In the Loop
Press Release : Mar 13, 2019

School of Music reimagines new Doctor of Musical Arts degree

Nationally distinguished program opens opportunities for new students

By Alexa Lore (BSPR ‘19)

The University of Florida School of Music will offer a new degree program in fall 2019.

Commonly known as a DMA, the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at UF is uniquely designed to prepare highly qualified, elite students for both higher education and artistic job markets.

By incorporating interdisciplinary pursuits in the core of the curriculum at a comprehensive top 10 public research institution, graduates will be equipped with modern skill sets, wholly adaptable to the broadest range of professional employment opportunities.

Distinguished from the school’s existing Ph.D. offerings, the DMA focuses heavily on cultivating professional performers and teachers.

“This is a degree that half of our faculty has and now having this degree allows us to bring in the most outstanding performers, composers and conductors with a unique curriculum,” said Dr. Kevin Orr, professor and director of the School of Music. “It brings national distinction and puts us at the table for those students who would not have previously considered our program.”

Earning a DMA at UF requires students to choose one area of concentration: performance, composition, instrumental conducting, or choral conducting. Additionally, students will pursue a secondary cognate in a discipline outside of music, a unique qualification from any other DMA program in the country.

Students may pursue a cognate in engineering, business, journalism and more.

Paul Richards, a professor in composition at the School of Music, said the cognate area allows for great new opportunities.

“There’s potential for really unique collaborations between music and other disciplines,” he said. “There are untapped ways that the arts can intersect with other disciplines and create new ways of looking at the the world and new avenues for exploration in music.”

At the end of the program, students will complete a capstone doctoral project in lieu of a research dissertation that will combine studies from both the concentrated and cognate areas of study.

By combining these into one curriculum, Orr said graduates will walk away with modern skill sets adaptable to the widest range of employment opportunities.  

The program also features supervised teaching and mentored internships by preeminent faculty.

“One of the reasons we’re doing this is we have world-class performance faculty, and they’re as ready as anybody to mentor doctoral students,” Richards said.

The first cohort will begin in fall 2019, and the school is currently accepting applications.

More information and the application can be found at

Media Contact:
Brandon McKinley
Public Relations and Partnerships Specialist
University of Florida College of the Arts
Office: 352.273.1489