Degrees and Programs


Master of Music

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The Master of Music (M.M.) degree program is the largest at the School of Music, with approximately 70 percent of students enrolled. It is a two-year program for students who hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in any major and seek a master’s degree in their area of specialty. M.M. degrees are offered in all areas of study.

Admission to the M.M. program is through an application process that includes the submission of a prescreening recording and a live audition for the relevant area faculty.

Master of Musical Arts

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The master of musical arts (M.M.A.) degree program is designed for students who seek to continue their education after earning a master of music degree. An M.M. degree in the same major is required for admission to the M.M.A. program. Those who have received a doctor of musical arts degree (D.M.A.) are ineligible for the M.M.A. program. 

The M.M.A. is a two-year degree program for external candidates and a one-year program for internal applicants. The program is open to students in all areas of study. 

Admission to the M.M.A. program is through an application process that includes a prescreening recording and a live audition for the relevant area faculty. 

Doctor of Musical Arts

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The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A) degree program is a unique one that is comprised of a two-year residency on campus followed by a three-year period during which a degree candidate embarks on a professional career. The D.M.A. degree program provides intensive training in a student’s major field—any of the areas of study offered at the School of Music—augmented by studies in theoretical and historical subjects.

The School expects that all candidates will possess a scholarly depth of knowledge in field of music. Innovative contributions to the profession are considered particularly significant. Candidates for the D.M.A. degree should demonstrate the following:

  • Exceptional competence as a composer, conductor, or performer
  • Intellectual curiosity about music and an ability to discuss in depth its history, theory, styles, sources, and relationship to the other arts and to society
  • Extensive knowledge about music-making and real experience in the above-mentioned fields. An instrumentalist, for example, should be familiar with compositional techniques. By the same token, a composer should display considerable skill as a performer.

D.M.A. degree candidates must have earned a master of music degree or its equivalent prior to matriculating into the D.M.A. program. Those who have received a D.M.A. degree from another institution are ineligible. No one may apply to the D.M.A. program more than twice. Students in their first year of the School’s M.M.A. or Artist Diploma (A.D.) program who are admitted to the D.M.A. program forfeit their enrollment in the other program.

Admission to the D.M.A. degree program is through a live audition for the relevant area faculty and examinations in music history, analysis, and musicianship. D.M.A. degree program applicants are also required to submit a term paper or other sample of scholarly writing at the time of application. Applicants should note that the application and exam process requires their presence in New Haven for two days. More information about supplementary application materials and exams can be found on the How to Apply page.

Artist Diploma

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The artist diploma (A.D.) program is a highly selective one for artists who demonstrate potential for a major concert career. Enrollment in the A.D. program is limited to six students and is open only to instrumentalists and vocalists (opera only). Those who have earned a D.M.A. degree are ineligible for the A.D program.

The A.D. program is a two-year commitment for external candidates and one-year commitment for internal applicants. The minimum academic requirement is a high school diploma. During the two-year residency, the School of Music will provide A.D. students with enhanced professional development and support including management guidance and personalized career services.

Admission to the A.D. program involves a comprehensive review of application materials and two campus auditions, the first before School of Music faculty. A select number of applicants will advance to a second audition, which is adjudicated by an external panel of distinguished music professionals.

Read the Gainful Employment Disclosure for A.D. candidates in the Financial Aid section.

Certificate in Performance

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The certificate in performance is received at the conclusion of a three-year program designed for performers who do not yet hold a bachelor of music degree and who aim to study their craft at the highest level. Students in this program are often younger or nontraditional students. Applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent in order to apply. The certificate program is open to instrumentalists and opera singers.

The certificate is not the equivalent of a bachelor of music degree. If graduates of the certificate program later earn a bachelor’s degree, they can convert the certificate into a master of music degree, provided they have completed the requirements for the M.M. degree while in residence at Yale.

Admission to the certificate program is through an application process that includes a prescreening recording and a live audition for the relevant area faculty. 

Read the Gainful Employment Disclosure for Certificate applicants in the Financial Aid section.

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Music

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The Bachelor of Arts/Master of Music (B.A./M.M.) degree program is designed for instrumentalists who are also interested in a liberal arts education. Students in the B.A./M.M. program must be accepted into Yale College and must audition successfully for the School of Music, either before matriculation into Yale College or during the third year of the undergraduate program. The B.A./M.M. program is not open to composers, conductors, or vocalists.

The five-year B.A/M.M. degree program is open to undergraduate music and non-music majors, and to those who are interested in pursuing a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree instead of a B.A. degree.

The Yale School of Music is a tuition-free school. While enrolled in Yale College, students in the B.A./M.M. degree program incur no costs beyond those associated with attendance at Yale College. In the fifth year of the program, students are responsible only for personal living expenses and such things as travel, books, and instrument upkeep.

Students cannot accelerate their undergraduate degree program when enrolled in the B.A./M.M. program.

Applicants interested in majoring in music at the undergraduate level should refer to Yale College’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions for application instructions and to the Department of Music for information about studying music as an undergraduate at Yale.

Fellowship Programs

String Quartet Fellowship

The String Quartet Fellowship offers an exceptional young quartet the opportunity to work closely with the Brentano String Quartet, the School’s ensemble-in-residence, in a residency program at Yale School of Music. The program is designed to mentor the next generation of professional string quartets by offering intensive training and coaching, as well as performance, teaching, and outreach opportunities. Fellowship quartets are expected to live in New Haven during their residency.

The fellowship program includes:

  • a yearlong residency, renewable for a second year
  • coachings with the Brentano String Quartet
  • a stipend of $15,000 per quartet member
  • performance and outreach opportunities organized by the Yale School of Music
  • teaching-assistantship responsibilities
  • an annual recital in Morse Recital Hall 
  • an invitation to serve as a resident quartet at the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival 

Admission to the fellowship program is through an application process that includes a prescreening recording and a live audition. One member of the quartet should apply on behalf of the ensemble; this person will be considered the “Primary Contact” for the group.

Collaborative Piano Fellowship

The Collaborative Piano Fellowship offers outstanding pianists the opportunity to further their training in instrumental or vocal collaborative piano by working with students and faculty from the Yale School of Music. Fellows should have extensive knowledge of standard repertoire to be able to provide insight to the YSM students with whom they work. Collaborative piano fellows are active members of the School of Music community and should reside in New Haven.

The Yale School of Music welcomes applications from those who have earned a master of music degree in either solo or collaborative piano within the past five years. Individuals enrolled in a degree program for the upcoming academic year are ineligible.

The fellowship includes:

  • a yearlong residency, renewable for a second year
  • a stipend of $38,000
  • health benefits
  • if applicable, a J-1 visa
  • an average of 20 hours a week of accompaniment in recitals, master classes, private lessons, and studio seminars
  • coachings with Yale School of Music faculty
  • opportunities to advise School of Music students in interpretation, voicing, and musical leadership

One collaborative piano fellow with demonstrated administrative experience will be designated as a coordinator to organize assignments. The coordinator will receive an additional stipend.

Admission to the fellowship program is through an application process that includes a prescreening recording and a live audition. Applicants do not need to submit TOEFL scores or academic transcripts.

YSM Course Bulletin
Turn here for the academic calendar, faculty list, official details on programs of study, course descriptions, conditions of admission, degree and major requirements, costs and financial aid, and additional regulations for the academic year.