The College of Arts and Architecture


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Program Goals

This program is designed for students who wish to improve their compositional skills while broadening their theoretical background.  On completion of this degree, students will have written at least four large works and had them performed.  They also will have written at least one paper on a theoretical subject, as well as acquired training in electronic and computer music.  At this point, they will be prepared to make intelligent decisions about their future.  Choices may include a career in academia (through entrance into a doctoral program in composition and/or theory), composing, or a related field such as publishing, recording, or arts management.

Program Description

The Master of Music in composition/theory requires 36 credits of course work.  At least 18 credits of the 36 credits must be 500-level courses and at least 30 credits must be taken at University Park.  Knowledge of the history and theory of Western art music must be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of competency examinations or completion of specified remedial courses in addition to the curricular requirements listed here.  An oral examination in the major area must be passed near the completion of the program.

The 36-credit requirement is as follows:


Composition (Music 535)©   12 credits
Introduction to Music Reference and Research Materials (Music 500)  2
*Theory 8-9
Electronic Music Composition (Music 458)© 3
Music History or Literature 3
Free Electives (in consultation with adviser) 4-5
Degree Composition Project (Music 891J) 1
Master’s Paper (Theory) (Music 594) 2


*Choose from:

Analytical Techniques (Music 531) 3
Schenkerian Analysis (Music 532) 3
Pedagogy of Undergraduate Theory and History (Music 533) 2
Advanced Tonal Analysis (Music 431) 2
Advanced Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music (Music 433) 3
+ Integrative Seminar in Music Theory and History (Music 573) 3
Score Reading (Music 435) 1

 © In order to maintain satisfactory academic standing, students are expected to receive grades of B or better in these "core" courses. See Expectations for Satisfactory Progress Toward the Degree.

 +Only one; a second may be taken as an elective.

Note: Unsatisfactory performance on the competency examinations in music theory and history taken at the beginning of the program may result in the necessity of additional course work.  (click here for more information)

Note: If theory courses total 8 credits, then free electives must total at least 5 credits.  If theory courses total 9 credits, then free electives must total at least 4 credits.  This will ensure that the student accumulates the required minimum of 36 credits in the degree program.

This page last revised September 2013