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Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details


The DMA program is designed for performers 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 of study and research leading to the thesis document and lecture recital/presentation.

What makes the program unique?

Piano, harpsichord and organ students at UBC can expect comprehensive musical and personal growth, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. UBC Music offers enriching experiences in chamber music, large ensembles, piano pedagogy and literature, and more.

UBC Music provides a variety of performance opportunities that inspire and create rewarding musical experiences. Early music and contemporary ensembles give further performance opportunities outside the standard repertoire. In addition, studies in the realms of collaborative piano and chamber music with singers and instrumentalists provides an important component to students’ training at UBC.

Our faculty are internationally renowned performing artists with active concert and recording careers who are committed to the artistic growth of their students.


Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

Program Instructions

An audition, either in-person or via video, is required. Applicants who audition via video may be requested to participate in an online video interview with UBC Music faculty members as part of the application process.

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: 90









IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5









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 piano performance

Course Requirements

i. Outstanding performing ability
ii. M.Mus. degree in piano performance, or equivalent
iii. Knowledge of the music for keyboard instruments from its origin to the twentieth century

Document Requirements

Submit: a written statement of professional goals |comprehensive repertoire list of works studied while working towards the M.Mus. degree. Works performed publicly must be indicated by an asterisk (*) | a term paper (not less than ten pages in length) | a written statement of intent that outlines your future plans, professional goals, and your reasons for applying to this program at UBC. Applicants who audition via video may be requested to participate in an online video interview with UBC Music faculty members as part of the application process.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application


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.


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

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano (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, Professor Mark Anderson ( or the private studio teacher 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

Program Components

The thesis will consist of two full-length solo recitals, one chamber recital, and a lecture recital that usually supports the research presented in the written thesis document.

Research Facilities

From the state-of-the-art Chan Centre for Performing Arts, one of North America's premier musical venues, to the historic Old Auditorium and intimate Roy Barnett Recital Hall, you will have the opportunity to train and grow as a professional musician in front of diverse audiences.

Tuition & Financial Support


FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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 Estimator

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

Career Outcomes

9 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 2 graduates are seeking employment; for 0 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 7 graduates:

Sample Employers in Higher Education
Case Western Reserve University
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Kingsway Conservatory of Music
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
General Manager
Concert Pianist, Music Teacher
Piano Instructor
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on
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 as solo artists, in professional chamber ensembles, and commercial music fields around the world. For alumni stories, please explore:

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

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


New Registrations10222
Total Enrolment109111010

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 5 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 4.44 years and the maximum time is 7.39 years with an average of 6.33 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs.

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Nikola Markovic
Between East and West - The Voice of Miloje Milojevic

Research Supervisors


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

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano (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, Professor Mark Anderson ( or the private studio teacher of your choice with questions about the program.

Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.


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
2023 Nikolai Medtner was a Russian composer whose large contribution to the art song genre has gone mostly unnoticed. Dr. Stanyer looks at how Medtner set complex Russian and German poetry to music, and how he communicated text and meaning through music. This research will be beneficial to future performers of these wonderful art songs to aid in interpretation.
2022 Dr. Logan's research centered around Music Performance Anxiety, a highly prevalent condition with severe consequences affecting both professional and student musicians. She investigated whether an intervention could help university music students to manage MPA. Her dissertation demonstrated the urgency to begin implementing intervention programs.
2021 Dr. Gonzalez examined the use of the sostenuto pedal in the piano works of the Italian pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni. He argues that Busoni expanded the pedalling technique of the piano by finding new ways to sustain and release tones.
2021 Dr. Hopkins researched historical and structural interactions between politics and classical music. He proposed three foundational ways for classical pianists to integrate political speech and action into their studies and careers, and also commissioned two new piano compositions that each address current political issues.
2020 Dr. Furtado found that, despite its being a relatively obscure musical genre, the Brazilian tango is a body of work well worthy of further study. Through historical and musical analyses, he explores the Brazilian tango as a vehicle for pianists to develop technical and musical skills, and as an exciting option for concert programming.
2019 Dr. Setiawan investigated how Hummel adapted Mozart's music to suit the early nineteenth-century audience. She found that while Hummel modified select passages, Hummel still showed respect for Mozart's original materials. For pianists, Hummel's arrangement can serve as an example that mediates between Mozart and a new audience in a balanced way.
2019 Dr. Salvosa studied Alberto Jonas' Master School and its role in early twentieth-century piano playing and virtuosity. He discovered that the Master School was the most comprehensive work written in the early twentieth century on piano playing, which still stands as an invaluable resource tool for pianists of today.

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information


The piano program covers music research, a seminar in performance practices, song interpretation, piano chamber ensembles, and music performance.

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

The city and the sea

Take a break from studying with opportunities at your fingertips. Whether you want to settle down in a café or take your research outdoors, we have a place for you.