Master of Music in Composition

Department of Composition

Designed for students seeking intensive and specialized professional training in composition. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree in music or its equivalent along with a substantial composition background.


The Master of Music in Composition requires a minimum of 30 credits. Coursework to include:

  • Private composition instruction
  • Composition Seminar
  • Music Theory, Musicology, Electronic Music, and/or Music Technology
  • Non-Composition SMTD electives

Final Project

A presentation of a short orchestral work or other large ensemble work composed while in residence.

Note: The main difference between the curricula for the MM and MA programs in composition is that the non-Composition electives for the MM degree are within SMTD (e.g., performance, musicology, or music theory), while the non-Composition electives for the MA degree are in another academic unit at U-M. While the application process differs for these degrees, the admission criteria are identical, and it is possible to change from one to the other after admission.

Applicants whose undergraduate work was strong in liberal arts and who wish to continue that emphasis at the graduate level may prefer to apply for the MA. Applicants wishing the maximum number of elections in music should choose the MM program. Course elections in performance do not count toward the thirty hours required for the Master of Arts degree.

Audition & Interview Dates

For requirement details, please see the Degree Requirements and Term-by-Term Layout for Current Students.

How To Apply

Applicants must:

  • Apply to U-M via the SMTD Graduate Application by December 1
  • Submit an SMTD Artistic Profile by December 1
  • Send official transcripts from all previous schools to the SMTD

Click “Apply Now” below to read more detailed information about the application requirements and procedures.

Apply Now

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