D.M.A. - Jazz Studies Composition

Graduate Admissions

Audition Days

 Friday, January 31, 2025 (morning only)
Saturday, February 1, 2025 (afternoon only)
 *Saturday, February 15, 2025 (all day)
  • Graduate Applications: The deadline for all degree programs and specializations is December 15, 2024.
  • Required Auditions: All required auditions, whether in-person or video, must be completed by 5 p.m. February 15, 2025.
  • Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships: All graduate applicants are automatically considered for graduate assistantships and fellowships. No separate application is required. 
  • Summer MM-Music Education Fellowships: The priority consideration deadline is May 1, 2025.
*Preferred graduate audition day 

Admission Criteria:

  • Begin by applying online at http://go.unl.edu/gradapp.

    1. Create an account.
    2. Complete your application.
    • You will be asked to upload scanned copies of your transcripts showing all postsecondary coursework completed, including all studies for which credit was granted (e.g. summer institutes such as Aspen or Interlochen). Further information can be found at https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/admissions/requirements#transcripts. We require:       MM GPA = 3.25/4.00 scale.
    • Students whose native language is not English or who have not previously earned a degree from an institution at which English is the official medium of instruction must enter their TOEFL or IELTS score and upload a copy of their score report. Official scores should be sent directly to UNL. Further information can be found at https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/international/english. We require: TOEFL iBT 100 or IELTS 7.0 overall band score.
    • You will need to provide contact information, including an email address, for each person from whom you wish a reference. For each recommender, click the Submit Recommendation Request button to send a letter request to your reference writer. A minimum of three letters of recommendation is required; four recommendation letters are recommended.
    • You will need to submit any “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirement” marked with an asterisks (*) below as part of the initial application process.
    1. Submit your application and pay the application fee of $50 ($25 if you are currently an active student at UNL). After you’ve clicked “Submit,” validated your information, and paid the application fee, you’ll receive a confirmation email indicating that the application was successfully submitted, and providing you with a link to submit information regarding your composition portfolio recordings and graduate assistant preferences.
    2. Submit required “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirements” (see below) marked with a bullet (•) via SlideRoom, a resource manager of The Common Application. A SlideRoom account can be created by going to https://unlarts.slideroom.com/#/login and clicking on “Apply Now.” Once the account has been created, scroll down on this page and select “GKSOM-Priority GA Graduate Application Material Submission (2022).” 

    Prepared Creative/Scholarly Materials Requirements:

    * 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. (This statement will help the Committee evaluation the fit between the applicant’s goals/interests and the School’s ability to address those goals/interests.)

    * Submit a written exercise (Times, 12-point font; Word, rtf or pdf format; double-spaced). This writing example should be of one of two kinds. It may be an academic term paper of yours, complete with citations and bibliography. Alternatively, you may submit an essay written specifically for this application, for which you 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. In this newly written essay you should 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).

    * A portfolio of 3-5 scores submitted in PDF format. (Note: If submitting work that does not have a score, e.g. electronic compositions, upload a PDF document outlining the technology used to compose the work in place of a score.)

    • Recordings of the submitted compositions. Live recordings are encouraged, but MIDI recordings are acceptable.

    NOTE: Each writing example 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.

    NOTE: The composition faculty will review all Jazz Studies (composition) applications which are complete by the application deadline; applicants who meet prescreening requirements will be contacted by the faculty to schedule an interview. 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. Discussion topics may include your background as a composer and performer, your theory proficiency, and other relevant topics.


Semester by Semester Plan
D.M.A. Degree - Jazz Studies

Note 1: This plan assumes that the student has completed 30 hours of transfer credit that is applicable toward the degree.
Note 2: Any semester which exceeds 9 hours of coursework could be reduced if hours were taken in a summer session.
Note 3: Not shown=2 semesters of chamber music, and for most 3 semesters of large ensemble
Note 4: This plan assumes 6 hours of graduate jazz history credit that is applicable toward the degree

D.M.A. Degree - Jazz Studies
Fall 1 Spring 1

MUAP/MUCP 983. Applied Music/Composition (4)
MUSC 881. Bibliography (1)
MUSC 865. Jazz  Theory (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0) 

MUAP/MUCP 983. Applied Music/Composition (4)
MUSR 998. Recital (3)
MUSC 868. Jazz Pedagogy (3)
MUSC 99 Doctoral Colloquium (0)

Fall 2 Spring 2

MUAP/MUCP 983. Applied Music/Composition (4)
MUSC 9--. Theory or History Sem (3) 
MUSC977. Performance Practice (3)
MUSR 98. Recital (0)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)

MUAP/MUCP 983. Applied Music/Composition (4)
MUSR 998. Recital (2)
MUED 992. College Teaching in Music (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUSC 867. Improvisation (3)

Fall 3 Spring 3

MUAP/MUCP 983. Applied Music/Composition (4)
MUSR 98. Recital (0)
MUSC 8/9  Music History (3)
MUSR 898. Special Topics: Jazz Arranging (3)
Comprehensive Exams & Document Proposal completed by Nov. 1

MUAP/MUCP 983. Applied Music/Composition (4)
MUSR 998. Lecture Recital (3)
MUSC 999. Doctoral Document (3)


 For more information please visit the Jazz Studies program website at: https://music.unl.edu/jazzstudies