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Music Composition

Bachelor of Music

The B.M. in Music Composition prepares students for careers in composition, independent teaching, or graduate study in music. The degree conforms to standards in composition set by the National Association of Schools of Music, including the development of a composition from concept to finished product; the competency to work with both electronic and acoustic media; working with a variety of forms, styles, and notations; and applying principles of scoring appropriate to particular compositions. Students will achieve fluency in the use of tools needed by composers, including keyboard skills, spoken and written language, conducting and rehearsal skills, analytical techniques, and applicable technologies. Students will have opportunities to hear fully realized performances of their original compositions in workshop settings and public performances, culminating in a capstone Senior Recital.

All students are auditioned before admission to the program.

A grade C or higher must be earned in each music course counted toward the major.

Mid-Level Review

All music majors must complete a Mid-Level Review prior to the junior year. The Review is normally conducted during the student's fourth semester of study, with adjustments made for transfer credits, participation in national and international exchange programs, and official leaves of absence. The Mid-Level Review consists of an application (information form, transcript, and reflective essay) and an assessment meeting between the candidate and the Faculty Review Panel. Application forms and additional information are available from the Music Department Office.

The purpose of the Mid-Level Review is threefold: 1) to assess the student's academic progress, 2) to assess the student's artistic progress, and 3) to advise the student on academic, artistic, and career goals. Music Education and Music Performance majors whose academic record and/or artistic growth are not at an appropriate level based on state and national standards cannot continue in either of those two Bachelor of Music degree programs, but may continue to be a music major in the Bachelor of Arts in Music program.

Language Requirement

The minimal requirement for all students with a major in Music is one course in a foreign language, normally French, Spanish, or German.

Integrative Studies Requirements

40 credits minimum

Major Requirements

78 credits (four credits will be applied to Integrative Studies requirement)

Core Courses

75 credits

Select one of the following World Music courses (4 credits):

  • IAMU 112 Latin American Music Survey
  • IAMU 114 Music Cultures of the World
  • IIMU 241 Afro-Brazilian Music & Culture
  • IHMU 305 History of Jewish Music
  • IAMU 312 Latin American Music, Society, and Culture

MU 100 Music Workshop (6 semesters, 0 credits)
MUA 101, MUA 102, MUA 201, MUA 202, MUA 301, MUA 302 Applied Music (1 credit each, 6 credits total)
MUC 301, MUC 302, MUC 401, and MUC 402 Applied Composition (2 credits each, 8 credits total)
MUC 480 Senior Recital: Composition
MU 118, MU 119, MU 218, MU 219 Functional Piano I-IV (1 credit each, 4 credits total) Pianists/organists may substitute MU 181 Collaborative Piano Skills for MU 118 and MU 119 for a total 4 credits.
MU 151, MU 152, MU 251, MU 252 Music Theory I-IV (2 credits each, 8 credits total) Students who do not pass the theory placement test given at the time of their audition are advised to seek a private tutor to eliminate this deficiency before starting the sequence of theory classes.
MU 161, MU 162, MU 261, MU 262 Aural Skills I-IV (1 credit each, 4 credits total)
MU 171 Chamber Ensemble (1 credit each, 3 credits total)
MU 172, MU 173, MU 174, MU 175, MU 177, or MU 178 Ensembles (1 credit each, 4 credits total) Pianists/organists may substitute up to two semesters of MU 171 (Piano Ensemble) for these ensembles.
MU 211 Intro to Music Technology (4 credits)
MU 213, MU 214 Composition Class I and II (2 credits each, 4 credits total)
MU 222 Musical Improvisation (1 credit)
MU 281 Aural Skills Proficiency Assessment Exam (0 credit)
MU 282 Mid-Level Review Assessment Exam(0 credit)
MU 283 Piano Proficiency Assessment Exam (0 credit)
MU 310 Western Music Before 1700
MU 312 Western Music After 1700
MU 315, MU 316 Conducting I, II (2 credits each, 4 credits total)
MU 495 Seminar (4 credits each, must be repeated for a total of 16 credits total)


2 credits

Select music courses or an allied discipline recommended by National Association of Schools of Music, such as Computer Science, Physics, Film Studies, or Journalism, to reach 120 credits.

Degree Requirements

120 credits
40 credits at the upper-level