Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts / BOYER COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DANCE

Learn more about the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance.

About the Program

The objective of the DMA program in Trombone Performance is to foster growth and development of the highest and most sophisticated expression of musical interpretation through performance under the guidance of a very highly specialized faculty.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Accreditation: The degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Areas of Specialization: Diverse areas of study are included to ensure the broadest possible cultivation and expansion of students' talents.

Job Prospects: Graduates of the program typically find employment in professional music ensembles throughout the world, in colleges and universities, and in private teaching studios, among other employment venues.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may enroll in select courses in music with permission, but may not take applied lessons until they have been fully admitted and matriculated.

Financing Opportunities: Boyer College of Music and Dance offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the Fall and Spring terms. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance and/or direct service related to academic programs. Assistantship and internship awards are made only in the Fall term for up to two terms: Fall and Spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for master's students and up to three years for doctoral students) based on departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: November 15

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents and aptitude for graduate study.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours. Doctoral candidates must hold the Master of Music degree (or the equivalent) in the field of specialization from an accredited institution. Applicants accepted with deficiencies will find the deficiencies noted in the letter of admission. Deficiencies must be addressed prior to completion of the degree.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A degree in Music is expected.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A degree in Music is expected.

Statement of Goals: Share your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who did not earn both their baccalaureate and a master’s degree from an institution in the United States must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 100
  • TOEFL Essentials: 10.5
  • IELTS Academic: 7.0
  • PTE Academic: 68

Prescreening Video and Audition: Applicants submit a prescreening video via Acceptd. This recording may contain representative movements of the audition material, with the majority of the material having been recorded within the last 12 months. Video recordings of accompanied works must have piano or orchestral accompaniment.

If preliminary approval is granted, an in-person live audition is arranged. Audition repertoire requirements include:

  • A concerto, sonata, or solo piece from the Classical, Romantic, or Impressionistic period.
  • A concerto, sonata, or solo piece from the 20th Century.
  • Excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire.

All works, except sonatas, should be memorized.

Note that video recordings alone are not acceptable for admission, except in the case of students living outside the United States. In this case, applicants must submit a video recording of complete works.

Resume: Current resume required.

Interview: Applicants are interviewed by the department chair and Associate Dean at the time of the live audition.

Scholarly Paper: Applicants must upload a scholarly paper to Acceptd.

Writing Examination: An on-site Writing Examination is required as part of the doctoral admissions process. Remedial coursework may be required.

Advanced Standing: The DMA program in Music Performance consists of 54 discrete credits taken beyond the master's degree. At the time of admission, the entire master's degree serves as advanced standing credits. These credits are not counted toward the 54 required credits of the doctoral degree. However, students may transfer into the doctoral program up to 12 additional graduate credits in coursework taken beyond the master's degree. Typically, this coursework is reviewed after admission to the DMA degree and must be approved by the major advisor and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.

Additional Requirements: Applicants must:

  1. Include with the application a repertoire list indicating works previously studied. The list should indicate which of the works were performed publicly and, if possible, where and when they were performed.
  2. Show transcript evidence at the master's level in the area of bibliographical resources in music. If no transcript evidence is available, students must take MUST 8701 Research in Music in addition to the 6 required credits within the History/Theory area.

Other: Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions of the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 54

Required Courses:

Core Courses
MUSC 9011Doctoral Chamber Music1
MUSC 9012Doctoral Chamber Music1
MUSC 9184DMA Solo Public Recital1
MUSC 9351Performance Traditions3
MUSC 9504Doctoral Instrumental Major3
MUSC 9514Doctoral Instrumental Major3
MUSC 9517Advanced Conducting-Doctoral2
MUSC 9524Doctoral Instrumental Major3
MUSC 9534Doctoral Instrumental Major3
MUSC 9565Lower Brass Pedagogy2
MUSC 9684DMA Lecture-Recital1
or MUSC 9784 DMA Performance with Orchestra
MUSC 9701Doct Perf Practice I3
or MUSC 9702 Doct Perf Practice II
MUSC 9984DMA Final Recital1
MUST 9701Doctoral Seminar Analysis, Interpretation, and Performance3
Music History3
Advanced Music3
Minor Area in Music 112
Research Course
MUSC 9999Monograph Research6
Total Credit Hours54

Select from courses at the level of MUSC 8404 or higher.


  1. Solo public recital by the conclusion of the fourth term of lessons (MUSC 9534)
  2. Solo public recital (MUSC 9184)
  3. Lecture Recital (MUSC 9684) or Performance with Orchestra (MUSC 9784)
  4. Final Doctoral Recital (MUSC 9984)

Additional Requirements:
Written Entrance Examinations:
All doctoral students must take written entrance exams prior to or during the first term of doctoral study. Candidates who fail the entrance examinations the first time may, upon application to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies of the Boyer College of Music and Dance, be permitted to take the examinations a second time. A third opportunity is not allowed.

To continue registration in the doctoral program beyond the second term of study, all portions of the examinations must be passed or the appropriate review courses (or the equivalent, as determined by the examining department) must be in progress. Students planning to take the written examinations should request a list of dates from the graduate secretary and submit a written request to the Associate Dean one month prior to the administration date.

  1. Music History Exam: A general examination covering the history of music is administered. Questions relative to forms, styles and periods of music are included. It is expected that all examinees are acquainted with the standard literature of music.
  2. Harmony Exam: This exam involves completion of a harmonic excerpt in advanced chromatic idiom and the creation of a bass line with figuration (figured bass) in Baroque style.
  3. Counterpoint Exam: From a given motive, approximately 20 measures of imitative counterpoint in three parts are to be completed.
  4. Form and Analysis Exam: A score is provided at the examination that requires analysis of specified passages.
  5. Literature and Pedagogy Exam: This examination focuses on the literature and pedagogy of the instrument of specialization.
  6. Writing Sample: A 90-minute examination of the student's ability to write at the doctoral level is conducted. Examination topics are of a general nature.

Diagnostic Recital:
A diagnostic recital is required and must be performed before a faculty jury at the conclusion of the first term of study. The candidate must contact their advisor to arrange the jury. The recital consists of a full program, approximately 45 minutes in length, and may include the performance (with music) of a new composition that is presented to the applicant for study 48 hours in advance of the jury. An analysis of repertoire and technical needs results.

Continuous Registration:
Continuous registration of at least 3 credits must be maintained each term, with the exception of Summer, from the time of acceptance into the DMA program in Music Performance until the completion of all coursework.

Continuation in the DMA Program:
Each course or seminar requires an end-of-term final grade based on papers prepared, recitals presented, discussion, and/or examinations taken during the course of the term. Each term of private study culminates in a performance examination or jury, except during terms in which the student has presented one of the required adjudicated recitals. Screening for continuance in the program after the first term of study is conducted at adjudicated recitals, end-of-the-term juries, and major examinations. This ensures that only the most qualified students continue beyond the early stages of the program.

For all doctoral programs, only grades from "A" to "B-" can be applied toward degree requirements. Grades of less than "B-" cannot be counted toward the degree. Any student who earns a grade less than "B-" may, with permission of the department chair and the Associate Dean, retake the term of study one additional time. The same applies to recitals.

Professional Development Policy:
In addition to taking the required subjects for their degrees, all students in the Boyer College of Music and Dance are obligated to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. Boyer College of Music and Dance believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes; tutoring; teaching private lessons; coaching; participating in the distribution and inventory control of Temple University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials; participating in ensembles; accompanying; performing at admissions and open house events; supervising performance classes; and engaging in other academic activities.

Performing Ensembles:

  1. Touring: All students in touring performing ensembles are required to participate in all scheduled tours. These tours, usually one or two weeks in length, often take place immediately after termination of terms. Students must arrange their schedules to accommodate this requirement.
  2. Non-Credit Participation: With special permission, graduate students for whom there is no ensemble requirement, or where previous ensemble credits exceed the graduation requirement, may participate in choral and instrumental ensembles without cost, with prior permission from the ensemble director, the department chair and the Associate Dean.

Independent Study Courses:
Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the students' major advisor, and the Associate Dean. Approval is granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects is granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.

Acceptable English:
All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.

Graduate Private Lesson Policy:
Weekly one-hour private lessons are provided for all matriculated master's and doctoral performance majors in good standing, provided at least three additional credits of programmatically required graduate-level study are taken simultaneously. A $250 per term lesson fee (subject to change without notice) is charged for all private lessons. Tuition remission may not be used to cover the private lesson fee.

The four terms of private lessons must be taken consecutively, with the exception of summers. Any deviation from this must have the approval of the advisor, department chair, and the Associate Dean of the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate assistantships and other forms of University-sponsored financial aid do not cover private lesson and recital extension fees.

Written Preliminary Examinations:
The written preliminary examinations may be taken during the final term of coursework, but no later than in the term after completion of coursework. They are administered several times each calendar year, and span two consecutive days of six hours of examination each day. Written and performance examinations should be taken no later than the end of the fifth year to allow for the successful completion of the Final Recital and the writing of the monograph. Preliminary examinations must be successfully completed before formal work on the monograph may be undertaken and before the Final Recital may be presented.

Students planning to take the written examinations should request a list of dates from the graduate secretary and submit a written request to the Associate Dean one month prior to the administration date. Students are then notified in writing of the specific dates and administration times of the preliminary examinations for which they have been scheduled.

The examinations consist of questions relating to the major and minor areas and to musical style; require the student to comment articulately on the style and historical significance of musical compositions; and entail the student discussing and defending the principles of performance on the basis of which they would undertake to perform any composition in their major area. The questions are prepared by faculty members within the student's major and minor subject areas. At least two graduate faculty members read each section of the written preliminary examinations. Students typically are graded "Pass" or "Fail" based on a consensus of the examination readers.

Oral Preliminary Examinations:
For those students who pass the written preliminary examinations, no oral preliminary examination is required. (This refers only to the oral preliminary examination and does not refer in any way to the oral defense of the dissertation/monograph.)

If a student fails one or more portions of the written preliminary examination, an oral examination is administered by the major advisor and a minimum of two additional faculty members. In the case of failure in one subject area, two members of that department are asked by the student's major advisor to participate with the major advisor in the examination. In the case of failure in more than one subject area, at least one faculty member from each of the departments in which the failure occurred is asked by the student's major advisor to participate in the examination.

The examination is to be a formal oral examination rather than an informal meeting with graduate faculty from departments in which the examination revealed that the student needs further work. This does not preclude such informal meetings, however, in preparation for the oral examination. Upon passing the oral examination, the student, as advised by the examining committee, is permitted to schedule a second and final attempt at the failed portions of the written examination.

Final Recital and Monograph Proposal:
After the successful completion of the written preliminary examinations, MUSC 9984 DMA Final Recital and written monograph are undertaken in consultation with the major advisor, the department chair, and the Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC shall be appointed by the Associate Dean to adjudicate the Final Recital and to guide the student in writing both the monograph proposal and the final document itself. When the student, in consultation with the major advisor and department chair, has identified a tentative advisory committee, the chair gives those names to the Associate Dean for consideration. The Associate Dean appoints the DAC. The DAC consists of no fewer than three persons: two faculty members from within the department, and a third person from outside the department. Members of the DAC serve as the adjudicators of the Final Recital.

After a proposal for the monograph has been developed by the student in consultation with the DAC, the student prepares a final copy for approval. Each member of the DAC must sign the final proposal. Once all DAC members have signed the title page, the student copies the final proposal and delivers within 30 days one copy to each member of the DAC, the department chair, the Associate Dean, and the Graduate School. Students register for MUSC 9999 after the proposal has been officially approved. Doctoral candidates are required to register for a minimum of 6 credit hours of MUSC 9999 Monograph Research during their program as a whole and must register for a minimum of 1 such credit each term.

Recital Extension:
Students withdrawing from the recital requirement during the recital term receive an Incomplete and must register for extended study for non-degree credit (MUSC 5000 Recital Extension for 2 credits). Recital Extension must be taken each term until the recital has been presented. This course is offered on a "Credit/No Credit" basis only. Upon satisfactory completion of the recital, the Incomplete for the recital course is replaced by a letter grade and MUSC 5000 Recital Extension is issued a grade of "CR." Credit derived from Recital Extension is not counted toward degree requirements.

  1. Recital Extension Fees: Tuition for these additional terms of private study is the cost of 2 graduate credits plus a $400 Recital Extension fee. Graduate assistantships and other forms of University-sponsored financial aid do not cover the Recital Extension fee.
  2. Exceptions to Recital Extension:
    1. Students who perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Spring term are not required to register for Recital Extension that term.
    2. Students who register for Recital Extension during the Summer may perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Fall term. However, any student who does not take Recital Extension during the Summer may not present the recital in the Fall term, regardless of the date, without also registering for the Fall term of Recital Extension.
  3. Failure to Present Recital: The degree status of students who are unable to present a recital after one term of Recital Extension is reviewed by the Associate Dean and the major advisor, who, in consultation with the major teacher and department, determine whether or not the student may continue in the program. Inability to present the recital after one term of Recital Extension may be grounds for dismissal from the degree program for failing to maintain reasonable academic progress.

Final Oral Examination:
When the monograph is complete, the major advisor of the Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC) asks the Associate Dean to appoint an outside reader. The DAC plus the outside reader constitute the Dissertation Examining Committee (DEC) for the monograph defense. Doctoral candidates must schedule a defense of the monograph with the Associate Dean at least one month before the requested defense date. Forms to schedule the defense are available from the graduate secretary.

Doctoral candidates must submit a defense copy of the monograph to members of the DEC and the Associate Dean at least two weeks prior to the defense. Students should register for MUSC 9999 Monograph Research (1-6 credits) each term, Fall and Spring, until the final project has been successfully defended. Doctoral candidates are required to register for a minimum of 6 credit hours of MUSC 9999 during their program as a whole, but must register for a minimum of one such credit each term.

All incomplete grades and keyboard proficiencies must be fulfilled by the first day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.

Culminating Events:
Final Recital:
Students may present the DMA Final Recital (MUSC 9984) after the preliminary examination has been completed and the DAC has been appointed.

After a proposal for the monograph has been developed by the student in consultation with the DAC, the student prepares a final copy for approval. Each member of the DAC must sign the final proposal. Once all DAC members have signed the title page, the student copies the final proposal and delivers one copy to each member of the DAC, the department chair, the Associate Dean, and the Graduate School within 30 days.

Early in the term in which a defense of the monograph is anticipated, the major advisor notifies the Associate Dean that it is time to appoint the Dissertation Examining Committee (DEC). The DEC consists of the DAC plus an "outside" reader, who is an additional graduate faculty member from Temple or another university, but not from the faculty of the student's home department.

Doctoral candidates must schedule a defense of the monograph with the Associate Dean at least one month before the requested defense date. Forms to schedule the defense are available from the graduate secretary. This includes the "Announcement of Oral Defense" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within "University Forms," which must bear all appropriate signatures and be submitted to the Associate Dean.

Two weeks prior to the oral defense, the student submits individual copies of the abstract and the completed dissertation/monograph to the Associate Dean and each member of the DEC. The graduate secretary notifies the Graduate School and posts notices of the impending defense on bulletin boards located within the Boyer College of Music and Dance. All members of the DEC attend the oral defense and then vote to pass or fail the monograph and its defense after the conclusion of the public presentation.

Changes in membership of a DAC or a DEC must be approved by the Associate Dean. The change also must be communicated to the Graduate School.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Instrumental Studies

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts/Boyer College of Music and Dance

2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6079


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Eric Schweingruber



Professor Terell Stafford