Doctor of Music (D.Mus.)

The D.Mus. degree is offered on a full-time basis with a concentration in Choral Conducting, Composition, or Performance (Piano, Voice, Violin, Viola). Dedicated and experienced faculty and excellent performance and research facilities provide a stimulating environment for doctoral studies.

Please contact the graduate advisor to confirm availability of the program you are interested in before submitting an application.

Course Requirements

As requirements are often subject to change, we encourage you to visit the University Calendar for current information on program course requirements. Note that you will need to search by your admission year (drop-down menu on the top right of the page).

The program of study is normally 30 to 36 credits and will be approved by the Supervisory Committee after considering the student's individual requirements, needs, and academic/research interests. There are two required courses.

One course in graduate-level theory (3 credits), normally selected from the following:

  • MUSIC 555 Issues in Theory and Analysis
  • MUSIC 556 Seminar in Music Theory
  • MUSIC 581 Advanced Studies in Avant-Garde

One course in graduate-level musicology (3 credits)

The remaining courses will generally be directly linked to the candidate's Qualifying Examinations (taking place towards the end of the second year in program).

Candidacy Exams

Normally taken at the end of the second year of study, students complete a written and oral D.Mus. candidacy exam. This exam covers music history and music theory, as well as an appropriate specialized area (i.e. choral literature, literature of the major instrument, or aspects of recent compositions).

Dissertation Requirements

In lieu of a formal dissertation, candidates in Piano will carry out a project comprising three components: 1) a solo final recital; 2) a compact disc recording of the final solo program, submitted prior to the performance of the final recital; and 3) comprehensive scholarly notes accompanying the compact disc.

Dissertation requirements for other performance programs consist of a formal essay and four concerts, including a solo recital, a lecture recital, and a chamber music recital.

The dissertation requirement for the Choral Conducting program consists of an essay and two concerts.

The dissertation requirement for the Composition program consists of a scholarly essay and one compositional work for either large acoustic ensemble, mixed acoustic & electroacoustic media, or electroacoustic media.

All doctoral students must demonstrate reading proficiency in an approved language other than English, normally before being admitted to candidacy for the degree.


Applicants to the D.Mus. program must have an M.Mus. degree (or a recognized equivalent) and demonstrate outstanding ability and accomplishment in their area. Applicants to the Composition program are required to submit a portfolio of three scores and recordings; further details can be found on the Music Composition & Sonic Arts website.

Please consult the Application Checklist for complete details.


Applicants to the Choral Conducting and Performance programs must pass an audition.