A graduate degree in Choral Conducting from UC Santa Barbara will vibrantly engage the student in the study and application of innovative rehearsal techniques, conducting pedagogy, repertoire exploration, performance practice, and skill-building for 21st-century musicians.  Students will gain knowledge, skill, and ability, whether the goal is to teach in academia, hone skills for leadership of pre-professional or church choirs, or explore entrepreneurial opportunities in the field.  Interactive podium time can include work with the Chamber Choir, Lumina Choir, the Singing Gauchos, and other ensembles, providing students with regular, real-world experience. 

Significant podium time and performance opportunities with one or more of the ensembles are a prominent feature of the Conducting Program.


Degrees Offered


  • Master of Music (MM)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
  • Combined Master of Music/Doctor of Musical Arts (MM/DMA)

The MM-only time-to-degree is two years. The DMA-only time-to-degree is three years (for applicants who have already completed a master's degree at an accredited university). If accepted into the MM/DMA combined program, the time to complete both degrees is four years (once your coursework and qualifying exams are complete, you receive the MM). Learn more about the MM and the DMA Choral Conducting emphases in the Music Department, Graduate Program section of UCSB's General Catalog. Find more information on applying to the graduate program on the Graduate Degrees page.


Brent Wilson, Director of Choral Studies

Notable Alumni

Helena von Rueden | Assistant Professor of Fine Arts/Director of Choral Activities, Hampden-Sydney College (Virginia)

Related Ensembles

Chamber Choir

Lumina Choir

Singing Gauchos

Gospel Choir

Middle East Ensemble Chorus