Earn your DMA in wind conducting

The DMA in wind conducting requires 72 post-baccalaureate semester hours, a minimum of 39 graduate credits must be earned at the University of Iowa  

How to apply to the program

Applicants should contact Mark Heidel immediately upon deciding to apply to the graduate wind conducting program

  1. Applicants will be assigned a wind band composition to analyze.
  2. Applicants are required to submit a video of a rehearsal and/or performance (frontal view).
  3. Finalists will have a Zoom interview/conducting lesson with faculty.

Requirements and program planning

Download course checklist

Requirements and program planning

  • Introduction to Graduate Study in Music (MUS:5300), 2 semester hours
  •  Seminar in Music Research (MUS:7140 ​​​​​​​), 2 semester hours 

      Review of Undergraduate Theory (MUS:5200): Required of all graduate students who do not pass the advisory examination in music theory. It must be taken before completing 9 semester hours from the following list of theory courses. This course does not count toward graduate degree requirements.

      Students exempt from MUS:5200 through the advisory examination in music theory must complete 6 semester hours from the following:

      • Counterpoint Before 1600 (MUS:4200), 3 semester hours
      • Counterpoint After 1600 (MUS:4201), 3 semester hours
      • Jazz Theory (MUS:4730), 3 semester hours
      • Tonal Analysis (MUS:5235), 3 semester hours
      • Non-Tonal Analysis (MUS:5236), 3 semester hours
      • Analysis of Popular Music (MUS:5237), 3 semester hours
      • Special Topics in Theory and Analysis (MUS:5240), 3 semester hours
      • History of Ideas in Music (MUS:6210), 3 semester hours
      • Theoretical Approaches to Music (MUS:6211), 3 semester hours
      • Theory Pedagogy (MUS:6215), 3 semester hours
      • Advanced Tonal Theory and Analysis (MUS:6250), 3 semester hours
      • Advanced Non-Tonal Theory and Analysis (MUS:6251), 3 semester hours
      • Advanced Theory and Analysis of Popular Music (MUS:6252), 3 semester hours

      Nine semester hours, up to 6 semester hours, can be counted from the master's degree, upon written approval of the associate director for graduate studies. Students: select from the courses listed below. Only one 4000-level course, taken at the University of Iowa or equivalent transferred in from another institution, may count toward the 9 semester hours required. 

      • Medieval and Renaissance Music (MUS:4325), 3 semester hours
      • Baroque Music (MUS:4330), 3 semester hours
      • 18th-Century Music (MUS:4335), 3 semester hours
      • 19th-Century Music (MUS:4340), 3 semester hours
      • 20th-Century Music (MUS:4345), 3 semester hours
      • American Music (MUS:4355), 3 semester hours
      • Studies in Film and Music (MUS:4610), 3 semester hours
      • Topics in Musicology (MUS:6310), 3 semester hours
      • Historical Approaches to Music (MUS:6312), 3 semester hours
      • Topics in Ethnomusicology (MUS:6314), 3 semester hours
      • Foundations of Ethnomusicology (MUS:6315), 3 semester hours
      • Renaissance Music Notations (MUS:6326), 3 semester hours
      • Music 1945-Present (MUS:6350), 3 semester hours
      • Music Editing (MUS:6375), 3 semester hours

      Major Ensemble (four semesters required), 1 semester hour each

      27-31 semester hours of these courses are required.  

      • Advanced Wind Conducting (MUS:6589), four semesters required, 2 semesters hours each, 8 semester hours 
      • Seminar in Advanced Band Literature/Band History (MUS:6590), four semesters required, 2 semester hours each, 8 semester hours

      Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from the following courses:  

      • Applied Lessons (MUS:xxxx), 1 semester hour 
      • Arranging for Band (MUS:3665 ), 2 semester hours 
      • Marching Band Techniques (MUS:3666), 2 semester hours
      • Advanced Choral Conducting III (MUS:6583 ), 3 semester hours 
      • Advanced Choral Conducting IV  (MUS:6584 ), 3 semester hours
      • Score Reading (MUS:6585), 1 semester hours 
      • Advanced Orchestral Literature/Professional Development (MUS:658), 2 semester hours

      Additional requirements for the degree:

      • DMA Recital (MUS:7900), three recitals required, six semester hours
      • DMA Essay/Thesis (MUS:7970), 2 semester hour minimum; six semester hours maximum
        • If a student started coursework prior to fall 2019, the range is 4-8 semester hours. 

      French or German proficiency (other languages must be approved by the band area). Students can satisfy the proficiency requirement in one of the following ways: 

      1. Completion of the fourth semester of the language at the undergraduate level with at least a grade of B, within the last 10 years.
      2. Testing out of the fourth semester of the language at the University of Iowa. Placement exams in French, German, and Italian are offered each semester by the UI Examination Service, 300 Jefferson Bldg.
      3. Completion of graduate language courses 009:205 and 206 French for Reading and Research or 013:128 German Reading for Graduate Students (prerequisite 013:012, 013, or 014).  


      • Secondary Area of Music: Minimum of 6 semester hours (attach the Secondary Area contract).

      The Secondary Area of Music option of the DMA program is an opportunity for students to individualize their course of study according to their strengths, personal interests, and career aspirations. The Secondary Area will enhance their viability in the job market and broaden the student’s professional profile and competence. 

      The student, the major advisor, and a professor from the secondary area will define this individualized component of the DMA course of study by the end of the first year of study. A contract listing the required coursework will include a minimum of six semester hours. These hours may not include any courses required to fulfill other degree requirements.

      The student’s Comprehensive Examination committee will include a secondary area advisor, who will provide questions pertaining to the secondary area.    Possible secondary areas include conducting, music education, jazz studies, theory, music history, or a secondary applied area.  Secondary areas may not be specialized areas of the primary performance/pedagogy or conducting area.  

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      Add a minor

      Any student admitted to a graduate degree program in the School of Music may add a theory pedagogy minor by completing the required courses.

      Conducting faculty

      Portrait of Eric Bush

      Eric W. Bush

      Associate Professor of Instruction
      Associate Director of Bands
      Director of the Hawkeye Marching Band
      Ensembles Area Head
      Portrait of Richard Mark Heidel

      Richard Mark Heidel

      Director of Bands
      Director of Iowa Summer Music Camps
      Nick Miller

      Nick Miller

      Director of Marching Percussion
      Assistant Director of Bands
      Associate Director of Hawkeye Marching Band
      Portrait of David Puderbaugh

      David Puderbaugh

      Assistant Director of Choral Activities
      Director of Graduate Studies
      Portrait of Timothy Stalter

      Timothy Stalter

      Director of Choral Activities

      Practice and perform

      Need to book a music room, request an accompanist, check out audition information, rent a locker, or use a recording studio? Visit the Music Callboard for all scheduling and policy information.