Graduate Degrees and Areas of Study

Rice University awards the Master of Music, Artist Diploma in Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in select areas of study.

Master of Music

The Master of Music is a two-year degree. The curriculum emphasizes intensive work with world-class faculty through lessons, coachings, and research, and offers an array of performance opportunities in large ensembles, chamber groups and solo settings. The rich academic resources within The Shepherd School of Music and throughout Rice University enhance our students’ applied training.   All MM performance majors are required to complete four credit hours of Music Career and Skills Enhancement Courses. We believe in educating informed musicians, whose artistry, creativity and intelligence will have a lasting impact on the classical music world.

*We will not be accepting application for Fall 2018 in the area(s) marked with an asterisk. Please contact the Office of Music Admissions if you have questions.

Artist Diploma

The Artist Diploma in Music is a two-year, post-master's degree program that is intended for exceptional young musicians who possess both extraordinary musical talent and the potential to flourish in the highly competitive contemporary musical world, i.e. those aiming towards a career focused on performance at the highest levels.  Courses in advanced performance, performance style or performance practice, special projects, ensemble, recitals, and music career and skills enhancement comprise the curriculum.

A unique feature of the Artist Diploma is the master teacher committee. Each student will receive instruction not only from a principal teacher, but also from two or three additional faculty members. This committee will present the student with an abundance of feedback from multiple professional perspectives. Performance opportunities for instrumentalists include the Shepherd School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, chamber music, and our newly formed Shepherd School faculty/student ensemble.  Vocalists will be cast in leading roles in opera productions, do intensive work in scenes programs, and receive advanced training in acting, movement, language and diction.  

Artist Diploma Degree Plan for the following areas of study.

Double Bass

Orchestral Conducting*

*We will not be accepting application for Fall 2018 in the area(s) marked with an asterisk. Please contact the Office of Music Admissions if you have questions.

Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Rice University is designed for those gifted, experienced musicians who desire careers combining performance or composition with an academic appointment. Therefore, our extensive application and audition process results in our admitting a small number of highly talented, accomplished individuals who have the ability and the ambition to be successful both as teachers and as performers or composers. Our degree includes superlative studio teaching, a wide array of performance opportunities, and innovative, challenging academic courses. Under the direction of dedicated and imaginative faculty mentors, our doctoral students receive classroom and studio teaching training and experience. The curriculum encourages and supports both independent and collaborative work with students and faculty from both the Shepherd School and from Rice University.  

Features of the DMA include:  
• Full tuition and generous stipends for three years of coursework

• Team-taught seminars exclusively for doctoral students, designed to prepare them to be leaders in the music world

• Training in classroom pedagogy as well as in studio teaching, leading to actual teaching responsibilities

• Flexibility within the degree structure to enable each student to pursue independent projects and interests