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Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition

Major code: D705

Dr. Maria Kaoutzani
    Dr. Konstantinos Karathanasis
    • Area Chair
    Dr. Marvin Lamb (Emeritus)



      This degree requires the following profiencies. View the PDFs linked below for more details.


      Application Deadline

      To receive full consideration for admission and graduate assistantships, the application deadline is December 1. The School of Music cannot guarantee an audition, interview, admission, or graduate assistantship if application is received after the deadline.


      Residency Requirement

      Per Graduate College policy, "The student must be in residence at OU for at least two consecutive 16-week semesters during the pursuit of the doctoral degree while enrolled and engaged in coursework or research activities as prescribed by the major academic unit."



      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
        • What aspects of the program attract you to OU? Additionally, please answer one of the following prompts:
          • Why do you want to pursue this degree?
          • How would you describe your professional path to this point and your aspirations going forward?
          • What skills, expertise and experience do you bring to the degree, and how will you use your degree, post-graduation?
          • What is important to you musically, artistically, pedagogically, and intellectually?
      • Three letters of reference
        • Submitted to the online application under Recommendations tab
        • Your three reference letters should include:
          • At least one letter from: your studio professor, ensemble conductor, chamber coach, etc., or a person who has considerable knowledge about your abilities as a performer or composer.
          • At least one letter 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
      • Preferably not more than 3 years old.
      • Should be recently revised.
      • Should be a minimum of 5 pages of double-spaced text, not counting bibliography.
      • Should represent your best writing and researching skills.
      • Should present a complete argument supporting a clear thesis.
      • Should feature a consistent method for citations and should contain a bibliography.
      • Please contact the Graduate Music Office ( or the area chair for your program with any questions about meeting these requirements.


      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.