The program leading to the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) provides students with the highest level of professional training in the art of musical performance or the craft of musical composition. To this end, applied study in the major field is supported by extensive academic work in musicology and music theory. The Doctor of Musical Arts degree certifies that its holder is a sophisticated professional with the requisite skills and understanding to be an effective leader in his or her field.
Students applying for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program present transcripts, recommendations, and an analytical or historical essay written within the previous two years before: playing a live audition, sitting for an interview, and completing examinations in music theory and musicology. The details of this process may be found at peabody.jhu.edu/admissions. Successful applicants must matriculate into the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program in the fall semester of the calendar year in which they auditioned. The Conservatory does not defer entrance into degree programs or allow students to begin in the spring semester. Students matriculating into the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program should present evidence of a Master of Music degree or its demonstrated equivalent.
- DMA Orchestral Conducting
- DMA Wind Conducting
- DMA Guitar
- DMA Historical Performance Instruments
- DMA Orchestral Instruments
- DMA Organ
- DMA Piano
- DMA Voice
The DMA Guidelines
The procedures for meeting the requirements of the DMA program are listed in the DMA Guidelines, which are published and archived by the Office of Academic Affairs. The DMA Guidelines apply to each student that matriculates in the fall semester of its publication. What follows is an adumbration of the essential requirements.
The program of study for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree normally requires an attendance of two years. Student must attend full time for at least one year (earning a minimum of 18 credits and a maximum of 36 credits for one academic year. Students in the United States on an F-1 visa must remain full-time for the duration of their studies. All requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree must be completed within seven academic years from the date of initial DMA registration. Exceptions to this regulation may be granted by the Doctoral Committee under extraordinary circumstances.
After passing the Preliminary Oral Examination, completing all academic requirements, and performing at least two recitals—or the number of recitals prescribed by the department— DMA students achieve Degree-in-Progress (DIP) status. For the purposes of student loans and visas, Degree-in-Progress students are full-time students.
Admission to candidacy is determined in part by the results of the four written qualifying examinations: Language Proficiency, Major Field, Music History, and Music Theory. All examinations are graded on a “pass/fail” basis. A student who fails any qualifying examinations twice must petition the Doctoral Committee for permission to take the examination a third time.
Written exams are created by the respective faculty advisor in a student’s Advisory Committee and administered by the Office of Academic Affairs. They may be taken during the following periods beginning in the second year of coursework:
- October through November
- January through March (Spring Break)
- 15 May to 15 August
On completing all qualifying exams, and any remaining solo, concerto, and/or chamber music recitals (for performance majors), a DMA student is considered a Doctoral Candidate. During the period of candidacy, the student completes Final Oral Exam, the Final Document, and a lecture recital (for Performance Majors). For further details, students should refer to the DMA Guidelines.
Degree Advisory Committees
The Office of Academic Affairs oversees the work of DMA students in coordination with the major teacher, an Academic Advisory Committee, and the Doctoral Committee. Some departments assign a group of faculty to grade all recitals for performance majors, which may be considered a second advisory committee, or Major Field Committee.
- The Academic Advisory Committee consists of the major teacher, a Musicology Advisor, and a Music Theory Advisor. This committee is available to the student for consultation and advice concerning curriculum and possible dissertation or paper topics. Members of this committee also submit appropriate questions for the written qualifying examinations and sit on the oral qualifying examination committee. The members of the Academic Advisory Committee are selected by the student but appointed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and must be confirmed before the student becomes a Degree-in-Progress student.
- The Major Field Advisory Committee consists of the major teacher and other faculty members from the specific department. The Major Field Advisory Committee are responsible for approving the student’s repertoire list, approving and jurying all the student’s recitals, and submitting questions for the Major Field qualifying examination. In smaller teaching units, the Major Field Advisory Committee may be the department.
- The Doctoral Committee is a standing committee of the Conservatory Faculty Government that oversees all aspects of each student’s program in coordination with the Office of Academic Affairs. The Doctoral Committee is comprised of eight faculty members Senior Associate Dean of Institute Studies and meets monthly during each academic year.