2023-2024 Academic Catalog & Handbooks 
    May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog & Handbooks

Doctor of Musical Arts, Performance - Vocal

Statement of Purpose

The Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance degree is an academic degree in music that has been designed to provide professional training for the vocalist who wishes to focus on performance through courses in voice, pedagogy and performance styles. The course of study is intended for students planning to work at the most advanced academic and professional levels of music endeavor. Vocal performance students study to develop and maintain an efficient vocal technique and compelling artistry through study with a voice faculty whose members are established master teachers and performers. DMA students are expected to achieve competencies that enable them to function consistent with their specializations as musicians, scholars, and teachers and who can communicate effectively, both orally and in written form.

Private voice lessons, vocal coaching, music theory, music history and literature, opera literature, art song repertoire, and vocal pedagogy are vital components of the degree program. Students gain essential stage skills and experience through participation in University of Mobile stage productions (opera, musical theater, and theater), and other events, which complement and build on work in the voice studio. Advanced courses in vocal pedagogy, music history, style, and literature give the students opportunities to hone their writing and oral presentation skills as they work towards their final doctoral thesis or lecture recital.

The Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Vocal Performance provides opportunities for students to develop their performance abilities while expanding their knowledge of music literature and vocal technique. 

This program is uniquely designed to prepare students for performance and teaching across multiple styles, including contemporary, musical theatre, opera, and others.

Criteria for Admission to the DMA Program

Admissions Requirements

Proficiencies required for entrance to the Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance program (for example, keyboard, diction, aural skills, theoretical skills, etc.), will be determined by a placement exam. Additionally, a knowledge of music theory, music history, English, German, French, and Italian diction as well as general phonetic knowledge and skills that can be applied to other languages will also be tested upon commencement of studies by a placement exam. Students who do not pass these exams will be required to take remedial coursework in these areas, as determined by their placement exam results.

If the students do not have previous collegiate study in Italian, French, and German, one semester each of French (FR 101), German for Musicians (GER 101), and/or Italian for Musicians (IT 101) will be required to achieve competency. Credit toward their degree will not be given for remedial coursework required to meet these proficiencies.

Students must have attained a master’s degree from an accredited university in order to apply for the DMA. A grade point average of 3.5 in previous graduate work will be required for entrance to the program (A = 4).

A writing sample will be required to ascertain candidate’s viability in academic DMA courses and cempetency in completing the final paper.

Residence Requirements

Residency at University of Mobile is achieved when a doctoral student is considered a full-time (on campus/face to face) student for a minimum of two years (four semesters). Doctoral students are not required to be in residence during the third year while working on the doctoral document and/or the recital, if not completed.

If the voice recital is not completed, generally, students will continue applied voice lessons until the recital requirements are satisfied. However, exceptions can be made for the following reasons:

  • Student has completed the required number of semesters of applied study and continues to work toward completion of the recital.
  • Student has completed the number of semesters of applied study, yet has moved to another area, making weekly study prohibitive. In this case, the major applied professor may work out the expectation of what is required beyond the plan of study.

Minimum Number of Credit Hours Required

90 semester hours of accredited collegiate work are required beyond the baccalaureate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance degree plan.

DMA in Vocal Performance Curriculum

The Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance Curriculum consists of forty-nine to fifty-four graduate semester hours

MU 701    Analysis of Tonal Music

MU 702    Advanced Analysis

MU 706    Seminar in Literature and Style in Performance I

MU 707    Seminar in Literature and Style in Performance II

MU 710    Music History Seminar I

MU 711    Music History Seminar II

MU 744    Advanced Vocal Pedagogy

MU 790    Research Methods

MU 896    Comprehensive Examination

MU 899    Document Research

MU 897    Dissertation Defense

MUA 731   Graduate Applied Voice

MUA 732   Graduate Applied Voice

MUA 733   Graduate Applied Voice

MUA 734   Graduate Applied Voice

MUA 757   Graduate Applied Coaching

MUA 758   Graduate Applied Coaching

MUA 857   Graduate Applied Coaching

MUA 858   Graduate Applied Coaching

MUA 705   Doctoral Recital I

MUA 805   Doctoral Recital II


Cognate Courses (In addition to the required courses listed above, the DMA student will choose a cognate area from which he/she will choose four courses.  The three cognates are listed below.)


1) Vocal Pedagogy Cognate Courses:

MU 744   Advanced Vocal Pedagogy (Since this course is included in the DMA required courses listed above, students who choose this cognate will need to take another 3-hour elective course in order for the student to earn the required hours for graduation.)

MU 845   Comparative Vocal Pedagogy

MU 846   Historical Vocal Pedagogy

MU 847   Musical Theatre Vocal Pedagogy


2) Theatre Cognate Courses:

TH 702    Acting I

TH 703    Acting II

TH 705    Beginning Ballet

TH 706   Beginning Tap

TH 707    Beginning Jazz

TH 708    Advanced Ballet

TH 709    Advanced Jazz

TH 710    Stage Movement

TH 711     Advanced Tap

TH 713    History of Musical Theatre

TH 715    Auditioning in the Global Marketplace

TH 721    Theatrical Makeup

TH 725    Stage Combat I

TH 726    Stage Combat II 

TH 730    Directing I

TH 731    Production Procedures


3) Worship Leadership Cognate Courses:

WL 715    Practical Technologies for Today’s Worship Leader

WL 752    Relational Issues in Worship

WL 754   History and Philosophy of Music and Worship

WL 755    Practical Skills in Worship


Language Diction Courses if needed:

MU 545   Advanced Italian Diction

MU 546   Advanced French Diction

MU 547   Advanced German Diction


*Students who have completed the Master of Music requirements from the University of Mobile, including all required music history courses (MU 510  Music History Seminar I & MU 511  Music History Seminar II), may enroll in MU 750  Music of the World. This will avoid duplication of previously-taken graduate music history courses. All other doctoral students may enroll in this course for credit, as an elective, but it may not be substituted for a required graduate music history course in their degree plan without committee approval.