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    Sep 24, 2023  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Composition, BM

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A Bachelor of Music with a major in composition gives you the foundation you need to build a vibrant career as a composer whether you continue on to graduate study or apply your skills in the professional world.

Click here to view the general “Bachelor of Music ” requirements within the “College of Music ” section.

Degree requirements

The following requirements must be satisfied for a Bachelor of Music with a major in composition.

Hours required and general/college requirements

A minimum of 129 hours, of which 42 must be advanced, and fulfillment of degree requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree as specified in the “University Core Curriculum ” in the Academics section of this catalog and the College of Music  requirements.

Other course requirements


5–10 hours.

Supplemental information

  1. Any music major may begin the undergraduate composition program by enrolling in MUCP 1180  - MUCP 1190  (Beginning Composition I and II), which is to be taken either concurrently with or following successful completion of MUTH 1400  - MUTH 1410  or MUTH 1500  - MUTH 1510 . Continuation in the program is contingent upon meeting the following requirements:
    1. Completion of the following with no grade lower than a B
    2. Completion of the following with no grade lower than a B
    3. Successful completion of the Freshman Barrier Examination (see Composition Student Handbook);
    4. Acceptance at the concentration level on an instrument or voice;
    5. Continuous enrollment in a music laboratory;
    6. Regular attendance at composition division events; and
    7. Consent of the composition faculty.
  2. Only those students who have fulfilled the following requirements by the end of the term/semester they are enrolled in MUCP 2190 will be allowed to major in composition:
    1. Completion of following with no grade lower than B
    2. Successful completion of Upper Divisional Examination;
    3. Successful completion of Piano Proficiency Examination;
    4. Continuous enrollment in concentration instrument/voice with no grade lower than B;
    5. Continuous enrollment in a music laboratory;
    6. Regular attendance at composition division events; and
    7. Composition faculty recommendation of continuation in the program following jury review.
  3. Composition majors must meet with the degree program advisor each term/semester until the first 60 hours of course work are completed. It is highly recommended that students continue to meet with the advisor on a regular basis throughout the remainder of the degree program.
  4. All students enrolled in composition lessons are expected to attend division events, including concerts, reading sessions, seminars and weekly Music Now departmentals. Failure to attend these events may result in a lower composition lesson grade. This requirement is additional to any other attendance and assigned work expectations of the course. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the composition instructor.
  5. Composition majors must achieve a grade of B or better in all required theory and composition courses in order to remain in the program.
  6. Students may enroll in no more than one composition lesson each term/semester.
  7. Students may take composition lessons during the summer, but must enroll in both sessions in order for the credits to be counted toward the degree. Because senior recitals are scheduled only during long terms/semesters, MUCP 4190 is not offered during the summer.
  8. Composition majors are expected to present at least two public performances and/or readings of original compositions each year; these may include SPECTRUM programs, CEMI Centerpieces, composers forums, concerts, reading sessions, student recitals, or any off-campus venues.
  9. Composition degree candidates are to maintain a portfolio that includes completed works, recordings and a record of works and performances. This portfolio is submitted to the composition faculty for evaluation at the senior recital hearing.
  10. During the senior year a major recital of original works will be presented, the content of which will be determined in consultation with the composition instructor and approved by the composition faculty in a hearing at the beginning of the term/semester in which the senior recital is presented. Fulfillment of this requirement is contingent upon approval of the senior recital and portfolio by the composition faculty. Students must be enrolled in MUCP 4195  during the term/semester in which the recital is presented.
  11. Candidates must participate in a music laboratory each long term/semester they are enrolled, and must complete a minimum of eight terms/semesters of laboratory requirements, four of which must be in band, orchestra or choir. Any deviation from this plan must be approved by the associate dean for academic affairs.
  12. Candidates must pass the Concentration Proficiency Examination in the principal instrument or voice prior to the senior recital hearing.


Please refer to the composition division web site for additional information concerning policies and procedures:

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