Degree Requirements - Music & Human Learning - DMA MHL, Piano Pedagogy Emphasis

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Degree Requirements

Music & Human Learning

DMA • Music & Human Learning, Piano Pedagogy Emphasis


In the three-year Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Music & Human Learning, students study the fundamental principles of human learning and behavior as applied to all aspects of musical activity. Individual courses of study are uniquely designed to broaden and refine the knowledge and skills of experienced music educators, preparing them for advanced careers as teachers and scholars in the various dimensions of research and professional music education.


Administrative Contacts

Graduate Advisor | Director of Graduate Studies

Scholarships & Assistantships

Graduate Admissions Coordinator

HR Coordinator

Graduate Coordinator

Operations & Scheduling

Division Contacts

Division Head, MHL

Division Head, Keyboard

Area Counselor, MHL

Area Counselor, Piano

MHL Faculty Contacts


Piano Faculty Contacts




Degree Requirements 

The D.M.A. in Music & Human Learning, Piano Pedagogy Emphasis, requires 55-60 hours of registered coursework, two comprehensiveexaminations, a foreign language or statistics/computer science competency, and a dissertation.

Major Coursework

Major Coursework for the D.M.A. in Music & Human Learning, Piano Pedagogy Emphasis
Hours Course Number Course Title/Description
3 MUS 391  Foundations of Music Education 
6 MUS 393 

Topics in Music & Human Learning (2 semesters) 
Topic 11: Group Teaching Materials and Methods 
Topic 12: Studio Piano Goals and Procedures 


Music & Human Learning courses chosen from the following: 

MUS 383L: Seminar in Music & Human Learning 
MUS 384J: Advanced Studies in Music & Human Learning 
MUS 392: Psychology of Music 
MUS 393: Problems in Music & Human Learning 
MUS 398T: Supervised Teaching 

6 MUS x99W  Dissertation 

A reading competence in one foreign language is required. Six semester hours of upper-division or graduate level statistics or computer science may be substitute for the language requirement. 

Supporting Coursework 

Supporting Coursework for the D.M.A. in Music & Human Learning, Piano Pedagogy Emphasis
Hours Course Number Course Title/Description
6 MUS 380  Advanced Studies in History & Culture of Music (2 semesters) 

MUS 387L or 

MUS 379K

Piano Literature 

Pedagogy/performance courses selected from the following: 

PIA 290: Graduate Piano Performance 
MUS 280M: Group Piano Pedagogy 
MUS 281P, Topic 1: Graduate Piano Pedagogy I 
MUS 281P, Topic 2: Graduate Piano Pedagogy II 

6-9   Related upper-division or graduate level courses outside the School of Music (e.g., educational psychology, educational history and philosophy, educational administration, curriculum and instruction, special education, art and drama history and criticism, philosophy of art, graduate fine arts interdisciplinary studies, psychology, or history) 


Comprehensive Examinations

Common Comprehensive

The common comprehensive examination consists of score identification and music history exams. Competency in music theory is tested as part of the final examination process of each section of the MUS 388T Analytical Techniques course. They are offered once per semester and in the summer.

A student who fails any portion of the common comprehensive exam on the first try must re-take the failed portion of the exam. If a student fails a portion of the exam twice, that student must choose one of the following options:

  1. Take one or more graduate courses as determined by the musicology or theory faculty. The student must achieve a grade of B or higher in the specified course(s) to complete the requirement and officially pass.
  2. Take the relevant portion(s) of the exam a third time, with the understanding that a third failure will result in termination of the student’s degree program.

Specialized Comprehensive

The content and procedures for the specialized comprehensive exams vary across divisions. Consult with the head of your division for additional information about the specialized comprehensive exams.



Advising & Registration

For information about course registration, deadlines, adding and dropping courses and other policies, visit the Graduate School Academic & Registration Policies webpage.

Students who wish to take an independent study course need to fill out a Consent Form. Once the faculty member and Graduate Coordinator have approved your request, the bar to register for the course will be lifted.

To be eligible for fellowships, scholarships and assistantships, graduate students are required to be enrolled full-time (at least 9 hours).

All international students are also required to be enrolled full-time during each long semester, regardless of whether they receive funding from the Butler School of Music.

Transferring Coursework

A new doctoral student may petition to substitute up to twelve credits of graduate level coursework completed at another institution for degree requirements at the University of Texas, subject to approval by the Butler School Graduate Studies Committee. This process must be completed during the first semester of enrollment, before the close of the fall advising period.

Courses approved for substitution typically fall into the areas of music history, theory, literature, and pedagogy, as well as chamber music.

Under normal circumstances, transferred coursework should have been completed within the four academic years prior to the start of the doctoral work at UT. The GSC will consider on a case-by-case basis whether coursework completed more than four years prior to the start of doctoral study at the Butler School can count toward the program of study.

Coursework completed for a master's degree at the University of Texas at Austin may be included in the course work for the doctoral degree without a petition form, but is subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee chair in Music, the candidate's supervising committee, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.



Graduation Timeline

Semester-by-Semester Overview

Prior to 1st semester

  • Take the diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory.

Semester 1

  • Review degree requirements and milestones agreement form with advisor.
  • For students who completed an M.M. degree before coming to UT Austin, course transfer requests must be submitted in the first semester. If they have not been submitted by at least the advising period for spring classes (i.e. late October), the student’s registration will be barred.

Semester 5

  • Complete all required, formal coursework.
  • Successfully complete comprehensive exams.
  • Form doctoral committee and advance to candidacy (may take place later if the comprehensive exams are delayed).
  • After an individual’s candidacy is approved, all Ph.D. students must see the Graduate Coordinator to add MUS X99W to their registration.

Semester 7-8

  • Schedule and complete final oral defense. The defense may not take place in the last week of classes. The defense must be officially scheduled with the graduate school using the Request for Final Oral Exam application.
  • After the final defense, students must obtain all committee signatures on the Report of Dissertation document supplied by the graduate school and return it to their office by the deadline listed on their website, along with any required pages.
  • All students must apply to graduate by the deadline.


For a more detailed list of program requirements and timelines, see the Milestones for each Ph.D. degree program.




BSOM Graduate Handbook 2022-23


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