Sample D.M.A. Entrance Exams





Dates & Deadlines


Sep 15, 2019
Online application opens

Dec 1, 2019
Applications due

Jan 17, 2020 (latest)
Prescreening results emailed to all applicants

Feb 24–March 1, 2020
Live auditions
by invitation only

Feb 28, 2020*
D.M.A. Musicianship & Proficiency Exams
Feb 29, 2020*
D.M.A. Entrance Exam

*D.M.A. applicants must be present on both exam days. Exams are not offered on any other dates and will not be rescheduled.

March 20, 2020
Admissions decisions sent by email

April 15, 2020
Deadline for admitted students to respond to admissions offers


[ how to apply ]

D.M.A. Application Requirements

D.M.A. Application: Supplementary Materials, Exams, and Assessments

As part of the online application, D.M.A. applicants must also submit these additional items:

1. Sample of Scholarly Writing

Submit a significant piece of your academic writing on a musical or non-musical topic. We prefer to see something that you have already written; you should not write something new for this application. Writing samples should be roughly between 5 and 20 pages in length. Please do not submit a sample longer than 20 pages. Writing samples must be in English.

2. Short Answers

The online application prompts D.M.A. applicants to answer these seven questions:

  1. Please rate your reading, writing, and speaking abilities in all foreign languages that you know.
  2. Please give an indication of your keyboard proficiency.
  3. Which do you consider your strongest areas in music?
  4. In which areas (both musical and extra-musical) do you feel you need or would like additional work?
  5. What are your present plans for a career?
  6. State clearly and fully your reasons for pursuing admission to the D.M.A. program at Yale.
  7. Please list any additional information that you feel is pertinent regarding other dimensions of your musical background about which the Yale faculty may not be aware (e.g. concert appearances, previous scholarships, national or international competitions, etc.).

Exams & Proficiency Assessments

In addition to passing the live audition (audition invitations are sent out in January), D.M.A. applicants must pass an ENTRANCE EXAM (offered on Saturday, February 29, 2020 only), and take a MUSICIANSHIP EXAM and PROFICIENCY ASSESSMENTS (offered on Friday, February 28, 2020 only). Applicants must be present on both days. The entrance exam contains four sections:

  1. Listening and Score Identification
  2. Music History
  3. Tonal Analysis
  4. 20th-Century Analysis

The proficiency assessments include a foreign language (for students whose first language is English) and a keyboard proficiency tests. On the same day as the proficiency assessments (Friday, February 28, 2020), a musicianship exam will take place. The musicianship exam will test your aural perception of melody, harmony, rhythm, and phrase structure in music through dictation and other written exercises.

To help you prepare for the exams, here are some samples of past exams. Click each link to download.