The Bienen School of Music provides all entering Doctor of Musical Arts students full tuition funding and a work stipend. However, Northwestern University charges DMA students who have completed coursework high fees that increase dramatically with each subsequent year of continuation. These fees are much higher than both the Graduate School (TGS) continuation fee and similar fees charged by many of Bienen’s peer institutions (see chart below). The administration rationalizes these fees and their annual increases by calling them an “incentive to finish your degree.” In reality, these fees are a financial burden on DMA students that hinders progress toward degree completion. To cover these rising fees, DMA students are compelled to take out burdensome loans or seek additional employment, which only further extends the duration of continuation.

Continuation fees made it difficult to afford basic expenses like health insurance and medical care in the final years of my doctoral degree, despite working two adjunct teaching positions and one seasonal teaching job while in continuation.” — Northwestern DMA Alum

We, Northwestern University Graduate Workers (NUGW), call on Northwestern University and the Bienen School of Music to eliminate the inequitable DMA continuation fee structure.

Please read and sign the petition below!

Financial strain [required] me to take on extra jobs which took away from my time to pursue research.” — Northwestern DMA Alum