The DMA consists of the following elements:
The student's program is guided by the DMA Director during the residency stage and faculty advisor/guidance committee during the senior residency and candidacy stages. Faculty guidance assignments are made by the DMA Director in consultation with the music faculty.
The written comprehensive examination is administered after the student has completed approximately 40 hours and includes music history and literature, music theory, recognition of musical styles, and bibliography. The results of the comprehensive examination are used to determine the student's continuance in the DMA program. Should the student qualify, the results of the examination are utilized in determining courses for the senior residency stage of the student's program.
The oral examination is administered after the proposal has been approved by the committee, the prospectus course has been passed, and all appropriate corrections have been made. The oral exam is a defense of the completed prospectus before the music faculty. After submission of the dissertation, the candidate is given a final examination focusing on the dissertation. Applied students also must complete a lecture recital immediately prior to the dissertation defense. The program must be completed within seven years.