The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) 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.

Prerequisites and Entrance Requirements

For general information pertaining to all advisory degree programs, please consult the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree section of these Announcements.

Prior to submitting a formal application, persons interested in the Doctor of Musical Arts in Sacred Music degree must communicate with the director of the program.

The applicant must have completed the Master of Music in sacred music or equivalent. Acceptance as a graduate student by the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music is required.

The applicant must submit the following:

  1. as stated in the Admission Process section above, four letters of recommendation, including two from professional colleagues, not teachers of the applicant, attesting to the applicant's past and potential ability in the field of sacred music and music ministry; and
  2. completed repertoire and professional experience record, obtainable at:

Applicants in the areas of performance (choral music and organ) will submit a 30minute tape, video preferred, audio acceptable. Applicants in composition will submit representative manuscripts in lieu of the audition tape. Tapes and manuscripts must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions with all other application documents. Invitation to campus for audition, interview and testing is based on evaluation of the above materials. Applicants in organ concentration will perform for the organ faculty at the time of their visit.

All concentrations require an oncampus visit for testing and demonstration of conducting skills. Testing consists of demonstration of keyboard proficiency, open score reading, and sightsinging. The conducting audition comprises two specified works with The Catholic University of America Chamber Choir and will determine placement in the conducting sequence. Auditions are held once each academic year. The applicant should contact the school of music for details and dates.

Written examinations (two hours each):

    1. music history placement examination;
    2. music theory placement examination;
    3. entrance examination in sacred and choral music.

In addition, the student must consult with the School of Theology and Religious Studies regarding prior equivalent course work, prerequisite courses, and/or testingout procedures in the area of liturgical studies. Placement and entrance examinations are given during the first and second semester registration periods.

The student must also demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language and is expected to pass an examination in that language within one year after beginning doctoral studies. The language will be chosen in consultation with the director of the program.

Program of Study

Based on the results of the entrance requirements and examinations, the advisory committee, in conference with the student, will arrange a program of study of 61 to 72 hours beyond the master's degree. The courses to be completed as part of the degree requirements will be communicated to the student in writing.