Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
In addition to the School of Music application process: Consideration for admission will be based on (1) a portfolio of compositions and (2) a recorded performance audition on an orchestral or band instrument, piano, voice or guitar. Prospective composition majors are considered for fall admission only. All materials must be submitted by December 31. Admission decisions will be communicated in early March.
The portfolio of compositions should consist of:
- Three scores of original compositions, for a variety of performance media, if possible: For example, music for solo instruments, for chamber ensembles, for orchestra, band, chorus, and/or electronic media. At least one of these scores should be in the form of a photocopy of the applicant’s handwritten manuscript.
- CD Recordings of as many of the portfolio compositions as possible. Please submit — on a separate sheet of paper — a CD track list, including titles, dates of composition, performance media, and durations. It is strongly recommended that, if possible, at least one of the recordings be of a performance by traditional acoustic instruments — that is, not a MIDI realization.
- A complete list of your compositions, including dates of composition, performance media, and durations, along with a list of any awards or honors in composition that you may have received.
- A research paper that you have written in high school or college (music subject preferred). The paper should demonstrate the ability to think logically and communicate clearly and creatively.
The recorded performance audition should be submitted via CD recording(s) of 10 – 20 minutes of music composed by someone other than the applicant (preferably more than one composition; excerpts are acceptable). It should reflect and demonstrate, to the extent possible, the breadth and depth of the general musical performance ability of the applicant; the repertoire should be chosen by the applicant with that consideration in mind. This part of the application materials is especially helpful in the case of applicants who have little previous instruction or experience in composition.
Make sure to include a track list separate from the CD that includes title and composer for each track. Please note that individual performance instruction is not available to composition majors unless space is available in the studio of the performance instructor, and the instructor admits the student to the studio.
Materials will be submitted online (via Dropbox) rather than through the mail.
If you have any questions about submitting your composition materials, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator at email@example.com.
Master of Music (M.M.)
Please see the graduate admissions page for detailed information on application requirements. When filling out the Graduate School application, be sure to apply for MM: Music Performance.
Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
Please see the graduate admissions page for detailed information on application requirements. When filling out the Graduate School application, be sure to apply for DMA: Music Performance.
- See D.M.A. Composition worksheet for details. This is the document your advisor will use to keep track of your degree progress.
- For detailed information on exams, recitals, etc., please visit the graduate admissions page. Be sure to check out the School of Music Graduate Student Handbook.
Doctoral Minor – Required for all Doctoral programs
The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the D.M.A or Ph.D degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, or the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.
Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. conducting student who minors in ethnomusicology or a Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).
Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.
Study with leading composers
The first composer to win the Berlin Prize, Laura Schwendinger’s music has been championed by artists and she has been honored with a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a rare two time Koussevitzky foundation at the Library of Congress commission, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a Radcliffe Institute at Harvard fellowship, a Copland House prize, Harvard Musical Association commission for the Arditti Quartet, and many more.
Many composition alumni have received honors such as Guggenheim Fellowships, Rome Prizes, and awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and have gone on to important careers in composition and academia.