Piano Performance

Graduate Program HeadAnn Marie Stanley
Program CodePIANO
Campus(es)University Park (D.M.A.)
Degrees ConferredDoctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
The Graduate Faculty


The School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

The School of Music requires the completion of a recognized baccalaureate degree in music or music education, with a junior/senior grade-point average of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.00 scale).

Admission to the D.M.A. (major in piano performance) requires an audition in person or by video recording of an extensive memorized program; students admitted to this program must perform musically at least at the level required to complete the degree Master of Music at Penn State, and must show potential ability to perform professionally.

Additional requirements include an interview in person or by interactive video to assess language skills.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

The Doctor of Musical Arts is offered with a major in Piano Performance. Four semesters in residence are required. The degree is designed to provide students with a thorough background of preparation and experience in professional-level performance and in the literature of the instrument, while becoming sufficiently knowledgeable about the discipline of music as a whole, in order to teach at the collegiate or university level. This background knowledge would include, but not be limited to, music theory, analysis, and history. The School of Music sponsors many musical ensembles, and candidates for performance degrees are required to participate in positions of responsibility.

Sixty credits are required beyond the Master of Music; if an exceptional student is admitted before completion of a prior Master of Music degree, the student will complete a total of 30 credits in categories equivalent to those required for the M.Mus., in addition to the 60 required for the D.M.A. Minimum course requirements (post-Master's degree) include 16 credits (four semesters at 4 credits/semester) of KEYBD 580; 4 credits of advanced ensembles; 10 credits of literature and pedagogy in the major area; and 18 credits in the broader discipline of music.

A qualifying examination will follow upon two semesters completed in residence. The comprehensive examination will occur upon the completion of course work, before the final recital. The culminating experience of the D.M.A. degree is public performance: three memorized solo recitals are required (the final recital is prepared independently), and two recitals of chamber music. Although no written dissertation is required, a lecture-recital is required, with a pre-approved monograph text.


A graduate minor is available in any approved graduate major or dual-title program. The default requirements for a graduate minor are stated in Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies and GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies, depending on the type of degree the student is pursuing:

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Music-Keyboard (KEYBD) Course List


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Ann Marie Stanley
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Rachel E Copeland
Program Contact

Lacy Miller
School of Music
233 Music Building I
University Park PA 16802
(814) 865-5568

Program Website View