All potential composition majors must be first admitted to the School of Music through an instrumental or vocal audition.

To formally declare the composition concentration requires the following, and is typically (but not always) done no earlier than the end of the freshman year:

1. Completion of MUS 141-142 with at least a B- (current enrollment in MUS 142 is permissible, as long as your average grade at the time of application is at least a B-) or Credit by examination in MUS 141-142.

2. Submission of a portfolio of at least two works showing a potential for excellence in composition. These works must be written for different media (e.g. a solo piano piece and a string quartet) and for the concert hall, not film or other commercial genres.

Incoming freshmen who submit a portfolio upon entrance but do not receive credit by examination in MUS 141-142 may be provisionally accepted as composition majors, and must maintain grades of B- or better in all theory/aural skills courses during their freshman year in order to become formal composition majors at the end of the freshman year.

Any music major may take the composition seminar (MUS 352) for 2 credits. Only accepted or provisional composition majors may take the composition seminar for 3 credits, which entitles them to private lessons with one of the major instructors. Composition majors will rotate instructors at the end of each academic year.

16 credits of MUS 352 are required for the B.M. degree with a concentration in composition, though it is recommended that composition majors enroll in MUS 352 each semester until graduation, even after the 16 credit requirement has been met.

Download the Composition Major Application Form.

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