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Master of Arts (MA)

The master of arts in composition offers intensive study through courses and lessons in composition and orchestration while customizing your studies with a variety of supplemental course selections, culminating in a final recital.  

Composition students receive individual lessons and participate in group seminars, and both the School of Music and the Twin Cities offer a wide range of new music performance opportunities. The Contemporary Music Workshop provides ongoing interaction between composition and performance students. Composition faculty represent national and international profiles in a variety of media and seek to nurture students’ original creative interests and knowledge.

Students applying to this program should have completed the equivalent of a minimum of one year of orchestration, one semester of counterpoint, and three years of theory and analysis (tonal and post-tonal).

Program Prerequisites (do not count toward degree requirements)

  • MUS 5561 Orchestration I (3 credits) or equivalent
  • MUS 5541 Counterpoint (3 credits) or equivalent

Program Requirements Minimum 35 credits

1. Emphasis: 18 Credits

  • MUS 8550 Composition (12 credits at 3 credits per semester)
  • MUS 5562 Orchestration II (3 credits)
  • MUS 5591 Introduction to Music Information Technology (3 credits)

2. Related Fields: 14 Credits

  • Four courses: one course in analysis at the 8xxx level; one course in musicology/ethnomusicology at the 5xxx or 8xxx level; two courses in creative studies and media at the 5xxx or 8xxx level.
  • Ensemble: 2 credits

3. Supporting Program: 3 Credits: May include music or non-music courses.

4. Research Tool: Reading knowledge of a language other than English, or technological or computational skill, in consultation with advisor.

5. Plan B Project: The student, in consultation with the advisor, will design and complete one or two Plan B projects. Ideally, the project(s) are completed during the final semester of composition lessons. 

6. Recital: A minimum of 45 minutes of music created while enrolled in MA program (lessons and/or classes).

View program requirements for composition.