DMA Curriculum

Program Requirements

Students receive the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) when they fulfill the following program requirements:

•    Completion of 60 credits of course work (normally in 3.5 years)

•    The minimum residency requirement consists of two consecutive long semesters (fall or spring) at CAU with a minimum of nine graduate hours in each term.

•    A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0

•    Doctoral essay.

•    Oral qualifying exam.

•    Lecture Recital

•    Solo Recital

TOTAL COST FOR DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS: (60 Units x $690 = $41,400)


DMA Degree Requirements:  60 credits

​MUCO-551 Advanced Sight Singing and Ear Training – 2 credits

​MUCO-552 Analytical Approaches to Tonal Music – 2 credits

​MUCO-553 Songwriting and Arranging I – 2 credits

MUCO-554 Songwriting and Arranging II – 2 credits

​MUCO-555 Modern Improvisation Techniques for Worship – 2 credits

MUCD-551 Chamber Choir and Conducting I – 3 credits

MUCD-552 Chamber Choir and Conducting II – 3 credits

​MUHL-551 Music History I – 2 credits

MUHL-552 Music History II – 2 credits

​MUHL-553 Research and Writing Seminar – 2 credits

​MUHL-554 Music Appreciation and Criticism – 2 credits

​MUPF-551 The Trend of Contemporary Music – 3 credits

​MUPF-552 Science of Rhythm – 3 credits

MTEC-551 Music Technology and Production I – 2 credits

MTEC-552 Music Technology and Production II – 2 credits

​MTEC-553 Computer Assisted Recording and Editing – 3 credits

​MUEN-551 Ensemble I – 2 credits

​MUEN-552 Ensemble II – 2 credits

​MUS-651 Individual Instruction I – 2 credits

​MUS-652 Individual Instruction II – 2 credits

​MUS-653 Individual Instruction III – 2 credits

​MUS-654 Individual Instruction IV – 2 credits

​MUS-655 Individual Instruction V – 2 credits

​MUS-720 Advanced Major Seminar – 3 credits

​MUS-750 DMA Lecture Recital – 3 credits

​MUS-751 DMA Solo Recital – 3 credits

Course Descriptions

MUCO 551 Advanced Sight Singing and Ear Training
This course takes comprehensive and integrated approaches to sight singing and ear training.

MUCO 552 Analytical Approaches to Tonal Music
Principles of modern chord progression: deceptive resolutions of secondary dominants; dominant seventh chords without dominant function; contiguous dominant motion. Review of melodic construction, form, and melody/harmony relationship; modal interchange; pedal point and ostinato; modal harmony and modal composition; compound chords; constant structures.

MUCO 553 – 554 Songwriting and Arranging I – II
Proper integration of lyrics and melody on arranged harmonies. Expansion of tonal materials used in songwriting including modulation and modality. Study of form including the transitional bridge and the primary bridge. Setting for lyrics in various styles.

MUCO 555 Modern Improvisation Techniques for Worship
To understand advanced performance techniques and characteristics of modern worship for improvisation.   

MUHL 551 Music History I
This class covers western classical music in a historical perspective from the 20th to the classical period dealing with the major styles, composers, works, and their features.

MUHL 552 Music History II
This class analyzes styles, techniques, performers and songwriters of pop, jazz, and contemporary music throughout history.

MUHL 553 Research and Writing Seminar
Introduction to music research and writing techniques.

MUHL 554 Music Appreciation and Criticism
Listening to a variety of music and critique makes it sensibly aware of the changes and unification of the various components of music. This course is intended for students to distinguish the characteristics of different types and forms of music along with different sounds and voices of musical instruments.

MUPF 551 The Trend of Contemporary Music
Research and understand the trends by era of contemporary applied music and techniques behind every musician and instrument performance.

MUPF 552 Science of Rhythm
Understand and apply advanced rhythmical characteristics of contemporary applied music to utilize them in practice.

MTEC 551 – 552 Music Technology and Production I – II
In-depth overview of recording technology and production.

MTEC 553 Computer Assisted Recording and Editing
A study of recording and editing techniques using Digi-design Pro Tools with primary focus on applications to arranging and composing. Topics include handling of tracks, importing audio, recording of play lists, equalization, and effects as well as virtual instruments, midi recording, sequencing, trimming, fading, tempo, meter maps, time stretching, and plug-in automation, culminating in the mixing of a fully arranged song applying all of the studied techniques.

MUCD 551 – 552 Chamber Choir and Conducting I – II
Integrated approaches for choir and conducting. This class covers conducting techniques, patterns, score analysis, problems of tempo, dynamics, articulation, and text. Students will be able to experience harmonious performance with others who have different personalities based on individual skills, thereby improving the ability to integrate different musical interests and develop more mature performances.

MUEN 551 – 552 Ensemble I – II
Study for repertoire and performing practice for ensemble. Students will also give a presentation about the music including composers, background story, musical form and features of the music they play.

MUS 651 – 655 Individual Cnstruction I – V
Principal instrument study. Instrumentalists will learn at least four musical works from different period. Composers will compose at least 40-minute music.

MUS 720 Advanced Major Seminar
Advanced major seminar will enable DMA students to practically apply and execute performance planning and production.

MUS 750 DMA Lecture Recital
Recital for both lecture and performance making total at least 40 minutes. Half of the recital should be a lecture.

MUS 751 DMA Solo Recital
Recital for solo performance. Required to perform at least 50 minutes (Jazz musicians may perform in a group). Composers required to compose at least 50-minute music.

  • Doctoral Essay: All DMA students must submit at least a 35-page research paper to DMA director for approval of DMA solo recital.
  • Oral Qualifying Exam: All DMA students will sit for one-hour oral examination, which covers in greater depth the topics discussed in the research paper and other related fields. Required to pass the exam for approval of DMA solo recital.