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Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition

Major code: D705

Dr. Roland Barrett
    Dr. Konstantinos Karathanasis
      Dr. Marvin Lamb
      • Area Chair


      Application Deadline

      Applicants for admission in Fall are encouraged to apply no later than January. Opportunities for financial assistance are greatly reduced for any applications that are received or remain incomplete after March 1.



      There is no separate application for assistantship. Unless the applicant indicates otherwise, we assume that all applicants are interested in being considered for assistantships. Please note that assistantships are usually awarded for the Fall and Spring semesters together. We very seldom have assistantships available for anyone entering in a Spring semester. We do not award assistantships for Summer sessions.


      Procedure for Applying

      Submit the online application (see Graduate Admissions page) and all materials described below. At the discretion of the members of the Graduate Composition Faculty, the applicant may be requested to provide more information or materials or may be asked to appear in person for an interview.


      Application materials required for all graduate degrees

      These items must be submitted to the online graduate application system.

      • Resume
      • Personal Statement
        • Submitted to the online application under the Statement of Purpose tab
        • Why do you want this degree, and why do you want it from OU?
        • Include your reasons for applying, personal statement, and what you have learned about yourself and the field that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to the field.
      • Three letters of recommendation
        • Submitted to the online application under Recommendations tab
        • While all three of your letters of recommendation should be from someone who can speak to your ability to be a successful graduate student in a music program, we ask that you consider the following when requesting your recommendations:
          • One letter should be from a person who has considerable knowledge about your abilities as a performer, conductor, or composer (e.g.:  studio professor, ensemble conductor, chamber coach, etc.).
          • One letter should be from a person who can speak to your abilities as a scholar of music.


      Scholarly writing requirement

      This degree requires you to submit a sample of your scholarly writing.

      • Submitted to the online application under the Supporting Documents tab
      • This sample should not be more than 3 years old.
      • Minimum of 5 pages of double-spaced text, not counting bibliography.
      • Should represent your best scholarly writing and researching skills in music.
      • Should present a complete argument supporting a clear thesis.
      • Should feature a consistent method for citations.
      • Examples include but are not limited to a critical analysis, a research paper in musicology, music in culture, or music pedagogy, or an article suitable for publication in a recognized scholarly or professional music journal.


      Application materials required for this degree

      • The applicant to the DMA in Composition shall supply to the Graduate Composition faculty a portfolio of scores representing different genres with accompanying recordings of those works. Scores are not required for fixed media works.
        • The portfolio must contain no less than fifty minutes of original music composed by the applicant.
        • The recordings may be live performances (preferred) or a digitally realized performance of the works under consideration.
        • Scores may be submitted to the online application under Supporting Documents.
        • Audio or video files or links to online recordings may be submitted to the online application under Digital Portfolio > Upload Media.
      • In addition, the applicant must provide a list of all works composed. This comprehensive list must include the works title (including all movements as appropriate), instrumentation, length in minutes, date of completion, and a listing (date and performance venue) of each work that has been performed.