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    Jul 17, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Composition, BM

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Students in the undergraduate program in composition will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contemporary repertoire, composers, styles, instrumentation, and electroacoustic/computer music, which are applied through a variety of compositional techniques to produce original compositions. Students completing the program will have a clear sense of the social and cultural context of their work and their place therein. Graduates will be prepared for professional careers in the field or for graduate studies in composition.

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.

Followed by


7–12 hours (or as many as needed to complete the requirements for the degree).

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. Composition majors are expected to present at least one public performance and/or reading of an original composition each semester; this may include Spectrum programs, composer forums, concerts, reading sessions, student recitals, or performances at off-campus venues.
  8. 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 capstone project hearing.
  9. During the senior year a Senior Composition Capstone Project of original work 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 end of the term/semester in which prior to that when the senior capstone is presented. The fulfillment of this requirement is contingent upon approval of the senior capstone and portfolio by the composition faculty. Students must be enrolled in MUCP 4195 during the term/semester in which the capstone is presented.
  10. 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.
  11. Candidates must pass the Concentration Proficiency Examination in the principal instrument or voice prior to the senior capstone project hearing.
  12. Completion of the University Core Curriculum (42 hours). See “University Core Curriculum requirements.” Some courses required on degree plans may be used to fulfill requirements under Communication, Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences, American History, Government/Political Science, Creative Arts, Language, Philosophy and Culture, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Core Option (Component Area Option) categories of the University Core Curriculum. 


  • Communication (6) — ENGL 1310 and ENGL 1320 recommended.
  • Mathematics (3) — MATH 1580 or MATH 1581 recommended.
  • Life and Physical Sciences (6) — met by PHYS 1270 and an additional laboratory science course.
  • Language, Philosophy and Culture (3) — met by MUET 3030.
  • American History (6) — met by HIST 2610 and HIST 2620.
  • Government/Political Science (6) — met by PSCI 2306 and PSCI 2305.
  • Creative Arts (3) — met by MUMH 1610, MUMH 2050, MUMH 2060, MUMH 3100 or MUMH 3200.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (3).
  • Core Option/Component Area Option Courses (6) — met by MUMH 3500 and MUMH 3510.

Proficiency examinations 

  • Piano Proficiency Examination. 
  • Successful completion of the Upper Division Examination in applied lessons (MUAC and MUAM). 


Please refer to the Composition Division website for additional information concerning policies and procedures:

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