MA in Composition

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in Composition
Two-year residency requirement during which all students must complete their degree.
(a minimum of 44 semester course credits)

MUS 210 Selected Issues in Contemporary Performance and Improvisation (4)

MUS 212 Seminar in 20th-Century Literature and Theory (4) or
MUS 237 Seminar in Music Literature and Criticism (4)

MUS 224 Contemporary Instrumentation and Orchestration (4) or
MUS 266 Advanced Orchestration Seminar (4)

MUS 248 Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis (4)

MUS 250 Thesis (4), which consists of the preparation and performance of a major work during the Signal Flow Graduate Thesis Festival and a written thesis. Students meet regularly during their final semester with their faculty thesis director, and also consult with a faculty thesis reader on the development of their thesis.

MUS 256 Tonal Analysis (4)

MUS 291 Composition Seminar (4)* or
MUS 205 Selected Issues in Composition (4)

And two courses (4 credits total) of either:

MUS 225 Individual Instruction in Performance and Composition (2)

MUS 260 Practicum (2)

And select 12 semester course credits in electives.

*MUS 291 may be taken a second time to fulfill an elective credit.

The following undergraduate courses are open to graduate students as well:

MUS 101 20th-Century Styles and Techniques I: 1900–1945 (3)

MUS 102 20th-Century Styles and Techniques II: 1945 to the Present (3)

MUS 116 Women, Gender, and Musical Creativity (3)

MUS 117 History of European Music to 1750 (3)

MUS 118 Classic and Romantic Music (3)

MUS 120 American Music (3)

MUS 121 Film Music: Mood and Meaning (3)

MUS 141 The Music of India (3)

MUS 147 Introduction to Electronic Music (4)

MUS 154 Introduction to Computer Music (4)

MUS 155 Advanced Chromatic Harmony and Post-Tonal Analysis (4)

MUS 159 (259) Seminar in Musical Performance, Composition, and Improvisation (4)

MUS 161 (261) Sound Techniques of Recording (4)

MUS 163 The World of Opera (3)

MUS 180 Special Topics in Music: Deep Listening (2)

First-Year Review: All Candidates

Students in all graduate music programs must demonstrate professional standards of achievement in their chosen field. At the end of the first year of residence (two semesters of full-time enrollment or its equivalent), students must submit a portfolio representing the work accomplished during the period of enrollment. Only after completion of a successful faculty review will the student be permitted to proceed with the second year of study.

Inquiries concerning any of these requirements should be addressed to the Music Department at 510.430.2171.

About the Program


» Requirements

Course List

Course Schedule

Graduate Catalog

Academic Calendar


Contact Information
P: 510.430.3309

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2171.

Last Updated: 6/9/17