D.M.A. Orchestral Conducting

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 audition
  • 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)


Application Checklist - Specific Requirements

Apply to the UNL Graduate College at: https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/programs/Music
  • Complete UNL Graduate College application form (and $50 application fee) available on-line at www.unl.edu/gradstudies
  • You must upload all transcripts into MyRed.  You will need one copy of transcripts of all undergraduate work and all previous graduate work (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/prospective/reqs#transcripts
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.
  • Submit required writing samples (details below)
  • Schedule an interview/audition (details below) (date selected within G.A.M.E.S.)
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.

Required Pre-Audition Screening Video Footage (uploaded to SlideRoom)

Beginning with applicants for admission in Fall 2019, applicants must submit video footage recorded within the past 12 months adhering to the following guidelines:

 (1) Approximately 10 minutes of rehearsal footage demonstrating the applicant’s abilities teaching, assessing, coaching, and developing ensemble skills.

 (2) Approximately 10 minutes of performance footage from the ensemble’s perspective (conductor’s face is visible) demonstrating the applicant’s abilities as a creative colleague and performer.

 There is no restriction as to the profile of the ensemble (elementary, middle school, high school, college, professional/military, community). The applicant should select the footage that illustrates their best work in partnership with the ensemble. Careful consideration should be given to the quality of the repertoire and suitability for the ensemble’s skills and for graduate conducting study.

 The pre-audition screening process must be complete (materials submitted and reviewed) by January 15. Therefore the application deadline for Conductors is for all intents and purposes earlier than it is for other programs within the Glenn Korff School of Music.

 Each pre-audition screening video will be assessed by the major adviser for the appropriate conducting sub-category (choral, orchestral, band), plus one additional conducting faculty member.


Schedule an on-campus audition and interview. Applicants should confer with the Director of Orchestral Activities, Dr. Tyler White (twhite1@unl.edu), regarding the date and time of the audition, and the literature to be conducted for the audition. The audition, with the UNL Symphony Orchestra, will begin with a run-through of the selected repertoire, followed by 5-10 minutes of rehearsal. For the remainder of the audition, the applicant will be coached in a "quasi-lesson format" by the Director of Orchestras.



Semester by Semester Plan
D.M.A. Degree - Conducting

Note 1: This plan assumes that the student has completed 36 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 = any hours of large ensemble as a performer.

Fall 1 Spring 1
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting(2) 
MUSC 881. Bibliography (1) 
MUSC 8--. Music Theory/History (3) 
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)
MUSC9--. Literature (3) 
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUSR 998. Recital (3)
MUSC9--. Literature (3)
MUEN 845. Ensemble (1)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
Fall 2 Spring 2
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUSC 9--. Theory or History Sem (3)
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)
MUSC977. Performance Practice (3)
MUSC9--. Literature (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUSR 98. Recital (0)
MUED 992. College Teaching in Music (3)
MUSC9--. Literature (3)
MUSC 99. Doctoral Colloquium (0)
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)
Fall 3 Spring 3
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting (2)
MUEN 845. Ensemble (1) 
Elective (3) 
MUSC 8/9 Music History (3) 
Comprehensive Exams & 
Document Proposal completed by Nov. 1
MUAP 9--. Applied Conducting(2)
MUSR 998. Recital (3)
MUSC999. Doctoral Document (3)
MUSC 845. Ensemble (1)