Theory and Composition (Composition), BMUS

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Are you interested in composing music? Would you like to learn a range of techniques for writing music in diverse genres? Join our program and learn with renowned composers and theorists.

Students pursuing the BMus in theory and composition must choose a concentration in either theory or composition. Students who choose the composition concentration earn one degree in composition.

In the concentration in composition, students focus on developing varied techniques for writing music for assorted genres and media including chamber, orchestra, electronic music, and film and video scoring. The School of Music, Dance and Theatre offers students the opportunity to study with composers who have established national and international reputations.

This program may be used as the first step toward a master's degree or doctorate in music composition or another graduate academic music degree.

At A Glance

Theory and Composition (Composition), BMUS

Required Courses

A major map outlines a major's critical requirements, courses, and optimal course sequence and aids students in remaining on track to graduation.

While circumstances vary between students and their paths towards graduation (utilizing placement testing to fulfill required math or foreign language courses, fulfilling multiple General Studies requirements with one course, etc.), completing the courses listed in a major map fulfills all of the requirements for graduation.

Application requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

Affording college

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Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Admission requirements

Important: Applicants must submit an ASU application for undergraduate admission in addition to a separate School of Music, Dance and Theatre application. Students should visit for details. Admission to the School of Music, Dance and Theatre is based on a composition interview. Interviews take place in November (spring admission) and in February (fall admission) of each year. Applicants may review audition information at

Admission to the music program is highly selective and based on an interview process. Students are admitted as music audition students and must successfully complete the composition interview before enrolling in music major courses. Upon admission to both ASU and the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, the applicant's major will be changed to music. In the event a student is admitted to ASU but not to the School of Music, Dance and Theatre or misses the audition deadline, the student will remain as a music audition major and will need to successfully pass the interview milestone in the first semester in order to gain admission into the program.

Application Deadlines: Students should visit

Spring admission: The deadline to apply for admission to this program is October 1.

Fall admission: The deadline to apply for admission to this program is December 1.

Career outlook

Graduates are prepared to work in various professional or entrepreneurial capacities, including:

  • arranging
  • composing
  • performing in community and professional ensembles in a variety of styles and traditions
  • serving as an artist-in-residence in school programs
  • teaching in a private studio and community program
  • teaching theory and composition
  • working in music-related fields such as media production, music business, publishing and marketing

Many graduates pursue a master's degree or a doctorate in music or in another professional field.

Example careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Career*growth*median salary
Music Directors and Composers1.7%$52,250
Musicians and Singers0.9%*

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

  • Bright Outlook
  • Green Occupation