Graduate Bulletin

Music Performance/Percussion, D.M.A.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15                            [December 15 for international applicants]

Spring: October 15                               [August 1 for international applicants]

Applications are processed as they arrive up to the deadline date.

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:

The Statement of Goals should include your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based. Any student admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet-based examination must pass the SPEAK test prior to registration or pass an English skills course during the first semester of enrollment at Temple University.


Applicants should enclose with the application a CD of audition material for preliminary approval. If preliminary approval is granted, a live audition will be arranged. Candidates must audition in person. CDs alone are not acceptable for admission, except in the case of students living outside the United States. In this case, the applicants must submit a tape for preliminary approval, but continuation in the program is contingent upon success in the major performance medium during the first semester of study. Audition repertoire is available in the "DMA Performance Booklet," which can be obtained by calling 215-204-7609.


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

Doctoral Writing Examination:

All applicants will take the Doctoral Writing Examination as part of the admissions process.  Results of this examination are part of the admissions decision.


A resume is required.

Advanced Standing:

The D.M.A. program in Music Performance consists of 55 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 55 required credits in the doctoral degree. However, students may transfer into the doctoral degree up to 12 additional graduate credits in coursework taken beyond the master's degree. Typically, this coursework is undertaken after admission to the D.M.A. degree and must be approved by the major advisor and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.


Repertoire List:

A repertoire list indicating works previously studied must be included with the application. The list should indicate which of these works have been performed publicly, and if possible, where and when they were performed.

Bibliographical Resources in Music:

Students entering the program must 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 Research in Music (Music Studies 8701) in addition to the 6 required credits within the History/Theory area.


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 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 Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 55

Required Courses:

Music 9504 (3) Instrumental Major/Doctoral

           9514 (3) Instrumental Major/Doctoral

           9524 (3) Instrumental Major/Doctoral

           9534 (3) Instrumental Major/Doctoral/Recital

           9011 (1) Chamber Music/Doctoral

           9012 (1) Chamber Music/Doctoral

           9561 (3) Pedagogy

           9184 (1) Solo public Recital/D.M.A. or 9384 (1) Chamber Music


           9684 (1) Lecture-Recital or 9784 (1) Performance

                        with Orchestra/D.M.A.

           9984 (1) Final Recital/Doctoral

           9317 (2) Advanced Conducting/Doctoral

           9701 or 9702 (3) Doctoral Performance Practice  

           9999 (6) Monograph Research

Music Education 8656 (3) Academic Writing Skills

Music Studies 9701 (3) Doctoral Seminar in Analysis/Performance

                                   (3) Elective in Music History

Advanced Music Elective (3)

MInor Area (12 ) in music selected from courses at the 8404 area or above


1. Music 9534 Solo recital by the conclusion of fourth semester of applied lessons.

2. Music 9184 or 9884 Solo Publice Recital or Chamber Music Recital.

3. Music 9684 or 9784 Lecture-Recital or Performance with Orchestra.

4. Final Doctoral Recital.

View all COURSE OFFERINGS in Music, Music Education, and Music Studies.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

Written Entrance Examinations:

All doctoral students must take written entrance exams prior to or during the first semester of doctoral study. Candidates who fail the entrance examinations the first time may, upon application to the Boyer College's Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, be permitted to take the examinations a second time. A third opportunity will not be allowed.

To continue registration in the doctoral program beyond the second semester 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 will be administered. Questions relative to forms, styles, and periods of music will be included. It is expected that all examinees will be 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 will be provided at the examination that will require 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 will be 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 his/her advisor to arrange the jury. The recital will consist of a full program, approximately 45 minutes in length, and may include the performance (with music) of a new composition that will be presented to the applicant for study 48 hours in advance of the jury. An analysis of repertoire and technical needs will result.

Continuous Registration:

Continuous registration of at least 3 s.h. must be maintained each semester, with the exception of Summer, from the time of acceptance into the D.M.A. program in Music Performance until the completion of all coursework.

Continuation in the D.M.A. Program:

Each course or seminar will require an end-of-semester final grade based on papers prepared, recitals presented, discussion, and/or examinations taken during the course of the semester. Each semester of private study will culminate in a performance examination or jury, except during semesters in which the student has presented one of the required adjudicated recitals. Screening for continuance in the program after the first semester of study will be conducted at adjudicated recitals, end-of-the-semester juries, and major examinations. This will ensure that only the most qualified students will be continued 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. If the student earns a grade of less than "B-," s/he may, with permission of the department chair and the Associate Dean, retake the semester of study one additional time. The same applies to recitals.

Professional Development Policy:

All students in the Boyer College of Music and Dance, in addition to the required subjects toward their degrees, are obligated to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. Boyer College 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 semesters. 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 student's major advisor, and the Associate Dean. Approval will be granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects will be 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 $200 per semester 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 semesters of private lessons (Music 9504-9534) must be taken consecutively, with the exception of summers. Any deviation from this must have the approval of the applied 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:

These examinations may be taken during the final semester of coursework, but no later than in the semester after completion of coursework. The written preliminary examinations are administered several times each calendar year, and span two consecutive days of six hours of examination each day. All but the Final Recital must have been presented by the time the preliminary examinations are taken. 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. The examinations will consist of the following:

1. Independently prepared recital and original program notes.

2. Questions relating to the major and minor areas and to musical style, requiring the student to comment articulately on the style and historical significance of musical compositions and to discuss and defend the principles of performance on the basis of which s/he would undertake to perform any composition in his/her major area.

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 examination 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 will be 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 will be administered by the major advisor and a minimum of two additional faculty members, who will be selected as follows:

a. In the case of failure in one subject area, two members of that department will be asked by the student's major advisor to participate with the major advisor in the examination.

b. 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 will be 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, will be permitted to schedule a second and final attempt at the failed portions of the written examination.

Final Recital and Monograph Proposal:

1. The Final Recital and the monograph are undertaken after the completion of the written preliminary examinations, and in consultation with the major advisor, the department chair, and the Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC).

2. Upon completion of the preliminary examinations, the DAC shall be appointed by the Associate Dean to adjudicate the Final Recital and to guide the monograph. 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 who 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.

3. Students may not present the Final Recital until the preliminary examination has been completed and the DAC has been appointed. Members of the DAC serve as the adjudicators of the Final Recital.

4. 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.

5. Students register for Music 9998 during the writing of the monograph proposal and Music 9999 after the proposal has been officially approved. Doctoral candidates are required to register for a minimum of 6 credit hours of monograph research (Music 9999) during their program as a whole and must register for a minimum of 1 such credit each semester.

Recital Extension:

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

1. Recital Extension Fees: Tuition for these additional terms of private study will be 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: The exceptions to the Recital Extension Policy are as follows:

a. Students who perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Spring semester are not required to register for Recital Extension that semester.

b. Students who register for Recital Extension during the Summer may perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Fall semester. However, if the student does not take Recital Extension during the Summer, he or she may not present the recital in the Fall semester, regardless of the date, without also registering for the Fall semester of Recital Extension.

3. Failure to Present Recital: The degree status of students who are unable to present a recital after one semester of Recital Extension will be reviewed by the Associate Dean and the major adviser, who, in consultation with the major teacher and department, will determine whether or not the student may continue in the program. Inability to present the recital after one semester of Recital Extension may be grounds for dismissal from the degree program for failing to maintain reasonable academic progress.

Final Oral Examination:

1. 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 compose the Doctoral Examining Committee (DEC) for the monograph defense.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. The student should register for Music 9999 (Doctor of Musical Arts Monograph, 1-6 s.h.), each semester, 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 Music 999 during their program as a whole, but must register for a minimum of one such credit each semester.

Culminating Events:

After the successful completion of the written preliminary examinations, the Final Recital (Music 9984) 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 to adjudicate the Final Recital and to guide the student in writing both the monograph proposal and the final document itself. A tentative advisory committee is identified by the student, the major advisor, and the department chair. Those names are submitted for consideration to the Associate Dean, who then officially 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.

Final Recital:

Music 9984. Students may not present the Final Recital until the preliminary examination has been completed and the DAC has been appointed.


Early in the semester in which a defense of the monograph is anticipated, the major advisor notifies the Associate Dean that it is time to appoint the Doctoral 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.

1. 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 "Permission to Schedule Dissertation/Monograph Defense" form, which must bear all appropriate signatures and be submitted to the Associate Dean.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 Contact Information:

Department Information:

Dept. of Instrumental Studies

Boyer College of Music and Dance

2001 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Professor Jeffrey Solow


Graduate Chairperson:

Professor Jeffrey Solow



Professor Jeffrey Solow


About the Program

The objective of the D.M.A. program in percussion 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:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Instrumental Studies

Boyer College of Music and Dance

2001 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Boyer College has been ranked among the top 30 music schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.


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 Placement:

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


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

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

Financing Opportunities

Boyer College 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 semesters. 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. Applicants must submit an assistantship/internship application by March 1 to obtain priority consideration for an award. Applications are available online at the Graduate Financial Aid page of Boyer's website. Typically these awards are made only in the Fall semester for up to two semesters: 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.

May 2007