Doctor of Music

General Admission Requirements

Applicants for the DMA must have an earned master’s degree by August 2019 for Fall 2019 admission with a minimum GPA of 3.2. Students without a master’s degree may apply to the master’s program at Bowling Green State University. When the degree is completed, they may apply to the doctoral program. Students must also meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College and the College of Musical Arts.

Following the review of all application materials required by both the Graduate College and the College of Musical Arts, qualified applicants will be invited to campus February 25 - 27, 2019 for an audition and interview.

Materials concerning details about the graduate program in music at Bowling Green State University may be received upon request.

BGSU Graduate College Application Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program are asked to complete or send the following materials as required by the BGSU Graduate College. All application materials must be received by December 1, 2018 for Fall Semester 2019 admission.

Send to: The Graduate College
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403-0180

  1. BGSU Graduate College Application for Admissions
  2. Official Transcript
    Scanned copies of official transcripts from all institutions attended. Upon admission, final official transcripts from each degree granting institution must be submitted.
  3. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for International Student Applications. The BGSU Institution Code is 1069.
  4. Application Fee
    A one-time, non-refundable application fee of $45 (domestic applicants) or $75 (international applicants).
  5. GRE
    The GRE is no longer required for the College of Musical Arts.

For complete information on applying to the BGSU Graduate College go to BGSU Graduate Admissions.

DMA Application Requirements

The following materials can be uploaded online. You do not need all of your application materials uploaded to submit your application. Please make sure the application is completely filled out and submitted as soon as possible. You can then go back and upload all of your application materials. College of Musical Arts DMA Application Materials must be uploaded by December 1, 2018, for Fall Semester 2019 admission.

  1. Artistic materials

    Composition Specialization

    Three scores of recent compositions, one of which is for large ensemble or resources, with performance uploaded online through your Graduate College application.

    Performance Specialization (conducting)

    A video recording representing music of the 20th/21st centuries and other periods such as Romantic or Classical. The tape must include portions of rehearsals and live performances. Including commissioned works or premieres is encouraged. A variety of ensembles is acceptable, but the tape must include some conducting work with the ensemble appropriate to the specific area of specialization, i.e., orchestra, wind ensemble/band, chorus. The video must be taped from the back of the ensemble, so that the conductor’s face is visible. Video's may be uploaded online through your Graduate College application.

    Performance Specialization (instrumental or vocal)

    A 45–60 minute video recording highlighting the candidate’s proficiency in contemporary music performance. Approximately 50–60 percent of the recording must be 20th/21st century literature with the remaining works from other historic periods; a concerto or concert aria with ensemble accompaniment may be included. Single movements are acceptable. Edited or commercial recordings are permitted (identify the recording process); include at least one live performance. Including commissioned works or premieres is encouraged. Video's may be uploaded online through your Graduate College applicaiton.

  2. Curriculum vitae

    Include degrees earned, work experience, honors and awards, names of teachers and any other relevant information.

  3. Repertoire list

    Composition Specialization

    A list of all works composed with instrumentation and date of composition.

    Performance Specialization (conducting)

    A list of works performed, rehearsed and studied.

    Performance Specialization (instrumental or vocal)

    A list of works performed, studied, commissioned and premiered.

  4. Documentation of Composition or Performance Activity

    Submit a document, separate from the curriculum vitae, listing composition and/or performance activity within the past five years. Please give date and place of performance and provide a PDF of relevant programs, if available. Do not submit programs only.

  5. Sample research paper

  6. Letters of Recommendation

    You will provide names and contact information for three references in the Secondary Application. These individuals will be sent an email link to upload the recommendation letter online.

College of Musical Arts DMA Application Materials must be received by December 1, 2018 for Fall Semester 2019 admission.

Following the review of all required application materials, qualified applicants will be invited to campus for an audition and interview. Every effort will be made to notify applicants by February 1. Travel costs are the responsibility of the applicant.

The Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music with specializations in composition or performance is a four-year program that requires a minimum of 66 hours beyond the master’s degree. Any required remedial work in history, theory or research methodology will be added to the applicant’s program and will not be counted in the required 66 hours toward degree completion.

Required Coursework

  1. Specialization: Private study in composition or performance (16 hours)
  2. Cognate in one of three minor areas of study (12 hours):
    1. Culture
    2. Digital Media
    3. Music Cognition

    The cognate in culture emphasizes aesthetics, history and philosophy. The digital media cognate is concerned with the utilization of technology in new performance and creative contexts. The music cognition cognate focuses on theory, perception and pedagogy. These are intended to be of professional use to the student.

  3. Multidisciplinary music seminars focusing on the collaborative process in the development and creation of new works and the examination of common issues in culture, digital media and music cognition (9 hours)
  4. Off-campus internship designed to develop nonacademic career options (4-12 hours)

    Because the time commitment of the internship may vary greatly, the opportunity for flexible credit exists. The individual’s doctoral committee will help determine the amount of credit that can be earned. Examples might include work in foundations, orchestral management, museums or the entertainment industry.

  5. Electives in and outside of music (9 hours)
  6. Culminating experiences (16-30 hours)
    1. Composition
      1. Recital of original works
      2. Composition project (original work for large resources)
      3. A research paper that combines the individual’s major and minor areas of study
      4. A portfolio (a collection of papers written during the degree program, as well as scores, tapes and programs of works written and/or performed in addition to the required recital)
    2. Performance
      1. Three solo/chamber music/ensemble programs composed of contemporary music (at least one off-campus). In some cases a major concerto performance with orchestra may be substituted for one of the recitals. Permission for any alternative to this requirement must be secured from the doctoral committee.
      2. Research paper that combines the individual’s major and minor areas of study.
      3. Portfolio (a collection of papers written during the degree program, as well as programs and tapes from performances in addition to the three required recitals).


  1. Language Requirement: Doctoral students must show a reading knowledge of one foreign language, as is appropriate to the particular specialization. As an alternative, a computer programming language can be substituted for this requirement with permission of the student’s doctoral committee. The language proficiency examination must be completed before the final semester of study.
  2. Preliminary examinations (written and oral) are taken after completing 40 hours of course work, not including the internship. These examinations will test the student’s knowledge in music history and theory, with particular emphasis on contemporary music. The examinations will also cover the student’s area of specialization, composition or performance. Successful completion of these exams will admit the student to candidacy. Upon admission to candidacy, the student will be allowed to begin the culminating experiences in composition or performance.
  3. Final examinations/defense (oral) are taken in the last semester of study and focus on the culminating experiences.

Auditions for the DMA in Contemporary Music will take place on the campus of Bowling Green State University on February 25 - 27, 2019.

Upon the review of application materials (due December 1, 2018), qualified applicants will be invited to campus at which time the following will take place:

  1. Entrance Audition

    Composition: Present a 15-minute analysis of one of the works in submitted portfolio for members of the doctoral audition committee.

    Performance (conducting): Conduct a college ensemble in repertoire appropriate to the degree program emphasis (choral, orchestral, band/wind ensemble). The repertoire may include works from a variety of historical periods including contemporary. Notification of specific works will be sent with the invitation to audition.

    Performance (instrumental or vocal): Prepare 60 minutes of music from which the audition committee will choose a 30-minute audition program. Selections should showcase music of the 20th/21st century, but include at least two works from other historical periods if appropriate to the instrument’s repertoire. 

  2. Entrance Examinations

    All Applicants: Written entrance examinations (essay style) that will assess readiness in music history and theory (all periods).

    Composition and Conducting Applicants Only: Additional examinations in aural skills, sightsinging and sightreading that will assess readiness for advanced work in composition or conducting.

  3. Entrance Interview

    Interview with the doctoral audition committee to discuss specific qualifications, interests and long-term goals.

Assistantship offers will be made by phone and in writing by the Director of Graduate Studies as soon as possible after the audition. Acceptance into the DMA degree program is selective and competitive. See DMA Assistantship Information for more details.

Assistantship Information

Stipend: Current (2018) first-year, nine-month contracts provide a stipend of $12,800. Students also receive tuition and out-of-state fee scholarships. Domestic students who are not Ohio residents will be required to apply for Ohio residency after the first year of study. Total value of the assistantship in 2018 is $26,084.

Appointment: August 27, 2019.

Qualifications: Full acceptance into the DMA degree program.

Information: A fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music, the College consists of nearly 60 full-time faculty and over 150 masters and doctoral degree candidates. Our students enjoy working in one of the nation’s finest music facilities, the Moore Musical Arts Center. The College of Musical Arts houses the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, devoted to the study and promotion of contemporary music and technology. The center builds on the internationally recognized activities of the College, presenting concerts, symposia, sponsoring research and collecting archival materials.

Location: Bowling Green State University is conveniently located 20 minutes south of Toledo, Ohio, on Interstate 75. Our region is served by the Toledo Express Airport, which is 30 minutes from campus. The campus is five hours east of Chicago, 90 minutes south of Detroit and two hours west of Cleveland.