Music Composition, DMA

Home / Degree Programs / Music Composition, DMA

The DMA in music with a concentration in music composition is a professional degree program designed for outstanding students of composition who are preparing for professional careers, including teaching positions at the university level.

The concentration in music composition provides extensive faculty interaction as well as opportunities to develop advanced skills in traditional and contemporary compositional techniques. The opportunity to collaborate with music scholars, theorists, performers, educators and other composers provides students with a broad and well-rounded foundation for advanced careers in music.

Program offered

Music Composition, DMA

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Program requirements

The credit requirements for the degree are distributed as follows:

major area (composition, music technology, electives) (36 credit hours)
music theory and music history (30 credit hours)
research (12 credit hours)
dissertation (12 credit hours)

The music composition concentration requires the creation of a significant original work of music (considered to be a dissertation) and either two article-length research papers or a substantial paper.

Additional Curriculum Requirements
Completion of diagnostic exams in music history and music theory is required of all new graduate music students prior to enrollment in the ASU School of Music.

Thirty credit hours from a master's degree may be applied toward the 90 credit hour degree requirement. Once admitted to the program, a student is required to be enrolled continuously, excluding summer sessions, until all requirements for the degree have been fulfilled. In general, the student should expect to spend at least the equivalent of three academic years in the program beyond the master's degree. A minimum of two semesters must be spent in continuous full-time residence at ASU. At least 54 credit hours must be completed in residence at ASU.

Additional information about degree requirements for all graduate music programs may be found on the check sheets.

Information about this program

Visit the School of Music website for full details.