Ordinarily, doctor of musical arts candidates will be expected to show from 75 to 90 hours of approved coursework beyond the bachelor's degree (including the master's degree) on their planned programs. Approximately 80 percent of the coursework on the planned program must be at the graduate level (5500-5600).
If it is of acceptable quality and appropriate to the student's program, graduate credit not to exceed more than one-half the total credit earned beyond the bachelor's degree may be transferred from another institution to a doctoral program. Except for courses included in the earned master's degree, work done at institutions other than UMKC must have been completed within nine years of the awarding of the degree. A D.M.A. or Ph.D. student must take and pass the doctoral comprehensive examination and advance to candidacy within five years from the beginning of doctoral coursework (within four years if entering with a master's degree in the same or closely related field). After the establishment of degree candidacy, a maximum of five years will be allowed for completion of degree requirements. All D.M.A. students must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language and satisfy the residency requirement. Residency for the D.M.A. cannot begin until the first term of enrollment as a D.M.A. student at the Conservatory. The residency requirement for the D.M.A. may be satisfied in any one of the following ways: 1) two adjacent semesters with a minimum of nine hours each, or 2) one semester with a minimum of nine hours and two summer sessions with a minimum of five hours each, provided that the full-time semester is adjacent to one of the summer sessions [it is expected that the summer sessions will be consecutive], or 3) completion of 24 hours within 18 consecutive months.
Student Learning Outcomes
The Conservatory of Music and Dance aims to meet or exceed the educational standards set by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for the training of doctoral level music students. To that end, the Conservatory endorses the development of
- Intellectual awarness and curiosity sufficient to predict continued growth and contribution to the discipline.
- Significant accomplishment in performance, composition, scholarship, music education or conducting.
- A knowledge of the techniques of music theory sufficient to perform advanced analysis.
- A knowledge of representative literature and composers of each major period of music history.
- A knowledge of general bibliographic resources in music.
- Considerable depth of knowledge in some aspect of music, such as historical period, an aspect of theory, performance practice or compositional styles.
- Sufficient writing and speaking skills to communicate clearly and effectively to members of the scholarly community and to the wider community.
- A reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages, or other appropriate research skills.
The Supervisory Committee
The supervisory committee for students seeking the doctor of musical arts shall consist of three faculty members who will approve the planned program of study and the doctoral research plan, and agree to serve as the three faculty responsible for writing and grading the major portion of the doctoral comprehensive examination.
Comprehensive Examination (for students entering before fall 2011)
Before taking the written comprehensive examination, the planned program, residency, language requirement, coursework, doctoral research plan and other divisional requirements must be completed. The student must be enrolled during the term the comprehensive examination is administered and 30 consecutive days are allowed for its completion. This examination of 24 hours consists of 18 hours of in-depth scrutiny of the major field, prepared and graded by the supervisory committee, and an objective examination covering music history and music theory, prepared and graded by faculty from the Musicology and Music Theory areas. The integrated music history-music theory examination consists of a research essay to be completed over the sixth weekend and a proctored component administered on the seventh Saturday of the fall and winter semesters. ALL parts of the comprehensive examination MUST be taken at UMKC. The integrated music history-music theory exam affects students who enter the DMA program beginning in fall 2006. Each section of the music theory and music history examinations must be passed with a grade of B- or better. If a student does not achieve a B- or better on any section of these exams, he or she must retake that section. The comprehensive examination must be completed successfully before the dissertation topic is approved. Performance students must also successfully complete their comprehensive exams before the final recital is given. Students selecting doctoral research options (CONSVTY 5697 and CONSVTY 5698) instead of the dissertation must complete at least one project after comprehensive exams are passed.
The comprehensive examination committee for students seeking the doctor of musical arts shall consist of three faculty members of the supervisory committee and any other faculty who have contributed and graded questions.
Comprehensive Examinations (for students entering fall 2011 or later)
The Comprehensive Examinations consist of three separate exams.
First Exam Procedures
The First Exam focuses on Music History and Theory and is designed to assess students’ foundational knowledge for advanced study. The exams will be given the seventh Saturday of the spring semester and students will take the exam in their second full year of coursework. The exams will consist of two three-hour exams that cover an integrated application of ideas from music history and music theory and will be designed, proctored, and graded by all fulltime faculty members in those two areas. Based on the collective recommendation of the faculty, students will be assigned a grade of high pass, pass, or fail for each section of the exam. Students who fail to pass any portion of the exam will be given feedback as to the recommended courses needed to make up any deficiencies in their third year of coursework and will be allowed to retake those portions the following year. Students must fully pass the First Exam to be eligible to take the Second Exam and continue to candidacy.
Second Exam Procedures
The Second Exam tests students’ understanding of their chosen field of study and are required for advancement to candidacy. These exams are held the fifth week of both the Fall and Winter/Spring semesters and must be taken after the end of coursework and before work begins on doctoral projects. Students wishing to take the exams should notify their committee chair of their intentions and submit a complete Comprehensive Exam Request Form to the graduate advising office by at least the last week of classes the semester before they take the exam. Testing is proctored from 9:00 until 5:00 each day of that week, and students are responsible for arranging their schedules and signing up for the times in which they plan to take the test.
The Second Exam is administered by a D.M.A Committee made up of a faculty chair and two other faculty members. Students are responsible for selecting their chairs, who normally will be the principle instructor or director of research, and then the remainder of their committee in consultation with the chair. The committee members are communicated to the advising office through signatures on the Comprehensive Exam Request Form.
Each D.M.A. student is given eight hours in which to answer questions submitted by the three members of his or her committee. Each member of the committee must contribute to the Second Exam, and while the number of hours for questions given to each member is at the chair’s discretion, typical practice is four hours for the chair and two hours for each member (Each “hour” of questions should take approximately one hour to complete). Committee members must submit their questions to the chair by the Wednesday of the third week of the semester. The chair then submits the entire exam to the Comprehensive Exam Coordinator by the end of the third week of the semester. It is the chair’s responsibility in consultation with the committee to ensure that there are no overlaps in questions and that the exam adequately examines the field of study. Content of the examination questions should reflect the content of study specific to each student’s degree. Members of the D.M.A. Committee are responsible for determining the appropriate focus for questions. Those questions should not function as a retesting of course information, but as an assessment of a student’s understanding and ability to connect and apply course content more broadly.
Grading for the Second Exam
Once a student has completed the exam, the Comprehensive Exam Coordinator distributes written responses to the faculty responsible for each question. That faculty member grades the responses and relays their recommendation of high pass, pass, or fail to the committee chair and the Comprehensive Exam Coordinator. Students must receive a grade of pass or high pass on each question to pass the Second Exam and advance to candidacy. Students are allowed to retake portions of the exam they failed one time, and the format of that retest is at the discretion of the committee member responsible for the question.
Third Exam Procedures
At the conclusion of all doctoral points needed for the D.M.A. degree and contingent upon successful completion of the Second Exam, members of the student’s D.M.A. Committee will reconvene for a two-hour oral defense of the work done during candidacy for the degree. In the case of areas that require dissertations, the dissertation defense acts as the Third Exam. For all other areas, the Third Exam is expected to consist of questions synthesizing the student’s work in all areas of study in their doctoral documents and/or performances. The Committee Chair will schedule the Third Exam, which may be postponed at the Chair’s discretion. The Third Exam is the last step in the conferral of D.M.A degrees.