Administrative Unit: Mead Witter School of Music
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans: M.A., M.M., DMA, Ph.D.
Degrees Offered: M.A. in Music; M.M. in Music: Education; M.M. in Music: Performance; DMA in Music: Performance; Ph.D. in Music
Minors and Certificates: Doctoral Minor in Music
Specializations: Music History, Ethnomusicology, and Music Theory

The mission of the Wead Mitter School of Music is:

  • to provide a rich, integrated program of undergraduate and graduate education that promotes the highest levels of professional, creative, and scholarly development while challenging students to achieve their greatest potential;
  • to cultivate an environment that inspires creativity, stimulates intellectual curiosity, and fosters critical thinking; and
  • to serve the university community, the public, and the profession through performance, composition, scholarship, music education, outreach, and engagement.

Degrees and Majors

The master of music is offered in music: performance with concentrations in brass; composition; percussion; piano performance; collaborative piano; piano performance and pedagogy; organ; strings; string development; guitar; voice; opera; woodwinds; multiple woodwinds; choral conducting; orchestral conducting; wind conducting.

The master of music is also offered in music: education. This degree is appropriate for those who wish to emphasize music content. Those who wish to explore music education within the context of education at large should consider the curriculum and instruction M.S. program in the School of Education.

The master of arts in music is offered with concentrations in ethnomusicology, music history, and music theory.

A double master's degree with the School of Library and Information Studies is also offered.

The DMA (doctor of musical arts) and the Ph.D. are the highest degrees conferred by the Mead Witter School of Music. The DMA is granted for evidence of general proficiency and distinctive attainment in a specialized field of performance. The student's ability in independent investigation is demonstrated through a series of recitals and in a final project presenting original research or creative scholarship.

The DMA in music: performance is offered with concentrations in: brass; composition; percussion; piano performance; collaborative piano; piano performance and pedagogy; organ; strings (includes guitar); string development; voice; opera; woodwinds; multiple woodwinds; choral conducting; orchestral conducting; wind conducting.

The Ph.D. in music, a research degree, is offered in the areas of ethnomusicology, historical musicology, and music theory.

Master's degrees require a minimum of 30 credits; Ph.D. and DMA degrees require significant work beyond the master's degree, including the extensive independent work described above. Each degree track varies slightly and may impose additional requirements. Contact the Mead Witter School of Music graduate office for complete explanations of the degrees offered at the master's or doctoral levels:


The Mead Witter School of Music enriches students' educational experience by hosting guest artists and scholars for master classes, recitals, colloquia, seminars, and festivals. Mead Witter School of Music organizations and ensembles perform more than 350 recitals and concerts every year, making a significant contribution to the cultural life of the university and the wider Madison community.

The Mosse Humanities Building, built in 1969, houses most of the music classrooms, rehearsal rooms, faculty studios, and 111 practice rooms. Most recitals and concerts take place in one of three performance spaces: Mills Concert Hall, Morphy Recital Hall, and Eastman Organ Recital Hall. The school's extensive collection of instruments, both common and unusual, is available to both faculty and students. Music Hall with its clock tower, built in 1879, is a campus landmark. Renovated in 1985, it is the home of the opera program. The new Hamel Music Center is scheduled for opening in Fall, 2018 and will include a concert hall, a recital hall, and a large ensemble rehearsal space.

Memorial Library is the home of the Mills Music Library, which offers extensive research and circulating collections, attractive study space, and personal staff assistance with research. Music materials on campus number over half a million, ranging from scores and sheet music to archival collections and historic audio recordings. Through Mills Music Library and other UW–Madison libraries, students have access to a wide range of online research databases as well as millions of articles, books, and streaming media. All genres of music are represented, with notably strong collections in Americana and ethnic music. Nationally known special collections include the Tams–Witmark Collection, a treasury of early American musical theater materials, and the Wisconsin Music Archives.

The Mead Witter School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the national accreditation body for schools of music, and was reaccredited in 2014.

Faculty: Professors Cook (director), Aley, Bartley, Blasius, Bowles, Calderon, Chisholm, Crook, Davis, Dembski, DiSanza, Dill, Doing, Earp, Fischer, Fulmer, Hyer, Jensen, Johnson, Jutt, Karp, Koza, Leckrone, Perry, Potter, Radano, Rowe, Schaffer, Schwendinger, Smith, Stowe, Swack, B. Taylor, C. Taylor, Thimmig, Vardi; Associate Professors Dobbs, Hetzler, Johnson, Teeple, Vallon; Assistant Professors Grabois, Park Altino, Wallmann