Doctoral Admissions

The Doctor of Arts degree with a major in music is designed to prepare superior musicians for careers that combine teaching, performance, and scholarship. The broadly designed program integrates depth of preparation in one of the traditional disciplines of music with a School of Music core, an area of secondary emphasis, several supervised college teaching experiences, and the dissertation. The successful graduate will be an effective and productive artist/scholar who is qualified to perform professionally, to conduct research or compose, and to teach a specific music discipline at the college or university level, as well as to take on more diverse teaching responsibilities characteristic of many faculty positions.

Doctoral Admissions Requirements

All applicants for the Doctor of Arts degree must demonstrate an aptitude for and an interest in teaching, as well as superior achievement in music performance, composition or research.

The applicant must have a master's degree from a regionally accredited school. The cumulative grade point average on the master's degree must be not less than 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.

If the proposed area of primary emphasis is music education, the applicant must have had at least three years of successful teaching experience.

All Doctor of Arts applicants will be invited to the School of Music for an interview with faculty from the proposed major area of study (usually scheduled on the same day as the audition/testing). Applicants must be interviewed prior to admission to the program, and prior to the awarding of the doctoral assistantship. Applicants should call the Graduate Coordinator to discuss possible dates for the interview/audition/testing.

Application Procedures

The application process is two-pronged for all applicants:

  1. US citizens should note the following instructions for application to the Graduate School, while international students should contact the Rinker Center for International Programs.
  2. All applicants (both US and international) should note the instructions further below for what to send directly to the School of Music.
  3. See further below if you are interested in a Graduate Assistantship award. All applicants must take placement tests in music history and theory as soon as is feasible; contact the Graduate Secretary.

To the Graduate School (U.S. Citizens)

Send the following materials to the Graduate School, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306:

  • Application for Graduate Admission. You may download and print the application or apply online (online applications are encouraged). On the paper application check "doctoral degree," circle "DA," and indicate the proposed primary emphasis. On the online application, scroll to find the appropriate doctoral degree, and select.
  • Application fee
  • One official transcript from all previously attended schools. Applicants must request the registrar of these schools to send official transcripts directly to the Graduate School, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, 47306; personal copies or photocopies of transcripts are not accepted by the Graduate School.
  • Results from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test. Visit the ETS GRE Web site to have test scores sent to the Graduate School or to register to take the computer-based or paper-based test at a local test site. Applicants may also check with a nearby college or university to obtain GRE information guides and to schedule the test. With the computer-based test, scores can be reported more quickly.

(As noted above, non-U.S. residents must apply for "international" admission through Ball State's Center for International Programs.

To the School of Music (all applicants)

Send the following materials to the Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Music, School of Music, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306:

  • A letter that indicates: your proposed primary and secondary areas of study in the doctoral program; your educational and work experiences and career objectives; your suitability for a doctoral assistantship (if the award is requested) and any additional skills that may be of value to the School of Music in teaching, performance, research, and administration.
  • Your résumé.
  • A minimum of three letters of professional reference (sent by the writer, not the applicant; emailed letters to the graduate coordinator are welcome).
  • CD/DVD and/or scores, if your proposed major is theory/composition. Research projects, course papers (or master's thesis), publications, reviews, etc., if your proposed major is music education. Performance applicants are invited to present an on‑campus audition, or when a personal audition is not possible, to send a CD/DVD. Conducting applicants must audition in person.
  • An on-campus visit and interview is strongly recommended.
  • Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy

Applicants to the choral area (DA primary and DA secondary) should also submit:

    • Video footage of the conductor in rehearsal and performance (approximately 15 minutes total).  The camera should show the conductor from the front. Please provide titles of repertoire and a brief description of the ensemble(s) conducted. Acceptable formats:  DVD, YouTube video (preferred; send link) 
    • A sample of academic writing, likely a term paper from prior coursework or a published article if available. 
    • For further information, contact Dr. Andrew Crow, Director of Choral Activities

More Information

For questions and complete information on program requirements please consult:

School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-5400
Fax: 765-285-5401
View E-mail Address