The Peabody Conservatory encourages applicants for the Master of Music to consider its new Pathways to DMA program. As part of the larger Johns Hopkins Pathways to PhD initiative, the Pathways to DMA aims to expand opportunities for applicants from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the DMA.

Each year beginning with fall 2023 enrollment, Peabody will provide grant funding for two students to begin in the MM with a defined and supported pathway for matriculation to the DMA. During the MM, Pathways students will receive mentoring and networking opportunities and produce a final capstone project. Successful completion of Pathways program requirements will position students for enrollment in the DMA.

Students in the Pathways to DMA program will receive full tuition and a stipend for four years–two years in the MM and two years in the residency portion of the DMA.

Students interested in the Pathways program must indicate their interest in the application for admission to the MM and will be asked to submit an essay specific to the Pathways program as part of their application. Applicants will also interview during audition week with the Pathways to DMA committee and members of the DMA committee. The Pathways to DMA program is only applicable to those majors for which an MM and DMA are both offered.

How to Apply

  1. Indicate on the application for admission that you are interested in the Pathways to DMA program by checking the box to indicate your interest and submitting the required essay. This program is designed to enable select students to enter the MM program with a defined and supported pathway for matriculation to the DMA upon completion of the MM.
  2. Submit an essay explaining your interest in the Pathways to DMA program and describe how your goals and preparation qualify you for the program and how your background and experience will enhance Peabody’s mission to strengthen diversity for the educational benefit of Peabody students, the University community, and our increasingly diverse society.
  3. During Audition Week applicants will be invited to an additional interview with select staff and members of the DMA Committee.

Please note that Low-Residency MM applicants are not eligible for this program.


Students admitted to the MM as part of the Pathways to DMA program will receive grant funding in two parts: (1) full tuition, and (2) stipend.

Total award for Academic Year 2023-24 is estimated to be approximately $80,000. Students selected for the Pathways to DMA program will receive four years of funding – two years in the MM and two years in the residency portion of the DMA.

Program Details

The Pathways to DMA program is fully contained in the four semesters of study required for the MM degree. Like all Peabody MM students, Pathways fellows will have a major teacher and an advisor to guide the work that leads to the MM degree. In addition, Pathways fellows will pair with a mentor teacher and will aid that teacher in preparation for the individual instruction that is an essential modality for teaching music. In addition to observing lessons and preparation between lessons, fellows would also review masterclasses and respond to different kinds of public teaching.

Like all Peabody MM students, Pathways fellows will have a capstone attached to the MM degree: a recital for most performers and conductors or a portfolio for composers. However, the fellows will go a step further with a requirement to fully produce performance: booking the hall and performers and arranging all details, which will be assessed by faculty and pulse-polling of the audience. Pathways fellows will also be coached in an application to participate in our partnership to present music on other local college campuses.

To prepare Pathways fellows for the rigors of DMA study, their academic work in the program will be reviewed at the end of each semester with a discreet re-examination of assessment artifacts: papers submitted, exams completed, and live presentations. The academic review will assess papers and assignments against higher benchmarks that model the degree of accomplishment required in the next level of study. The co-curricular enhancements of the Pathways fellowship will comprise a portfolio for each fellow in the program.

At the end of the third semester, each fellow would have a summative assessment with a recommendation for placement in the DMA program. Assuming successful completion of each of the elements of teaching, performance, and academic review, a Pathways fellow would be admitted to the DMA program without application or further audition. In the event a fellow could not progress to the DMA, the fellow would be given an opportunity to apply/audition for a certificate program. However, all fellows in good academic standing will complete the MM.

Admission to the DMA degree is the official end of the Pathways fellowship, but during enrollment in the DMA, all students are monitored for continued success. Moreover, students who successfully complete the Pathways program will be invited to continue teaching and will serve as co-mentors for subsequent cohorts.