Assistantships and Funding

Every student admitted to Sacred Music at Notre Dame is placed in an assistantship that provides the student with valuable experience as well as full tuition, health insurance, and a generous stipend (MSM students receive $12,500 for two years, DMA students receive $19,000 for three years). All students (MSM and DMA) are expected to work approximately 13 hours per week to receive their stipends and benefits.

Sacred Music Student Playing Organ At A Local Church

Our assistantships include:

  • Organist, Choir Director, or both in local church
  • Assistant Organist or Choir Assistant in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame
  • Vocalists with the Concordia and Repertory Choirs
  • Co-Directors of the Notre Dame Children’s Choir (ages 5-18)
  • Teachers with the Organ Training Program
  • Fellowship with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra (DMA conductors in their third year of study)

Usually, the student remains in the same placement over the entire course of study. Please note that assistantships and stipends are for the academic year only; work (and pay) typically begins on August 15 and ends on May 15.

A unique strength of our program is the emphasis on work with children's choirs through training with the Notre Dame Children's Choir (NDCC) and Organ Training Program. MSM students serve as choir directors of the NDCC, a free community choral music education program that serves over 300 children from the greater Notre Dame region. The program is a hybrid of the American children’s community choir and the English Cathedral Choir.

MSM students who work with the NDCC learn how to lead rehearsals, develop vocal tone, and teach music literacy to children between the ages of 5 and 18 years of age.

MSM students travel, tour, and record with the ensembles of the Notre Dame Children’s Choir. Recent tours include trips to the United Kingdom, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, and concerts throughout Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Kansas. The Choir has recorded with ten-time Grammy-winning Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and the choir’s recording O Emmanuel debuted at 1# on Billboard’s Chart of Traditional Classical Music.

As stated in the Graduate School Academic Regulations: all degree-seeking students are expected to maintain full-time status and to devote full time to graduate study. Aside from their assistantships, no degree candidate may hold a job, on or off campus, without the express permission of his or her department and the Graduate School.