/her future goals and how the D.M.A. can help attain those goals.
  • Second, submit a written exercise (500-700 word essay; Times, 12-point font; Word, rtf or pdf format; double-spaced). Essay should be completed without consulting any outside references (human, electronic or in-print) on the following question:
  • Select two compositions performed, conducted or originally composed from a recent Master's or Doctoral recital that represent different historical periods or contrasting styles/genres and:
  • Discuss the characteristics of style and form in each composition, and
  • Discuss each composer's contribution to THIS PARTICULAR GENRE OF MUSIC (i.e., discuss additional compositions, historical and/or theoretical significance of contribution, or compare/contrast your composition to well-known compositions of a similar genre or style.)
The essay must include this honor code statement at the beginning of the essay: "On my honor, I have not received any unauthorized aid on this essay."  Applicants' essays will also be subjected to random plagiarism software checks. Any violations of the honor code statement or evidence of plagiarism will result in the candidate's application portfolio being withdrawn from further consideration.


One Example of a Semester by Semester Plan
D.M.A. Degree - Composition

Note 1: This plan assumes that the student has completed 30 hours of transfer credit that is applicable toward the degree, and thus now needs 60 more credits of coursework.
Note 2: This plan assumes 17 credits in the Seminar in composition (individual lessons, where 24 credits is the maximum) and 5 credits of Recital.
Note 3: Composers must have a 15-credit secondary area of emphasis.

D.M.A. Degree - Composition
Fall 1 Spring 1
MUCP 983. Sem in Composition (2)
MUSC 881. Bibliography (1)
MUSC 8--. Music Theory/History (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUCP 983. Sem in Composition (2)
Elective (4)
MUSC 99 Doctoral Colloquium (0)
Elective (3)
Fall 2 Spring 2
MUCP 983. Sem in Composition (4)
MUSC 9--. Theory or History Sem (3) 
MUSC977. Performance Practice (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUCP 983. Sem in Composition (4)
MUSR 998. Recital (2)
MUED 992. College Teaching in Music (3)
Elective (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
Fall 3 Spring 3
MUCP 983. Sem in Composition (4)
Elective (3)
MUSC 8/9  Music History (3) 
Comprehensive Exams & Document Proposal completed by Nov. 1
MUCP 983. Sem in Composition (1)
MUSR 998. Lecture Recital (3)
MUSC999. Doctoral Document (3)
Elective (3)