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Degrees

Yale University awards three graduate professional degrees through the School of Music: Master of Music (M.M.), Master of Musical Arts (M.M.A.), and Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.). For younger students of great promise, there is a Certificate in Performance program, an Artist Diploma program for outstanding performers holding a minimum of a high school diploma, and a combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Music (B.A./M.M.) program offered in conjunction with Yale College.

Graduate study in music history and theory, leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree, is offered through the Department of Music in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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Master of Music

Students holding a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent are qualified to apply for admission to this degree program in the Yale School of Music. To qualify for the M.M. degree, two years of residency are required, and students must pass a minimum of 72 credit hours with an average grade of B. All programs in the School of Music require that students earn a grade of B or better each term in both Individual Instruction in the Major and Seminar in the Major. Students who receive a grade lower than a B in either course will be placed on academic probation. Candidates for the M.M. degree must present a juried degree recital or its equivalent in the second year of study. All proficiencies and required courses must be completed satisfactorily before the Master of Music can be conferred.

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Master of Musical Arts

The Master of Musical Arts degree is conferred on candidates who successfully complete two years of study (at least 16 credit hours per term). Applicants must hold a Master of Music degree in the field in which they are planning to apply. The program provides intensive training in the student’s major field—performance, conducting, or composition—supported by studies in theoretical and historical subjects. Individual courses of study will be assembled as recommended by the individual department and the academic adviser. Students who hold an M.M. degree from the School of Music are expected to complete the program in one year. Those who hold a D.M.A. degree or are currently enrolled in a D.M.A. program are not eligible to apply for the Master of Musical Arts program.

Degree requirements include public presentation of recitals and/or compositions during each year of the student’s residence. One of the recitals must be accompanied by a pre-concert lecture, the substance of which will be prepared with and guided by a faculty member. M.M.A. students participate in the School of Music ensembles including chamber music, Philharmonia, New Music New Haven, and opera. Enrollment in any courses designed for the M.M.A. is required, in addition to one nonremedial academic course each term. Residence in New Haven is required.

M.M.A. candidates hold M.M. degrees, so a fundamental knowledge of musicianship and the history of Western music is presumed, and students are tested in these areas when they enter the program. If deficiencies are evident, students are required to enroll in appropriate courses. A passing grade in Hearing at a level of 500 or higher satisfies the musicianship proficiency. A passing grade in Music 510 or an equivalent course as assigned by the Music History faculty satisfies the Music History proficiency.

Admission to the program is through personal audition to the relevant area faculty, as well as submission of a TOEFL score of 86 or higher.

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Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Yale is a distinctive program comprised of a two-year residential component on campus followed by a three-year dissertation period during which candidates develop and demonstrate professional and artistic excellence. The degree provides intensive training in the student’s major field—performance, conducting, or composition—augmented by studies in theoretical and historical subjects. Yale University confers the Doctor of Musical Arts degree on those candidates who have successfully completed four terms of residential requirements, demonstrated expertise in the major field through artistic excellence and distinguished achievements in the dissertation period, and concluded the program requirements by passing the final D.M.A. recital and oral examination.

“Distinguished achievements” will be determined by the quality and extent of professional accomplishments reflecting the candidate’s own initiative and ability, including, but not restricted to, any professional position he or she might hold. The level of achievement should be substantially higher and broader than the existing high standard of professional activity at the time of matriculation into the program. Innovative and creative contributions to the profession will be considered particularly significant.

The candidate’s attention is drawn to the fact that the School’s doctoral degree is earned in Musical Arts. The School interprets this degree in a most comprehensive manner and expects that all candidates will possess both great depth and breadth within the field of music. The candidate for Yale’s D.M.A. degree should demonstrate:

  • • exceptional competence as a performer, conductor, or composer;
  • • intellectual curiosity about music and an ability to discuss in depth its history, theory, styles, sources, and relationship to the other arts and to society;
  • • extensive knowledge about many aspects of music making and real experience in these closely allied fields. For example, an instrumentalist should be familiar with the elements of compositional techniques. By the same token, every composer should display considerable skill as a performer.

Applying for the D.M.A. Program

Candidates for a Yale D.M.A. must have completed a Master of Music degree or equivalent in the field in which they are planning to apply prior to matriculating in the program. Applications for the D.M.A. are due in the fall term. Applicants are then examined and auditioned in the spring; those admitted enter the program the following fall. All D.M.A. candidates must come to New Haven for an audition and examinations. As part of the application process, applicants are required to:

  • • audition before a faculty committee;
  • • pass examinations in history, analysis, and musicianship, as well as assessments in keyboard proficiency and a second language;
  • • submit a term paper or other sample of scholarly writing.

Candidates should note that the entire application process requires their presence for two to three days in New Haven. No one may apply to the D.M.A. program more than twice. Yale first-year M.M.A. or Artist Diploma students admitted to the D.M.A. program forfeit their enrollment in their previous program.

Structure of the D.M.A. Program

Residential Component

Degree requirements include public presentation of recitals and/or compositions during each year of the student’s residency. A D.M.A. thesis, as well as a lecture based on the thesis, is required of all candidates. A thesis prospectus must be submitted to the D.M.A. committee for approval at the start of the candidate’s second term in the D.M.A. seminar. Candidates are required to pass comprehensive written and oral examinations in order to qualify for the dissertation period.

Dissertation Component

During the three-year dissertation period, D.M.A. candidates will be focused full-time on compiling a dossier of distinguished artistic and professional achievements. Throughout this phase of the degree, candidates must annually submit by March 1 to the D.M.A. committee updated summaries of their professional activities. The D.M.A. committee will review the compulsory annual report and provide feedback.

Applying to Return for the Final D.M.A. Recital and Oral Examination

All candidates must apply to return for the final D.M.A. recital and oral examination by January 31 of the third year (sixth term) following the completion of their D.M.A. residential component. As part of this application, candidates must submit dossiers of their professional activities, accomplishments, and credentials. Letters from recognized individuals who are professionally qualified to evaluate the candidate’s work are required. These are requested directly by the School of Music. The names and addresses of at least five individual references, together with a brief description of the professional relationship to the candidate, are to be provided by the candidates. No current members of the Yale faculty may be included.

The final application must be completed—including forms, dossier, references, and supporting evidence such as programs, compositions, reviews, articles, publications, recordings, and any other materials that may be pertinent—by March 1 following submission of the application to return. Permission to apply to return after the third year will be granted only under exceptional circumstances. In cases where the initial applications to return are not approved by the D.M.A. committee, candidates may, at the D.M.A. committee’s discretion, reapply one additional time only.

Standards of Review and Evaluation

The D.M.A. committee monitors the progress of each enrolled doctoral student. D.M.A. students will be evaluated on the level of achievement in required doctoral courses, recitals, thesis and lecture presentation, comprehensive written and oral examinations, and overall compliance with program deadlines, attendance policies, and all other requirements. Any concern from the faculty will be discussed with students in individual conferences. Students whose work does not meet the Yale School of Music’s doctoral program standards may, at the School’s discretion, be subject to dismissal. The School of Music’s leave of absence policy applies to D.M.A. students, both in the residential and dissertation periods.

Recital and Oral Examination

Candidates whose dossiers have been approved by the D.M.A. committee will be invited to return for the final D.M.A. recital and oral examination during the subsequent academic year.

Recital

The performance is to be an appropriate demonstration of the candidate’s professional expertise in the major field. It is expected that candidates will consult with the major professors and the D.M.A. committee chair regarding recital planning and programming. Candidates are responsible for all aspects of the D.M.A. recital, including arrangements for equipment and performers.

Oral Examination

Candidates must pass a comprehensive oral examination. Candidates are expected to demonstrate thorough knowledge in all facets of their musical specialty and in other dimensions of music.

A jury consisting of members of the Yale faculty, possibly augmented with professional musicians from outside the University, judges the performance and participates in the oral examination. If approved, the candidate is then recommended for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, which is conferred at the close of said academic year.

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Artist Diploma

The Artist Diploma curriculum is a highly selective program for exceptionally gifted instrumentalists and singers under thirty years of age on the cusp of a major international solo career. Applicants must hold at least a high school diploma as well as a TOEFL score of at least 80. Applicants may be admitted only on the basis of live preliminary auditions before the School of Music’s artist faculty and, in a final round, before a distinguished external committee. Students accepted must be exclusively enrolled in the School of Music and be in residence in New Haven for two years. Those who hold a D.M.A. degree or are currently enrolled in a D.M.A. program are not eligible to apply for the Artist Diploma. Students who hold another School of Music degree and are admitted to the Artist Diploma program are expected to complete the program in one year.

The course of study for Artist Diploma candidates is flexible and designed for the individual needs of advanced students. A minimum of 14 credits, which must include one nonperformance course, are required per term for the Artist Diploma candidate. Two nonremedial academic courses must be completed in the two years. All courses in the School of Music and Yale University are open to Artist Diploma candidates with permission of the instructor. Artist Diploma candidates will be encouraged to have four weeks per year away from campus for professional engagements.

Minimum performance requirements during the two years of residence include two solo recitals (one for internal candidates), one chamber music recital, and one concerto performance. In addition, performers participate in the School of Music ensembles including chamber music, Philharmonia, New Music New Haven, and opera. Funding will be provided for one international performance presented by a partner institution or presenter.

A fundamental knowledge of musicianship and the history of Western music is presumed. Artist Diploma candidates are tested in these areas when they enter the program. If deficiencies are evident, students are required to enroll in appropriate courses. A passing grade in Hearing at a level of 500 or higher satisfies the Musicianship proficiency. A passing grade in Music 510 or an equivalent course as assigned by the Music History faculty satisfies the Music History proficiency.

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Certificate in Performance

The Certificate in Performance is designed for a few excellent performers who have not completed a bachelor’s degree. A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission. Students enroll full-time in a program of performance and academic studies and participate in Philharmonia, Chamber Music, New Music New Haven, or other ensembles as appropriate. The Certificate in Performance is a three-year program requiring a minimum of 96 credits (16 per term). To qualify for the Certificate, a student is required to maintain an average grade of B. All programs in the School of Music require that students earn a grade of B or better in both Individual Instruction in the Major and Seminar in the Major. Students who receive a grade lower than a B in either course will be placed on academic probation.

It is hoped that, after receiving the Certificate in Performance, a student will complete a baccalaureate degree at Yale or elsewhere. On completion of a bachelor’s degree—and providing that performance, course, examination, and proficiency requirements for the M.M. degree were met during the Certificate studies—the student may petition the faculty to convert the Certificate to a Master of Music degree. The 72 credits in performance and academic studies required for the Master of Music degree may not be applied toward completion of an undergraduate degree. Performance credits required for the certificate may not be used toward completion of the undergraduate degree.

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B.A./M.M. Program

The Bachelor of Arts/Master of Music program is designed for Yale College students with outstanding abilities in performance or composition. This program is open to majors both in Music and other subjects. B.A./M.M. students usually complete requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in their senior year and for the Master of Music after one year of the Master of Music program in the School of Music (year 5), providing that they have completed the following:

  • 1. music majors: four terms of performance (MUSI 360a or b, 361a or b, 460a or b, 461a or b) and MUSI 210a or b and 211a or b by the end of the junior year;
  • 2. majors in subjects other than music: four terms of performance (MUSI 360a or b, 361a or b, 460a or b, 461a or b) and four courses, which usually include two courses from the MUSI 301–311 series, and two of MUSI 350a, 351b, 352b, or 353a, taken by the end of the junior year.

Students who have accelerated the undergraduate program are ineligible to apply for the B.A./M.M. program.

Interested students should consult their major teacher at the beginning of the first term of the junior year, and must apply for the program at the School of Music by December 1 of that year. Music majors should also consult with the director of admissions.

Candidates admitted to the B.A./M.M. program are required to sit for juries in the School of Music at the beginning of their senior year.

In their senior year they must take MUS 540 (Individual Instruction in the Major) and MUS 544 (Seminar in the Major) each term, and they are advised to take two terms of a performance ensemble if schedules permit. B.A./M.M. students who major in an orchestral instrument are required to participate in the Yale Symphony or the School of Music Philharmonia during the senior year. Composers, singers, guitarists, and keyboard players should consult with their major teacher about requisites in the senior year beyond the lessons and seminar.

By the end of the fifth year all students participating in the B.A./M.M. program must have met the School of Music’s standard in musicianship and music history either through testing or course work. They must also have completed language and keyboard proficiency requirements.

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