Doctor of Musical Arts International Applicant Instructions Fall 2017

This is the most important page for successful completion of your application to The Shepherd School of Music. For this reason, we ask that you refer to this page to be sure you have completed every applicable step!

Doctor of Musical Arts Application Checklist


Date Due


Application with all supplemental materials


December 1, 2016


Non-refundable application fee of $85


December 1, 2016


Applicants are required to submit answers to the following question in the supplemental information section of the application:

1. What are your career goals? In addition to studying with a specific teacher, which aspects of our D.M.A. degree do you think will help you achieve your goals?

2. What music classes would you like to teach? Which, if any, do you feel qualified to teach right now? Please describe your teaching experience in both studio and classroom situations.

3. What music course do you wish had been available to you as an undergraduate student? Describe it.

4. The Shepherd School of Music has a small student population by design, especially at the doctoral level. Each student therefore has the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the school. Please describe what you would contribute.


December 1, 2016


Four letters of recommendation: online application or the paper version.


December 20, 2016


Unofficial transcripts attached to the application*


December 1, 2016


Official transcripts with Fall, 2016 grades. Please send official transcripts to or to the address listed on the Contact Us page.
A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required.
Transcripts submitted should include an English translation from either the issuing school or from an accredited translation service.


January 30, 2017


Submit an example of expository writing in English dealing with a subject that relates to music.* A recent research or analysis paper will suffice. The paper should demonstrate: 

(1) a sufficient command of the English language to pursue academic course work and ultimately to write the doctoral document in English;
(2) the ability to gather and report material effectively from various academic sources; and 
(3) original insight into the topic of the paper.

All ideas cited in the paper that do not originate with the author must be documented using an accepted bibliographic form. For those unfamiliar with the basics of academic writing, the following textbook might be useful: Richard Wingell, Writing about Music: An Introductory Guide, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2002).


December 1, 2016


Shepherd School Financial Assistance Application attached to the application*


December 1, 2016


Copies of 2 – 4 programs of performances in which you participated during undergraduate study and/or the last two years attached to the application.* A program example is here.


December 1, 2016


Composition applicants: online submission of your portfolio. Complete details can be found on the Doctor of Music Arts Composition page.


December 1, 2016


Diagnostic exams in music theory and history. Each test is 3 hours in length. You should expect to be on campus for 2 days.


On the day before or after your audition, no later than
February 17, 2017


Complete repertoire list
uploaded to the Preliminary Dropbox. Instrumentalists: Your repertoire list should include all solo, chamber, and concerto works that you have performed prior to application for the D.M.A.

 Vocalists: Your repertoire list should include all art songs, arias, chamber music, orchestral works, oratorio and opera roles that you have performed prior to application for the D.M.A.


December 1, 2016


Online submission of the preliminary recording is accessed from the Audition Page


December 1, 2016


A TOEFL is required if your previous degree is not from a U.S. institution or your native language is not English. Performance diplomas or certificates do not suffice as a degree. Rice University requires a score of at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL, at least 250 on the computer-based TOEFL, or 100 on the internet based test. For students who choose to take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) in lieu of the TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.0. Please arrange to have your scores sent to The Shepherd School of Music. Rice Institution Code: 6609.


January 3, 2017

*all application attachments must be in .pdf format

Begin your application here:
Submission of an Application and supplemental materials