Music Composition, MM

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Work with renowned faculty with musical specialties and interests in a wide variety of genres, ranging from chamber to orchestral and from acoustic to electronic.

The MM program in composition focuses on the development of skills necessary to pursue a career in music composition. Composers learn through experiential opportunities, including composing for fellow student performers leading to performances of their works in venues on campus and off. Project-based experiences including working with the Visiting Quartet Residency program and creating new works for student string quartets.

Students develop advanced skills such as orchestration, electronic studio techniques, film and video scoring, and jazz composition in the degree program. Collaboration with music scholars, theorists, performers, educators and other composers under the guidance of renowned composition faculty provides students with a broad and well-rounded foundation for advanced careers in music.

At A Glance

Music Composition, MM

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an institution in another country that is officially recognized by that country.

Applicants must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of their first bachelor's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. School of Music, Dance and Theatre application (including a resume and personal statement):
  3. official transcripts
  4. prescreening portfolio
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency:

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The School of Music, Dance and Theatre does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances. In order to meet English proficiency requirements, students must have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT), or an IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5, or a Pearson Test of English score of at least 60.

Although a bachelor's degree in music is not required to be eligible for admission, applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree in music are required to complete the deficiency courses listed below, which are not a part of the coursework for this graduate degree in music. These courses (or the equivalents) may be taken at ASU, another accredited university or a community college before or after admission to this program, but they must be completed prior to commencement of graduate-level course requirements in music history and music theory.

MHL 140 Music as Culture
MHL 341 Music History I
MHL 342 Music History II
MTC 125 Basic Music Theory
MTC 221 Music Theory: 18th Century
MTC 222 Music Theory: 19th Century
MTC 223 Music Theory: 20th Century

Applicants should see the program website for application deadlines. After receipt of complete application materials (including recommendation letters, transcripts and English proficiency) and review of prescreening materials, an applicant may be invited for an interview. Information on the interview may be found at

Information about this program

Visit the School of Music website for full details.