The mission of the three year Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Composition is to provide students with opportunities for advanced study in jazz and studio arranging, composition and orchestration. The overriding goal is to help students find their individual voice as composer/arrangers by the continued development of high-level skills that will enable him or her to pursue a career as a professional arranger/composer. Students encounter a creative, challenging and nurturing educational experience designed to meet their individual needs and desires with a respect to tradition and a reflection of current professional trends.

The DMA in Jazz Composition is a very flexible program with an abundance of curricular choices. Along with course work typical of DMA programs including music bibliography, psychology of music and pedagogy and administration, students are able to choose from a wide range of composition, arranging and orchestration courses in both the jazz and classical departments depending on needs and interests. In addition, DMA Jazz Composition students have access to the jazz departments 24 channel Pro Tools HD2 recording facility and 8 channel Pro Tools studio/mixing lab.

DMA jazz composition students projects are recorded by award winning ensembles including the Frost School of Music: Concert Jazz Band, HMI Studio Orchestra, Studio Jazz Band, Jazz Vocal 1 and Frost Symphony Orchestra.

Alumni from this program are working throughout the music industry as: film and game composers, feature film orchestrators, trailer and library music composers, concert music composers, music producers, music directors, studio session players and educators (public school, colleges and universities).

Admission Requirements

On-Campus Programs

The application priority deadline is December 1st.  
The supplemental materials deadline is January 1st.
Please click here for special deadlines related to our Arts Presenting, Media Writing, Music Business, and Music Engineering programs 
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Step 1 - Apply

Step 2 - Submit Supplemental Materials

All supplemental materials must be submitted either via email to fsom.graddocs@miami.edu or via US Mail to PO Box 248165, Coral Gables, FL 33124.

Required for all applicants:
  • Transcripts – an official transcript from ALL post-secondary schools attended, regardless of if a degree was granted or not, must be sent directly to the Frost School of Music from the issuing institution in order to be considered official
    • Applicants with international transcripts, please click here for specific instructions about approved evaluation services
    • An official transcript is required for every school attended, even if it was only a single class
    • Current University of Miami students applying to a new degree program must provide an official University of Miami transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation - sent through CollegeNet as part of application submission. These do not need to be sent separately
  • Resume - attached to the application at the time of submission. This does not need to be sent separately
The following supplemental materials may be required for some applicants:
  • GRE Score - Please contact your program faculty for specific GRE information
  • TOEFL/IELTS Score - Please click here for more specific TOEFL/IELTS information
  • Teaching/Conducting Sample
  • Writing Sample
  • Prescreening/Audition/Interview
  • Portfolio

Not all supplemental materials are required for all degree programs. Please see the Degree Program Requirements for specific requirements.

For information regarding specific program requirements, please see Application & Program Requirements.

Applicants are responsible for tracking the status of their application materials and should do so on CaneLink.  Please allow at least two weeks for documents to be processed and marked as complete. If you are unable to access your CaneLink account, please check the CaneLink FAQ.

Step 3 - Audition/Interview/Upload Portfolio

Audition - If your program requires an audition, you will be contacted after the December 1st deadline to schedule a date. All performance programs require a prescreening and invitations to audition will be extended to those applicants approved by faculty review. Check the Audition/Portfolio Requirements page for specific requirements. Do not make travel plans until you receive a confirmation email from Frost Admissions.

Interview - If your program requires an interview, you will be contacted by department faculty to schedule a date. 

Portfolio - If your program requires a portfolio, please upload it through SlideRoom.  Check the Audition/Portfolio Requirements page for specific requirements. 

Music, Media, & Industry Application Deadlines

If you are applying to Music Business & Entertainment Industries, Arts Presenting & Live Entertainment Management, JD/MM, or JD/MA programs, the following deadlines apply:

December 1 - International applicants and priority domestic applicants
April 1 - All JD/MM and JD/MA applicants 
June 1 - Final application and supplemental materials deadline for domestic applicants 

If you are applying to Music Engineering Technology or Media Writing and Production, the following deadlines apply:

December 1 - International applicants and priority domestic applicants
February 1 - Priority portfolio deadline
April 1 - Final application and portfolio deadline - all applications/supplemental materials/portfolios are due by this date

International Applicants

  • TOEFL/IELTS - Test scores are required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received a degree from an accredited English-speaking institution. Additional information can be found under International Applicants.
  • Applicants must submit a copy of their passport before a decision can be made. The name on your passport must match the name with which you apply.

If accepted, you will be contacted by the Office of Admission to submit documentation of financial responsibility.

Documents Required 

Submit the following educational documents to an approved international credentialing evaluation service:

a) Official original diplomas and certificates in the original language, and

b) Official original transcripts in the original language (names of courses, grades, and hours of instruction) for every year of study. 

Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by professional, certified English translations.  Translations supplement but do not replace, the official documents.

Type of Evaluation Required

The Frost School of Music is requiring international applicants to their programs to complete a course-by-course evaluation with GPA. 

Where to Submit Documents for Evaluation

Josef Silny & Associates (JS&A), Inc. International Education Consultants, is the preferred evaluation service for international applicants to the University of Miami due to their competitive prices and high-quality service.  Click here for more information, including the Application for Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials.

World Education Services (WES) is the second preferred evaluation service for international applicants to the University of Miami.  Click here for more information, including the Application for Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials.

Please note that international applicants are not required to use the services of JS&A or WES exclusively, but the University of Miami requires that an international credential evaluation must be done by one of the approved evaluation vendors found on this list.

Evaluation Fee

Applicants are responsible for the evaluation fee.

Submission of Evaluation

The evaluation vendor is required to send all official copies of related documents to:

Frost School of Music
PO Box 248165
Coral Gables, FL 33124-7610

or electronically to: 

  • Please click here for additional details
  • Applicants who are applying with a current degree in progress will be required to have their final transcripts and diploma evaluated upon arrival at the Frost School. If applicants use Josef Silny for the initial evaluation, the Frost School will cover the evaluation. If applicants choose a different vendor, they will be responsible for the cost of the re-evaluation.


Students are recommended for admission to the Frost School of Music by the faculty and admission committees. Final acceptance to the Graduate program is made after all materials requested by the Frost School of Music have been received and evaluated. Scholarships and/or Assistantships are awarded based on faculty recommendation. Admission decisions are sent out starting in late March.  

Application Guidelines

  • Applications are accepted for the fall term only
  • Applications are accepted for only one degree program 
  • Graduate applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA for consideration
  • Applicants must be in-progress toward completing or have earned the appropriate prior music degree(s) from a regionally accredited institution in order to apply for a graduate level music program. If you are accepted and decide to attend the Frost School, you will be required to provide a final transcript showing a conferred degree.
  • The MM in Music Business & Entertainment Industries and the MA in Arts Presenting & Live Entertainment Management do not require prior music degrees. The MS in Music Engineering Technology is open to students who have completed an undergraduate degree in an appropriate engineering/science field.
  • Current University of Miami students applying to a new degree program must provide an official University of Miami transcript 
  • Materials submitted in support of an application cannot be released for other purposes nor returned to the applicant
  • For information on where to submit supplemental materials, please see our Contact Information

Curriculum Requirements

Performance Courses
Applied Jazz Composition and Jazz Arranging Lessons14
Creative Activities
MED 702DMA Essay Proposal1
MSJ 831Doctoral Essay11
Jazz Courses
MSJ 644Jazz Pedagogy and Administration3
MSJ 720Analysis of Jazz Styles3
MED 790Teaching Music in College1
Jazz Elective3
Allied Music Courses
MCY 728Music Bibliography3
MTC 717Analytical Techniques (or other MTC course)3
MED 662Psychology of Music I3
Musicology/Music Theory Elective3
Select 12 credit hours of Cognate/Electives12
Total Credit Hours60

*Doctoral Qualifying Exams must be complete prior to the defense of the Doctoral Essay/Dissertation proposal.

DMA in MSJC Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
MSJ JA7 Applied Jazz Arranging 1
MTC 717 Analytical Techniques 3
MCY 728 Music Bibliography 3
MTC or MCY Elective 3
 Credit Hours10
MSJ JA7 Applied Jazz Arranging 1
MSJ JC7 Applied Jazz Composition 2
Jazz Elective 3
MED 662 Psychology of Music I 3
MED 702 DMA Essay Proposal 1
 Credit Hours10
Year Two
MSJ JC7 Applied Jazz Composition 2
MSJ 720 Analysis of Jazz Styles 3
MED 790 Teaching Music in College 1
MSJ 831 Doctoral Essay 1
Cognate/Elective(s) 3
 Credit Hours10
MSJ JA7 Applied Jazz Arranging 1
MSJ JC7 Applied Jazz Composition 2
MSJ 831 Doctoral Essay 4
Cognate/Elective(s) 3
 Credit Hours10
Year Three
MSJ JC7 Applied Jazz Composition 2
MSJ 831 Doctoral Essay 2
Cognate/Elective(s) 6
 Credit Hours10
MSJ JA7 Applied Jazz Arranging 1
MSJ JC7 Applied Jazz Composition 2
MSJ 644 Jazz Pedagogy and Administration 3
MSJ 831 Doctoral Essay 4
 Credit Hours10
 Total Credit Hours60

* This is a suggested Plan of Study.  Your actual course sequence may vary depending on your previous academic experience as well as current course offerings.  Students should meet with their academic advisor each semester to determine the appropriate course selection.

*Doctoral Qualifying Exams must be complete prior to the defense of the Doctoral Essay/Dissertation proposal.


The mission of the Doctor of Musical Arts program in Jazz Composition is to facilitate advanced composers/arrangers in developing their unique voice in jazz composition and to guide them in their continuing music career. With an emphasis on compositional originality, the Jazz Composition Program intends to provide students with opportunities for advanced study in jazz composition and orchestration to develop the jazz composition skills beyond that developed in their undergraduate and master's programs.


The program objectives are to:

  • Identify, recruit, and retain high quality students who are seeking to develop their jazz and studio writing skills beyond that developed in their undergraduate and master's programs;
  • Evaluate, revise, and develop curricular offerings to continue to meet the challenges facing professional musicians today;
  • Maintain, present, and develop performance and outreach programs that will enable the jazz department to serve as a cultural resource in South Florida;
  • Provide a creative, challenging, and nurturing educational experience that respects jazz tradition, reflects current professional trends, fosters innovation, and stimulates growth among students and faculty alike.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will excel in a tool set of skills that include most of the following:
    • Compose and arrange for large jazz ensemble, orchestrate for Symphonic Orchestra,
    • Arrange for vocal choirs,
    • Arrange for solo vocalist with small or large jazz ensemble,
    • Compose in a variety of styles of music,
    • Record and mix with Pro Tools software,
    • Edit video with Final Cut Pro software,
    • Become fluent in either Sibelius or Finale notation software.
  • Students will also solidify their unique voice as a jazz composer.