Music Performance, DMA

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Reach your highest level of academic achievement as a performer by immersing yourself in a musical environment in which your creativity and passion is showcased through numerous performance experiences both at ASU and throughout the greater Phoenix area.

The DMA in music with a concentration in performance is a professional degree program for advanced musicians who desire high levels of performance instruction and experience as well as preparation for teaching positions at the university level.

Students work with faculty mentors toward achieving a professional level of performance through individual recitals, chamber music, and ensembles including choral, orchestral, jazz, musical theatre and opera ensembles, depending on their area of emphasis.

Performance opportunities both on and off campus further develop the knowledge and abilities necessary to become a leader in a musical community through teaching, performing or arts advocacy. The program provides students the opportunity to work closely with an individual faculty mentor and distinguished guest artists to further enhance musical growth. Students serve as leaders, mentors and models for their younger colleagues in performances, pedagogical experiences and community engagement. The opportunity to collaborate with music scholars, theorists, composers, educators, dancers and theatre artists provides students with the variety of experiences and skills necessary for artistic excellence and leadership.

Additionally, students learn skills that are needed to be a highly successful working musician, including audition preparation, networking, learning organizational strategies, opportunity creation, and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

At A Glance

Music Performance, DMA

Plan of study

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

View Plan of Study

Application requirements

Application procedures + requirements

Application deadlines
Spring 2023: October 1, 2022
Fall 2023: December 1, 2022

Curriculum check sheets

Check sheets break down the course requirements for each degree program.and are listed below by area.

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.

Degree requirements

Required Core (4 credit hours)
MUP 727 Studio Instruction (4)

Performance Concentration (24 credit hours)
MUP 727 Studio Instruction (12)
MUP 796 Solo Performance (Recital) (12)

Emphasis Area Coursework (23 credit hours)

Music History and Music Theory (27 credit hours)

Research (12 credit hours)
MUP 792 Research (12)

Culminating Experience (0)
Research paper in the form of a bound document

Additional Curriculum Information
Students select an area of emphasis from the following: piano pedagogy, collaborative piano, instrumental, keyboard, and voice. Emphasis coursework depends on the area selected. Students should work in consultation with their academic advisor in the development of their plan of study.

The performance concentration requires at least three recitals after admission to the program and a research paper. Five recitals are required for the collaborative piano emphasis.

Completion of diagnostic exams in musicology and music theory is required of all new graduate music students prior to enrollment in the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

Thirty credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree may be applied toward the 90 credit hour degree requirement with approval from the academic unit and the Graduate College. A minimum of two semesters must be spent in continuous full-time residence at ASU. At least 54 credit hours must be completed in residence at ASU.

Vocalists: Placement tests in both foreign language diction and sight-singing are required upon entry into the program. Students who are judged to be deficient in diction are required to complete and pass a course in advanced diction. Students who are judged to be deficient in sight-singing are required to complete and pass the Musicianship for Singers course.

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. Students seeking admission typically hold a Master of Music degree. Applicants with other degrees are considered if they have received graduate training similar to that normally expected in a Master of Music program.

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 their first 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:
  2. School of Music, Dance and Theatre application, including a resume and personal statement repertoire list:
  3. official transcripts
  4. prescreening recording
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. teaching demonstration video (piano pedagogy applicants)
  7. writing sample (solo piano and piano pedagogy applicants)
  8. 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 the applicant's complete application materials are received, including recommendation letters, transcripts and English proficiency, and a review has been conducted of prescreening materials, an applicant may be invited for a live audition. Information about the audition may be found at

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