Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting, Choral

Application deadlines are specific to degree programs. See our Graduate Admissions page for a list of all deadlines.

Designed for students seeking to become highly qualified professional conductors through intensive study with a major artist-teacher, this program is a rigorous three-year course of study that offers an exceptional musical education that includes conducting and rehearsal techniques, score study and surveys of historically important and diverse, contemporary repertoire. The faculty encourage collaboration with an emphasis on personal and musical growth. The choral conducting studio is limited in size, so students receive many opportunities to conduct choirs of varying size and repertoire focus, opera, and other instrumental ensembles from within the school. The University of Michigan is a leader in commissioning new works from a diverse range of composers while also maintaining a rigorous focus on the historical canon. The DMA culminates with conducting public performances with repertoire equivalent to three concerts in lieu of a dissertation.


Completion of the program normally requires six terms of full-time study beyond the master’s degree. Students are expected to attain candidacy effective at the beginning of the sixth term. The minimum requirements include the following:

  • Foreign Language
  • Musicology & Music Theory
  • Performance


SMTD offers a wide variety of courses across all disciplines.

Silent Advisor

Degree requirements and term-by-term layout for current students.


Nearly all DMA students receive full-tuition fellowships. Most also receive health benefits and a stipend attached to a Graduate Student Assistantship, which can vary in proportion to the appointment fraction and the duties associated with it. In addition to the funding packages offered by the SMTD, Rackham students are also eligible to apply for a wide range of fellowships to fund research, travel, and performance.

Residency Requirement

At least one academic year of full-time residence is required.


Jason Fettig

Professor of Music and Director of Bands
Bands, Conducting

Jayce Ogren

Assistant Professor of Music and Associate Director of Orchestras

John Pasquale

Donald R. Shepherd Clinical Professor of Conducting; Director of Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands; Associate Director of Bands; Faculty Associate, African Studies Center, LSA International Institute; and Chief Marshal to the University

Eugene Rogers

Associate Professor of Music and Director of University Choirs

Ellen Rowe

Chair of Conducting and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Music

Courtney Snyder

Associate Professor of Music and Associate Director of Bands

Performance Opportunities

From large ensembles in celebrated concert halls to chamber groups in intimate recital spaces, performance opportunities across all disciplines abound, with nearly 900 student performances each academic year. Whether your focus is on early, classical, or contemporary music, whether your passion is for jazz, electronic, or world music, there is an ensemble—or in many cases, multiple ensembles—to suit your interests.


Chamber Choir

Eugene Rogers, conductor
Led by the Director of Choral Activities, the Chamber Choir performs 6-8 concerts annually in both Hill Auditorium and in special settings, such as the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), and is often featured at high profile U-M special events. The Chamber Choir has been featured on GRAMMY-winning and GRAMMY-nominated albums; sung with the Detroit and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestras; performed at conventions of the ACDA and NCCO; and has toured internationally. They perform, standard, classical, and contemporary choral works and often perform commissioned works in world premieres.


University Choir

Mark Stover, conductor
The University Choir, led by the Assistant Director of Choral Activities, performs 6 times each year in Hill Auditorium and often collaborates with the University Symphony Orchestra singing celebrated symphonic chorales and other masterworks. A large SATB choir, the ensemble is open to all but demands extensive rehearsals and performances.


Orpheus Singers

Eugene Rogers, director
A seminar-style choir, conducted and led by the choral conducting studio, this is the smallest SMTD choir and typically consists of about 25 music-majors. The repertoire is primarily Classical and Baroque.


Mens' Glee Club

Mark Stover, conductor
Founded in 1859, the Men’s Glee Club is one of the oldest collegiate chorus in the United States and the oldest continually-run student organization on the Michigan campus. Long acclaimed as one of the finest male choruses in the world, the Glee Club, comprising graduate and undergraduate students from across the university, has become renowned for its wide repertoire, including world premieres. The Friars, an eight-member subset of the Glee Club, serve as an extension of Club as they maintain an ambitious performing schedule.


Womens' Glee Club

Julie Skadsem, conductor
The Women’s Glee Club (WGC) is a choral ensemble representing undergraduate and graduate women from diverse fields across the U-M campus. Composed primarily of non-music majors, WGC gives female students the opportunity to express their love of music through performance, community outreach and travel.

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow