James Madison University School of Music

Doctor of Musical Arts Admissions


Prescreening Deadlines (for all audio/video materials and/or composition portfolio):

January 15, 2015 - MM and DMA : All Performance and Conducting degrees, MM Composition, MM Music Education (year-round program, if your undergraduate institution is not N.A.S.M.-approved)

Application File Completion Deadlines

February 28, 2015 - all programs: application file must be complete (except for on-campus interview/audition) for full consideration for an assistantship.

March 6, 2015 - all programs: on campus audition/interview must take place by this date for full consideration for an assistantship.

March 27, 2015 - all programs: all materials must be submitted for admission only (no consideration for an assistantship).
MM Music Education 2014 summer-only program: application must be complete.



The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree program is the most advanced course of study offered in the School of Music at James Madison University. The program has been designed to make graduates more marketable in higher education by emphasizing pedagogy and literature along with advanced performance or conducting skills. We are seeking candidates who have the potential to pursue the highest level of achievement in conducting/performance and teaching. The degree requires completion of a minimum of ninety (90) credit hours including:

  • Eighteen to Twenty four (18 - 24) hours of Applied Instruction (if 18 are taken, 6 are approved electives);
  • Twenty two (22) hours of Literature, Analysis, and Topical Seminars;
  • Eighteen (18) hours of Recitals, Documents, and Research Methods;
  • Six (6) hours of Pedagogy; and
  • Twenty (20) hours of area-specific courses.

During the degree program, exceptionally qualified students may earn up to 30 credit hours by examination and/or transfer. After completion of all course work and three recitals, D.M.A. students must pass comprehensive written and oral examinations.



Financial Aid is administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in Warren Hall. The chief source of aid for graduate study is through assistantships awarded by the school. Teaching assistantships are awarded each year on a competitive basis. For more information about graduate assistantships, click here. In keeping with the pedagogical nature of the D.M.A. degree at James Madison University, all doctoral assistantships will include a variety of supervised teaching experiences; assisting professors in classes and/or being responsible for teaching a class, teaching applied lessons (for performers), and conducting ensembles (for conductors). In addition to a stipend, assistantships include a tuition award. Approximately 7 Doctoral Teaching Assistantships per year will be offered on a competitive basis, currently set at full tuition remission with at $14,500 stipend. If you wish to be considered, please check "yes" on your Graduate School Application and apply for admission by the deadline given above.

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Entrance Examinations

Prior to the first week of classes, all applicants must take JMU School of Music diagnostic examinations in music history, written theory and ear training. The results are used for placement and advising. Applicants for assistantships in areas related directly to these examinations may be required to take them before assistantships are granted.

For further information or questions concerning graduate study in music, contact:

Dr. Mary Jean Speare

Director of Graduate Studies
School of Music, MSC 7301
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
E-mail: spearemj@jmu.edu
Phone: 540.568.3687