The School of Music Graduate Handbook lists policies and procedures pertinent to the MM and DMA degrees in the SOM at The University of Alabama. This Handbook is a supplement to the Graduate Catalog of the University, not a replacement, and does not repeat all relevant material found there. Students are responsible for information in both the UA Graduate Catalog and the SOM Graduate Handbook.

The Graduate School

Graduate music students are enrolled through the Graduate School of The University of Alabama. The Graduate School is located at 102 Rose Administration Building. Matters common to all graduate students are described and explained in the UA Graduate Catalog. The Graduate School rules pertain to application for admission, registration, adding/dropping courses, transfer of credit from other institutions, application for candidacy, application for graduation, submission of final degree projects, etc. The School of Music adheres to the Graduate Catalog’s policies for these requirements for each of the graduate degrees offered. The Graduate School also maintains a schedule of deadlines for submission of required material for selected semesters on the Graduate School website. Students should consult this schedule regularly.

Graduate Information in the School of Music

The SOM Graduate Handbook provides detailed information for SOM degree requirements. As an aid to MM and DMA students, the SOM Graduate Handbook may amplify policy found in the Music section of the Graduate Catalog. If a conflict should arise between material here and material in the Graduate Catalog, the Graduate Catalog takes precedence.

Current information for graduate students (dates and deadlines, etc.) is sent via email to all graduate students from the Director of Graduate Studies in Music (DGS), the Associate Director of Graduate Studies in Music (ADGS), the Chair of the SOM, or the SOM Graduate Secretary. A schedule of SOM graduate dates and deadlines is posted on the SOM Graduate Calendar. Students should consult the calendar regularly.

Degree Programs

The UA School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, offering Master’s of Music (MM) and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) concentrations listed below:

MM Degrees

  • Composition (Arranging)
  • Conducting (Choral, Wind)
  • Musicology/Ethnomusicology
  • Performance (General)
  • Performance (Woodwinds)
  • Performance Organ (Church Music)
  • Theory

DMA Degrees

  • Composition
  • Conducting (Choral, Wind)
  • Performance

Secondary Concentrations

The School of Music offers secondary concentrations for DMA students in the following areas:

  • Composition
  • Arranging (Composition with emphasis in arranging)
  • Electronic Music (Composition with emphasis in electronic music)
  • Choral Conducting
  • Instrumental Conducting
  • Wind Conducting
  • Musicology
  • Performance
    • Instrumental and Vocal Areas
    • Church Music
    • Church Music, Keyboard Option
    • Collaborative Piano (to be proposed)
    • Piano Pedagogy
    • Theory
    • Vocal Pedagogy
    • Opera Pedagogy and Stage Direction

Degree requirements can be found in the UA Graduate Catalog.

Application and Audition

Consideration for admission to the SOM requires application to the UA Graduate School and an audition with the School of Music.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The SOM offers graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) to qualified students at two levels. The .50 assistantship covers tuition and carries an annual stipend. The .25 assistantship covers one-half of tuition and carries an annual stipend. Current amounts are found in the Graduate Brochure on the SOM website.

Application forms are available online on the SOM website. The deadline for application is April 1 prior to the fall semester of admission, but early application is advised. Some areas suggest application by the last scheduled audition date listed on the SOM website under Graduate Audition Request Form. Most GTAs are awarded prior to the fall term; spring term awards are rare.

Important Legal Information for Graduate Students

The ethics laws of The University of Alabama prohibit students from realizing financial gain from ventures for which they receive course credit, recital credit (beyond expenses), or GTA compensation. Accordingly, students holding GTAs may not receive course credit or recital credit for responsibilities specified as part of GTA assignments.

During the course of, or after, any semester in which the specified GTA duties have been fulfilled, works rehearsed and/or performed as part of the GTA position may then be performed for financial gain, but not for recital credit or course credit. If GTA duties include rehearsals of works planned for future GTA performances, those works may not be performed for financial gain until they have been publicly performed, meeting all GTA requirements and duties. They may be performed for financial gain only when no longer part of the GTA requirements and duties.