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Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting

Three to Five Year Degree (35-30)

The Supervisory Committee creates the Doctor of Musical Arts program for each student in order to fulfill the best interests of that student’s education. Therefore, it is important that a student form a Supervisory Committee as soon as possible after entering the doctoral program. It is the responsibility of the Supervisory Committee to assure an appropriate program of study for each student. Students typically enter the doctoral program having completed coursework equivalent to a master’s degree in music. See our master’s degree program requirements. The Graduate School requires ninety (90) credits for the doctoral degree, sixty (60) of which must be taken at the University of Washington. In addition to coursework at the master’s level, the following is a breakdown of coursework required for the doctoral degree.

Major Area: 57  
Graduate Choral Conducting Instruction*: Enroll for a minimum of 12 credits:  
  • MUSIC 583, Advanced Choral Conducting (2 credits ea.) *It is strongly recommended that students take conducting and ensemble during their entire residency.
12 Min.
Advanced Choral Techniques: Enroll for a minimum of 12 credits:  
  • MUSIC 553, Advanced Choral Techniques (2 credits ea.)
Choral Repertoire: 6 credits from MUSIC 481, 482, 483, 484 (3 credits ea.) 6
Doctoral Recitals: Present a minimum of two recitals. The recitals must be scheduled with the consent of appropriate faculty. All recitals must be documented as “A recital in fulfillment of the requirement for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree.” The programs and recital approval forms, signed by appropriate faculty, are placed in the student’s file. Each of the two recitals forms part of the DMA dissertation. Students should register for 9 credits of MUSIC 800 each quarter in which they present one of these doctoral recitals.  
Dissertation: A student must register for a minimum of 27 credits of MUSIC 800, dissertation writing, over a period of at least three (3) quarters. At least one of the three quarters must come after the student has passed the General Examination. Nine credits of MUSIC 800 should be devoted to writing the research paper, which forms one third of the DMA dissertation; the remaining 18 credits of MUSIC 800 are divided among the doctoral recitals (see above.) 27
Other Studies in Music: 21  
Music Ensemble*: Enroll in an appropriate ensemble each quarter in which conducting is taken:  
  • MUSEN 507, Recital Choir (1 cr) (must be taken each quarter student is enrolled in MUSIC 583); MUSEN 550, University Chorale (1 cr); MUSEN 551, Chamber Singers (1 cr). *It is strongly recommended that students take conducting and ensemble during their entire residency.
A minimum of 15 credits of academic coursework** in music at the 400- or 500-level in addition to coursework taken at the master’s level. The student, with the guidance and approval of the student’s supervisory committee, shall select the courses. 15
Electives: 12  

Total Credits: 90

  • General Examination: Students must pass a General Examination in order to earn candidacy for the doctoral degree and may sign up for MUSIC 600 with members of their committee in order to prepare for the examination. Students must have their Supervisory Committee established at least four months before the oral portion of the General Examination. The Request for the General Examination must be submitted online to the Graduate School no later than three (3) weeks before the examination. The Graduate School requires completion of 60 credits of coursework (including coursework taken for the master’s degree) prior to the General Examination, 18 of which must be from the 500-level or above and 18 of which are from the 400-level or above and numerically graded.
  • Final Examination: Students must submit a draft of the dissertation to the Reading Committee no later than five (5) weeks before the proposed Final Examination date. Once the Reading Committee has read a draft of the dissertation and agrees that it is ready to defend, the student may then submit the Request for Final Examination online to the Graduate School, which must be done no later than three (3) weeks before the exam date. See the Graduate School home page at for information about formatting and submitting the dissertation, etc. A student must satisfy the Graduate School’s requirements for the degree at the time the degree is to be awarded.

** The definition of academic course work in Music is any 400- and/or 500-level class taught by faculty in the four academic Divisions: Ethnomusicology, Music History, Music Education, and Music Theory.

Rev. 7/2011