Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition (DMA)

Overview

The D.M.A. program is designed for composers who have already reached a high level of proficiency and artistry in their fields and who may wish to teach at the university level. This program offers an opportunity to bring creative and performance achievement to a high level while enriching individual backgrounds with academic studies, including specialized training in music history and theory, and other areas. Graduate student composers work closely with faculty in composition and music theory, and are expected to compose major works for public performance in addition to fulfilling course requirements.

What makes the program unique?

Considered one of the finest programs of its kind in Canada, the UBC Composition Division provides an array of opportunities for the creation, exploration and performance of contemporary music.In addition to a variety of course offerings, the division sponsors numerous composition events, including regularly scheduled Student Composer Concerts, seminars, workshops and collaborations with local professional ensembles, performances by the Contemporary Players ensemble, and annual readings sessions by the UBC Symphony Orchestra and the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The Composition Division also frequently hosts world-renowned guest composers and performing ensembles from across Canada and abroad. The School houses a state-of-the-art electronic music studio for students interested in creating works which involve sound synthesis, digital audio editing, or interactive computer music.

Graduate student composers have occasions to hear their works in regularly scheduled concerts as well as in their degree recitals. The UBC Symphony performs or reads students' orchestra pieces annually and the choirs are all active in presenting student works. The computer music studio is of considerable scope and is open to students on a 24-hour basis. Visit the compositions division page for more information about the program. https://music.ubc.ca/composition

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Program Enquiries

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Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Student Ambassadors. In this open session the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver and the application process.

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Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Thursday, 29 October 2020
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Student Ambassadors. In this open session the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver and the application process.

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Admission Information & Requirements

Program Instructions

Supply a brief statement of intent that outlines your professional goals as a composer and your reasons for applying to this program at UBC. Submit a term paper (not less than ten pages in length). Submit hard-copy scores of at least five (5) works for varied media. Submit corresponding audio/video of these works.

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 93

Reading

23

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

23

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

M.Mus degree in composition, or acceptable equivalent

Course Requirements

i. Outstanding ability in composition ii. M.Mus. degree in composition, or acceptable equivalent

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 21 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 21 December 2020

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
10 September 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2021
Referee Deadline: 21 December 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2021
Referee Deadline: 21 December 2021

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition (DMA)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Applicants may contact the division chair, Dr. Keith Hamel (keith.hamel@ubc.ca) or the composition professor of your choice with questions about the program.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Research Information

Research Facilities

The 1200-seat, world-class Chan Centre for Performing Arts, one of North America's premier musical venues, the historic Old Auditorium and the intimate Roy Barnett Recital Hall form the core of UBC Music’s performing venues. The UBC Computer Music Studio is a teaching studio for the use of students in the electroacoustic music, computer music, and film scoring courses. The ICICS Computer Music Studio is available for students interested in pursuing research in Digital Audio or Interactive Computer Music.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

Students admitted to the School of Music’s graduate programs are automatically considered for scholarships under the GSI (Graduate Support Initiative) program. These competitive awards typically range from $1,000 to 12,000 and are guaranteed for two to four years.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

9 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 0 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 8 graduates:

Sample Employers in Higher Education
'Gh. Dima' Academy of Music
University of Alberta
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Cypress Choral Music Inc.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Composer (2)
Artistic Director: Jubilate Vocal Ensemble
Music Theory Instructor
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Many of our graduates hold prestigious appointments at universities, colleges, and public schools. Graduates also work in residence with major symphony orchestras and professional chamber ensembles, and contribute to commercial music internationally. For alumni stories, please explore https://music.ubc.ca/blog/

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition (DMA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications810997
Offers31112
New registrations2 112
Total enrolment65878
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2018 Dr. Koenig explored the process of creating a musical representation of the emotions experienced from the perspective of a child who has become lost. The various emotional stages were transformed into musical ideas, motifs, and phrases for full orchestra. The subsequent work was able to express this narrative without specific program notes.
2018 Dr. Kobayashi studied musical composition, theory, and technology. In the themes of embodied virtuality and musical affordance, he developed interactive performance systems and generative programs. His thesis piece Forms, for string quartet and computer, represents the dynamic integrity of phenomena that form the universe harmoniously.
2018 Dr. Kuo completed her DMA degree in music composition. She wrote a large orchestral work, titled Urban Suite, and several pieces of chamber music during her study. Her thesis, Fantasies, is a sixteen-minute suite for a chamber ensemble.

Further Program Information

Specialization

In addition to a variety of course offerings, the division sponsors numerous composition events, including regularly scheduled Student Composer Concerts, seminars, workshops and collaborations with local professional ensembles, performances by the Contemporary Players ensemble, and annual readings sessions by the UBC Symphony Orchestra and the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDDMA-FA
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
10 September 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2021
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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