Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Composition

PhD 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 basic professional preparation, defined as 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).

For your PhD, you will be expected to meet the following requirements, including your post-baccalaureate study from other institutions:

  • 24 credits of composition lessons
  • 18 credits in Creative Studies and Media, including music information technology and informatics
  • 12 credits in musicology/ethnomusicology and music theory
  • 4 credits of ensemble participation
  • 6 credits of elective coursework
  • Reading knowledge in 2 languages or mastery of 2 research tools
  • Completion of written and oral preliminary exam
  • Completion of thesis or final project
  • Completion of final oral examination

Requirements for the Music PhD