The Catholic University of America

This text is excerpted from the 2013-2014 CUA Announcements. Please refer to the Announcements for further information on academic policies and programs.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

The Doctor of Musical Arts degree is offered to selected qualified students as a recognition of high professional attainment in composition, pedagogy, performance, or sacred music. Applicants who qualify for entrance to this program will major in one of the following areas: composition, pedagogy (piano or voice), performance (chamber music, orchestral instruments*, piano, vocal accompanying, voice), orchestral conducting, or sacred music.  *The Doctor of Musical Arts degree is not offered in the area of percussion, guitar, harp, euphonium, or saxophone.

The objective of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts is to provide an opportunity for advanced study at the highest artistic and pedagogical level. For this reason, admission to candidacy is highly selective.

Handbook for students in the School of Music: Students should consult the online Handbook found at http://music.cua.edu/ for music school forms and procedures not detailed in these Announcements.

Placement Examinations: A Placement Examination in Music History and Music Theory will be given to each applicant. The Placement Examinations in Music History and Music Theory are taken only once. If the results indicate areas of deficiency, the student must address these deficiencies by taking specified graduate review courses or undergraduate courses, as specified below. These courses do not count toward degree requirements. Placement examinations are given during the fall and spring semester registration periods. The applicant is expected to take the placement examinations at the beginning of the semester in which he/she has been admitted to the music school. For serious reasons, the adviser may grant permission to postpone to the second semester of residency, but normally not beyond. Note: Incoming doctoral students who are admitted after one semester of having received their master's degree from CUA do not have to retake the placement examinations.

Graduate Review courses: As explained above, incoming graduate students must take the Music History Placement Examination and Theory Placement Examination (which has two parts, a harmony and an aural skills section). If the results of the Theory Placement Exam warrant placement into the Graduate Harmony Review course (MUS 491) and/or the Graduate Aural Skills Review course (MUS 492) or the results ofthe Music History Placement Exam warrant placement into the Graduate Music History Review course (MUS 490), the student must fulfill these courses within a year of having taken the exams.

Program-Specific Entrance Examinations: Some degree programs also require program-specific entrance examinations pertaining to the applicant's intended major area. Please see the individual program for details. Program-specific entrance examinations are given during the fall and spring semester registration periods. The applicant is expected to take any required program-specific entrance examinations at the beginning of the semester in which he/she has been admitted to the music school. For serious reasons, the chair of the division may grant permission to postpone to the second semester of residency, but normally not beyond. An applicant who fails the program-specific entrance examinations may, with permission of the dean, be given a re-examination, but a third examination will not be permitted.

D.M.A. Entrance Recital: In programs that require an entrance recital, the applicant is expected to perform the entrance recital at the beginning of the semester in which he/she has been admitted to the music school. For serious reasons, the head of the division may grant permission to postpone to the second semester of residency, but normally not beyond. An applicant who fails the entrance recital may, with permission of the dean, be allowed a second recital, but a third recital will not be permitted.

Admission Process: The admission process to the doctoral programs consists of two separate steps:

1. University admission to graduate study in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, which includes

a. an application form (with statement of purpose* and application fee);

b. transcripts;

c. four letters of recommendation, two from teachers of the applicant and two from professional colleagues; and

d. audition: a demonstration of performance proficiency with classical repertoire in contrasting styles in the applicant's major medium (15-minute audition for piano [performance, pedagogy, chamber music, vocal accompanying] and orchestral instruments, 10-minute audition for voice [performance and pedagogy]) by in-person audition (preferred) or DVD and/or interview (when entrance recital is not required) or submission of compositions.

*The statement of purpose is a 500-700 word essay stating one's purpose for undertaking graduate study in music, one's academic objective, research interests and career plans, as well as related qualifications, such as collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishment not already mentioned on the application form.

2. Admission to degree study in the music school, which includes for each major area:

a. Composition. (i) prerequisites; (ii) four letters of recommendation (see above 1c); (iii) original compositions; (iv) and placement and entrance examinations.

b. Orchestral Conducting. (i) prerequisites; (ii) repertoire list; (iii) description of conducting and related professional experience; (iv) programs and critical reviews;(v) four letters of recommendation (see above 1c); (vi) placement examinations; and (vii) additional requirements listed in the section Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting.

c. Pedagogy. (i) prerequisites; (ii) repertoire and professional experience record; (iii) programs and critical reviews; (iv) description of teaching experience; (v) four letters of recommendation (see above 1c); (vi) entrance recital; (vii) placement and entrance examinations for piano pedagogy, placement examinations for vocal pedagogy; and (viii) interview.

d. Performance. (i) prerequisites; (ii) repertoire and professional experience record; (iii) programs and critical reviews; (iv) description of teaching experience; (v) four letters of recommendation (see above 1c); (vi) entrance recital; (vii) placement examinations; and (viii) interview.

e. Sacred Music. (i) prerequisites; (ii) repertoire and professional experience record; (iii) placement and entrance examinations; (iv) four letters of recommendation (see above 1c); and (v) additional requirements listed in the section Doctor of Musical Arts in Sacred Music.

Advisement: Students will be guided in their studies by an advisory committee of faculty members appointed by the dean. This committee shall

1. administer the entrance, comprehensive and final examinations;

2. submit in writing to the dean the student's program of study;

3. where appropriate, recommend to the faculty, supervise the writing of and give final approval to the student's research paper (pedagogy) or treatise (sacred music), and

4. certify to the dean the completion of curriculum, examinations and graduation requirements.

Applicants must satisfy their advisory committee that their knowledge of the field in which they propose to major is equivalent to a master's degree in that field from the music school. Areas of weakness must be strengthened by taking and passing courses of formal study assigned by the advisory committee.

Through personal interviews and evaluation of completed work, the advisory committee will assist the student in planning a program of study that will prove most advantageous to his/her particular needs, resulting in a certain amount of individual variance.

Degree Candidacy in D.M.A. programs: In the areas of composition, pedagogy and performance the student will be regarded as a degree candidate after passing the entrance examinations and/or entrance recital as required. In the area of sacred music, the student will be regarded as a degree candidate after having passed the comprehensive examinations.

Degree progress: At any point in the program of study, the advisory committee may, if convinced that the general level of the candidate's work has proven unsatisfactory, recommend to the dean that the student no longer be regarded as a degree candidate. A graduate student who has received a grade of C or F in a graduate course is permitted to repeat the course one time. The calculation of the grade point average will include only the grade earned in the repeated course. For students in graduate programs, an average of B (cumulative GPA of 3.0) or better is required for graduation. In keeping with university policy that a graduate student who earns two failing grades is subject to dismissal, a doctoral student who fails two required recitals or the same required recital a second time is no longer considered eligible to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. A student in the Doctor of Philosophy degree program pursuing a minor in performance who fails the required recital a second time is no longer eligible to pursue that minor.

General university policies and exceptions: The Doctor of Musical Arts degree is subject to the policies stated under the heading The Doctoral Degree in the General Information section of the Graduate Announcements, with the following exceptions:  1. The program of study in the advisory degree includes no fewer than 54 semester hours beyond the master's degree.  2. The provisions regarding the transfer of credits stated under the heading "The Doctoral Degree" in the General Information section of the Graduate Announcements do not usually apply to the D.M.A. degree. A limited number of post-master's degree credits earned at another institution at a grade level of B or better prior to the student's first enrollment at CUA may be accepted with the approval of the faculty and dean of the school.  3. For the D.M.A. degree, at least four semesters of full-time graduate work beyond the master's degree must be spent in residence at The Catholic University of America. Each semester of residence is equated with 12 semester hours of accumulated part-time study.

Addition to general university policies regarding full-time study:The doctoral degrees in the school of music are subject to university policies regarding full-time study, as outlined under the heading Enrollment in the General Information section of the Graduate Announcements, with the following addition: 1. enrollment for doctoral recitals or doctoral compositions.

Independent Study: Other than students in the Professional Studies track or in cases approved by the dean, graduate students should take no more than one-sixth of the total credit hours in their program of graduate studies as Independent Study. (This refers to graduate level courses, not undergraduate prerequisites that may have to be fulfilled.)

Overelection: The normal maximum course load for a full-time graduate student in the school of music is 15 credit hours per semester. Overelection is not allowed except in extraordinary circumstances and only with permission of the dean. Unless approved by the dean of the school of music, teaching or research assistants may not enroll for more than nine semester hours per semester, depending upon the number of hours of teaching or research per week required by their appointments.

Incompletes and Extensions of Incomplete: The School of Music follows university policy with regards to Incompletes and Extensions of Incomplete with this clarification: only one Extension of Incomplete will be granted for a given course, requiring dean's permission and documentation supporting the reason for the request. Further extensions will be considered only in extreme cases and with the approval of the instructor, the division head, and the dean.

Comprehensive Examinations: In keeping with university policy, a student may retake comprehensive examinations only once. If the student fails comprehensive examinations a second time, the student may not be considered for admission to candidacy and is no longer considered eligible to receive the Doctor of Philosophy degree or Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Time limit for completion of the D.M.A.: Final degree requirements for all Doctor of Musical Arts degree programs must be completed within five years after the completion of all coursework and successful completion of comprehensive examinations where applicable.

 

Curricula

Doctor of Musical Arts

Doctor of Musical Arts in Sacred Music

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Musicology (music history emphasis only; please note that the theory emphasis is not currently accepting students).