Music Composition, DMA

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Develop advanced skills in traditional and contemporary techniques and collaborate with music scholars, theorists, performers, educators and composers for a well-rounded foundation for your professional career.

The DMA in music with a concentration in music composition is a comprehensive professional degree program designed for outstanding students of composition who are preparing for professional careers, including teaching positions at the university level.

This degree program provides extensive faculty interaction as well as opportunities to develop advanced skills in traditional and contemporary compositional techniques with emphasis on fostering students' personal approach to composition. The opportunity to collaborate with music scholars, theorists, performers, educators and other composers provides students with a broad and well-rounded foundation for advanced careers in music.

At A Glance

Music Composition, DMA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application requirements

Application procedures + requirements

Application deadlines
Spring 2021: October 1, 2020
Fall 2021: December 1, 2020

Curriculum checksheet

Checksheets break down the course requirements for each degree program.

Music composition (DMA)

Affording grad school

Music scholarships
All applicants are automatically considered for merit based scholarships, with priority given to those who audition and/or interview on-campus.

Teaching assistantships
Teaching assistantships are offered to graduate students who convey exceptional ability. Learn more about TA benefits, eligibility and application procedures.

Financial aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an institution in another country that is officially recognized by that country.

Applicants must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of a bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee: https://admission.asu.edu/graduate
  2. School of Music, Dance and Theatre application (including a resume and personal statement): https://music.asu.edu/admissions/graduate-steps-to-apply
  3. official transcripts
  4. prescreening portfolio
  5. GRE or MAT scores
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The School of Music, Dance and Theatre does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances. In order to meet English proficiency requirements, students should have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT), or an IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5, or a Pearson Test of English score of at least 60.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines.

After receipt of complete application materials (including recommendation letters, transcripts and English proficiency) and review of prescreening materials, an applicant may be invited for an interview. Information about the interview may be found at https://music.asu.edu/admissions/graduate-auditions.

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