The Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

The degree of Doctor of Musical Arts is the only nonclinical doctoral degree offered at Stony Brook other than the Ph.D. The fundamental requirements for the D.M.A. are essentially those for the Ph.D. with the exception that the scope of the original work and the scale of the research are somewhat reduced.

The requirements for expertise within the subject area and for clear exposition are equal to those for the Ph.D. In the case of the D.M.A., clarity of exposition is demonstrated through the medium of recital.

Admission to the Graduate School does not automatically qualify a student as a candidate for the D.M.A. degree. Formal recommendation of advancement to candidacy for the D.M.A. degree must be made to the Graduate School by the Music program after a review of the student’s performance in courses, independent study, and program examinations.

The requirements listed below are the minimal ones mandated by the Graduate School. The Music program may set additional requirements.


Course and Grade Point Average

The student will follow a program of courses determined to meet his or her needs and to satisfy the program requirements.

  • A student must achieve a minimum 3.0 overall GPA in graduate courses taken at Stony Brook in order to receive the D.M.A. degree.
  • At the written request of the new program, the record of a student who has changed his or her registered area of graduate studies may be treated as two separate records for the purposes of meeting degree requirements. The GPA for the new area of graduate studies may be calculated unofficially from the beginning of the semester in which the change became effective.


Contract Towards Candidacy

The student must fulfill the specific requirements of an approved contract toward candidacy.


Language Proficiency

Although the Graduate School does not require proficiency in a foreign language, the Music program oversees their own foreign language requirements and the evaluation of proficiency. Students must comply with their program requirements (see the Music section of the Graduate Bulletin).


Advancement to Candidacy

A student may advance to candidacy after completion of the following requirements:

  • Completion of three of the four public recitals;
  • Completion of the two graduate seminars or proseminars required for the generation of doctoral essays and completion of two MUS 695 courses with a grade of B or better to work on revisions for each essay;
  • Completion of requirements C through I of the Music section of the Graduate Bulletin.
  • Students on academic probation cannot be advanced to candidacy.
  • Students must be classified as a G4 at the time of request.
  • Advancement to candidacy is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Graduate Program Director.
  • DMA students may advance to candidacy one semester prior to graduation.


Doctoral Recital

The student must demonstrate a distinguished level of performance in the doctoral recital. A recording of the recital is to be kept permanently in the University Library.



At least one semester of practicum in teaching under supervision is required. The form this practicum takes may differ by discipline.

  • It might include making seminar or class presentations, leading discussion sections, or grading.
  • Grading experience by itself will not be considered sufficient for satisfaction of the requirement.
  • Faculty are responsible for providing informal feedback and formal evaluation.


Residence Requirement

At least two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate study in the program granting the degree are required. The purpose of the residence requirement is to ensure that the graduate student participates in the professional life of the program beyond class attendance. Some program residence requirements may vary from the Graduate School norm and are described in the individual program requirements for the degree. Unless specified, however, Graduate School regulation pertains.


Degree Application

The student must apply for graduation online at the Graduate School website in accordance with published deadlines. If degree requirements are not met, students must reapply for any subsequent awarding periods.



Students who intend to graduate in the spring or fall must register for at least one graduate credit. Students who intend to graduate in the summer can register for zero credits, but it still must be a graduate level course.


Program Recommendation

When all program requirements are completed, the Graduate Program Director may recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School that the D.M.A. degree be granted.


Time Limit

The candidate must satisfy all requirements for the D.M.A. degree within seven years after completing 24 graduate level credits at Stony Brook University.

  • The Request for Waiver of Graduate Time Limit form can be found by selecting the forms link from the Graduate School website at [mg1] . These petitions require the approval of the student’s advisor and graduate program director.
  • Requests for a time-limit extension must be filed before the limit is exceeded and must contain a significant justification.
  • The final decision rests with the Dean of the Graduate School, who may impose additional requirements.