D.M.A. - Jazz Studies Composition

Important Dates

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

January 15th, 2019

(All Degrees Programs)

April 1st, 2019

(Summer MM-Music Educ ONLY)

Preferred graduate audition days:

February 8, 2019

Jazz auditions

February 9, 2019

All other graduate auditions, except conducting; conducting auditions will be arranged by the faculty

Submissions will be reviewed starting on January 15, 2019.

Admission Criteria:

  • M.M. GPA = 3.25/4.00 scale
  • Successful Portfolio submission (Composition)
  • 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)

Material Submisison

For D.M.A. Jazz Studies Composition applicants these materials include:

  • Upload audio/score screening materials (details below)
  • Submit required writing samples (details below)


Application Checklist - Specific Requirements

Apply to the Glenn Korff School of Music through G.A.M.E.S. application at: games.unl.edu
  • 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 submission of composition 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 Professor Tom Larson
    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: 
  • Submit a portfolio of 3 to 5 scores (PDF) in an array of media and jazz genres, directly through G.A.M.E.S. Your audio materials are handled through another website, SlideRoom, to which G.A.M.E.S. will direct you. 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.
Prepared Creative/Scholarly Materials:  
Two required writing examples (submitted in G.A.M.E.S.)
  • 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.
  • 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 iscuss 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).
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.


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