What does it cost?
Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

Music students must pass a qualifying examination specific to their concentration during their fourth semester of study. The rising junior jury determines whether the student has made adequate progress to qualify for entry to the 3000-level of applied music study. (4 years)

Where can I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Am I required to take classes at a specific location?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Spring – November 15 (All concentrations except Conducting)
  • Summer – March 1 (Music Education concentration and non-degree programs only)
  • Fall – June 1 (All concentrations)

Bachelor of Music, Concentration in Composition, B.Mu.

This concentration prepares students for graduate study in composition, careers as professional composers and teachers of composition. Successful applicants demonstrate success in undergraduate theory and aural skills classes, have a portfolio of compositions and successfully pass an entrance jury. A portfolio of compositions with accompanying recordings for review as well as completion of Theory IV and Aural Skills IV is required.

Freshman and sophomore students may enroll in Composition Seminar to develop the portfolio. Completion of Theory I and Aural Skills I is required for admission into the Composition Seminar.

The mission of the School of Music is to preserve, promote and advance humanity’s rich and expanding tradition of artistic music-making through performance, composition, education and research in accordance with the urban and global initiatives of the university. Students have the opportunity to work with an internationally acclaimed faculty of 40 full-time and 24 part-time faculty in concentrations such as performance, pedagogy, music education, conducting, composition and jazz studies.

Bachelor of Music, Concentration in Composition, B.Mu.

This concentration prepares students for graduate study in composition, careers as professional composers and teachers of composition. Successful applicants demonstrate success in undergraduate theory and aural skills classes, have a portfolio of compositions and successfully pass an entrance jury. A portfolio of compositions with accompanying recordings for review as well as completion of Theory IV and Aural Skills IV is required.

Freshman and sophomore students may enroll in Composition Seminar to develop the portfolio. Completion of Theory I and Aural Skills I is required for admission into the Composition Seminar.

The mission of the School of Music is to preserve, promote and advance humanity’s rich and expanding tradition of artistic music-making through performance, composition, education and research in accordance with the urban and global initiatives of the university. Students have the opportunity to work with an internationally acclaimed faculty of 40 full-time and 24 part-time faculty in concentrations such as performance, pedagogy, music education, conducting, composition and jazz studies.

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

Music students must pass a qualifying examination specific to their concentration during their fourth semester of study. The rising junior jury determines whether the student has made adequate progress to qualify for entry to the 3000-level of applied music study. (4 years)

Where can I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Am I required to take classes at a specific location?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines
View Admissions Requirements

  • Spring – November 15 (All concentrations except Conducting)
  • Summer – March 1 (Music Education concentration and non-degree programs only)
  • Fall – June 1 (All concentrations)

Program Highlights

  • Alumnus Carlos Simon has garnered significant recognition in the field, including a fellowship at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, the Underwood Emerging Composer Commission from the American Composers Orchestra and the prestigious Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Award.
  • Alumni have had their music performed at national and international festivals such as the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy as well as performances at Society of Composers, Inc., College Music Society, and National Association of Composers-USA National Conferences.
  • Alumni hold teaching positions in the field, including Georgetown University, Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University among others.

Careers

This concentration prepares students for graduate study in composition, careers as professional composers and as teachers of composition. Successful applicants demonstrate success in undergraduate theory and aural skills classes, have a portfolio of compositions and successfully pass an entrance jury. A portfolio of compositions with accompanying recordings for review as well as completion of Theory IV and Aural Skills IV is required.

Freshman and sophomore students may enroll in Composition Seminar to develop the portfolio. Completion of Theory I and Aural Skills I is required for admission into the Composition Seminar.

The mission of the School of Music is to preserve, promote and advance humanity’s rich and expanding tradition of artistic music-making through performance, composition, education and research in accordance with the urban and global initiatives of the university. Students have the opportunity to work with an internationally acclaimed faculty of 40 full-time and 24 part-time faculty in concentrations such as performance, pedagogy, music education, conducting, composition and jazz studies.

Program Details

A separate application to the School of Music is required. Students must submit any required pre-screening audition materials or portfolios and must complete in-person auditions to be accepted. These deadlines and audition dates can be found on the School of Music website, https://music.gsu.edu/academics/application-and-audition-information/.

In addition to the general requirements of the College of the Arts, the School of Music has the following requirements

Formal admission into the Music Composition degree usually takes place after the sophomore year. Students interested in pursuing Music Composition as a major are encouraged to enroll in MUS 4210 (Composition Seminar). This course is designed, in part, to help prepare freshmen and sophomores for the entrance jury into the program. The only prerequisites for Composition Seminar are successful completion of Theory I (MUS 1440) and Aural Skills I (MUS 1540).

There is a three-step procedure for formal admission into the composition concentration.

Step One – Prerequisites

Students must have completed the fourth semester of theory and aural skills from Georgia State or the equivalent by way of transfer credits from another institution and/or as determined by the Theory Placement Examination. Students must also have a minimum cumulative 2.5 grade point average for consideration of admission into the composition concentration.

The pre-requisite theory courses are:

  • MUS 1440 – Theory I
  • MUS 1450 – Theory II
  • MUS 2440 – Theory III
  • MUS 2450 – Theory IV
  • MUS 1540 – Aural Skills I
  • MUS 1550 – Aural Skills II
  • MUS 2540 – Aural Skills III
  • MUS 2550 – Aural Skills IV

Step Two – Portfolio

Prospective music majors in the composition concentration must turn in a portfolio consisting of a minimum of three scores. These scores must be drawn from the following:

  • solo for single line instrument
  • vocal work (solo voice(s) or chorus) with piano or small chamber accompaniment
  • small mixed or standard chamber ensemble
  • solo piano piece
  • electroacoustic work for tape alone or with acoustic instrument(s)

The faculty is interested in a diversified and balanced compositional background. Students are highly encouraged to refrain from submitting different works with the same instrumentation (for example, three piano solos, three tape-alone pieces, etc.) If a tape-only work (or works) is submitted, the applicant is expected to include acoustic compositions in the portfolio (even if the student is applying for the Computer Music / Electroacoustic Music emphasis).

The scores turned in as part of the portfolio must represent a total minimum duration of 15 minutes of music. Pieces must be fully and neatly notated either by hand or computer. Recorded performances of works are highly recommended for inclusion with the portfolio. MIDI realizations, however, are acceptable. Works for fixed media alone must provide a written overview of the work either in a graphic or narrative format in lieu of a traditional score. Recordings of works without a score or written overview in the case of fixed media pieces will not be considered.

Step Three – Entrance Interview / Special Jury

Prospective composition majors must take an entrance interview with the area faculty. Topics for discussion in this interview will include but are not be limited to, the following: compositional and theoretical background of the applicant, performance background, music the applicant is interested in and composers the applicant admires as well as composers and music the applicant is less interested in. For those students having participated in the Composition Seminar, a special barrier jury may serve as the format for the interview and examination of the portfolio.

A recommendation concerning admittance into the BM Composition Concentration will be made after the successful completion of the prerequisite theory and aural skills courses, after careful consideration of the portfolio and after the interview.

The School of Music provides unparalleled opportunities to study and work among an inspiring community of musicians in one of America’s most vibrant urban centers. Students receive exceptional training, are provided with meaningful opportunities and begin serious careers no matter what type of music drives their passion.

  • Ensuring comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various faculty approaches to music performance, music history, music theory and teaching styles.
  • Honoring the continuing traditions of music-making and pedagogy while exploring new forms and contemporary issues within the various musical fields.
  • Developing pedagogical skills and strategies through teaching assistantships for undergraduate-level courses.
  • Preparing students for a professional career in music through rigorous performance preparation, exposure to  important repertoire and attention to practical business aspects of various musical careers.

See Catalog for the curriculum.

Applicants to the School of Music are automatically considered for talent-based scholarships. Program fees include locker, laboratory, and recital expenses associated with certain programs, classes, and degree requirements. Students registering for an Applied Music course will be charged an Applied Music fee. For each 1000-level Applied Music course, a $200.00 fee will be charged. For other Applied Music courses, a $350.00 fee will be charged.

Description

Contacts

Undergraduate Director
Richard Clement
rclement@gsu.edu

Undergraduate Admissions
404-413-2500
admissions@gsu.edu
Sparks Hall, Suite 200
33 Gilmer St. SE
Atlanta, GA 30303

College of the Arts
55 Park Place, NE, Ste. 910
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For official details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.