[ degrees ]

Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Yale is a distinctive program comprised of a two-year residency on campus followed by a three-year period during which the musician’s professional career is launched. The degree provides intensive training in the student’s major field—performance, conducting, or composition—augmented by studies in theoretical and historical subjects.

The School expects that all candidates will possess both great depth and breadth within the field of music. Innovative and creative contributions to the profession will be considered particularly significant. The candidate for Yale’s D.M.A. degree should demonstrate the following:

  • Exceptional competence as a performer, conductor, or composer
  • 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 many aspects of music-making and real experience in these closely allied fields. For example, an instrumentalist should be familiar with the elements of compositional techniques. By the same token, every composer should display considerable skill as a performer

Applying for the D.M.A. program

Candidates for a Yale D.M.A. must have completed a Master of Music degree or equivalent prior to matriculating in the program. Those who have already received a D.M.A. from another institution are not eligible to apply. Applications for the D.M.A. are due in the fall semester. Applicants are then examined and auditioned in the subsequent spring for admission to Yale that fall. As part of the application process, applicants must:

  • Audition before a faculty committee
  • Pass examinations in history, analysis, and musicianship, as well as assessments in keyboard proficiency and a second language
  • Submit a term paper or other sample of scholarly writing.

NOTE: This is only a summary of the D.M.A. program. For comprehensive information, please see the School of Music Bulletin.



Areas of Study

Chamber Music

Chamber music is an integral part of the YSM experience.