Students huddled around a pianoUndergraduate Application Materials

In addition to a required applied area audition, students who wish to gain entrance into the composition program must also submit a portfolio of scores and recordings that represent your best work in composition to date. Your composition portfolio will be submitted through Slideroom as part of your School of Music application and should consist two or three pieces that show the range of your work (ensembles, style, length, technique, etc). Submissions should be in PDF format for scores and MP3 format for recordings.

After submitting your portfolio through Slideroom, you may be invited to do a 15-minute callback interview with the composition faculty on the afternoon of one of the audition days. For the interview, please be prepared to discuss your composition background and experience as well as your interests and goals for studying composition in college. You will also have the opportunity to ask the faculty any questions you have about the program.

Please note that the JMU composition concentration is centered on contemporary concert music. Students interested in majoring in popular music, jazz, or musical theatre are encouraged to pursue concentrations in the music industry, jazz studies, or musical theatre areas.

If you have any questions about the program or any difficulty uploading your portfolio files, please direct your questions to Dr. Jason Haney ( and Dr. Eric Guinivan (

Master of Music Application Materials

The application process for graduate music admissions involves submitting two applications: 

1) The Graduate School Application

2) School of Music Application via Slideroom

Please submit the following for your MM Application:

  • A portfolio of three works representing your strongest work to date, accompanied by corresponding sound files, if available. Please submit scores in PDF format. Live performance recordings are preferred over MIDI files. It is desirable, though no required, that the works be for different types of ensembles or instrumentation.

A video file may be submitted if a work is written for multimedia. If a piece has no written score (for example, an electronic piece), a sound file should be submitted accompanied by a written description of the pieces and its concept, in lieu of a score. Please note that JMU offers instruction in composition for acoustic instruments only at this time.

A limited number of assistantships are available, and these typically involve teaching undergraduate music theory or aural skills. A theory diagnostic exam given during the on-campus interview, in addition to the portfolio and transcript, is used to evaluate candidates for assistantships.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jason Haney at

Areas will contact applicants that pass the pre-screening round to relay the next steps in the audition process. In conjunction with auditions, invited applicants will need to complete a writing prompt, solely for the purpose of assessing language skills. Date to be announced.

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