UNT Home | Graduate Studies | College of Music | Graduate Degree Program in Composition Studies


Masterís and Doctoral Programs

Graduate opportunities

The graduate Composition program at the University of North Texas is one of the largest and most diverse in the nation. Our curriculum provides both artistic flexibility and academic rigor, allowing you to refine your craft, develop your own personal voice and prepare for a career as a professional composer.

We offer course work leading to a Master of Arts degree in Music with a Composition concentration or a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Music with a Composition concentration. In addition to the general composition track, students can choose specialized tracks in computer music media and interdisciplinary arts.

Our faculty members represent a wide range of compositional aesthetics and approaches. They have been recognized for their acoustic, electroacoustic and intermedia work through grants, fellowships, commissions and performances. Educational and artistic experiences are enriched through regular guest residencies, including composers and other new music specialists, as well as dozens of other events during the academic year.

Alumni of the program have achieved success in the United States and around the world. They enjoy careers as university professors, film composers and arts administrators. More information on alumni accomplishments is available online.

The College of Music is one of the nationís most comprehensive music schools and is recognized internationally for its artistic and academic excellence. The college is a vital component to the regionís arts community, presenting more than 1,000 formal and informal concerts annually. Its facilities include more than 300 practice rooms, seven performance halls, numerous classrooms and rehearsal rooms, computer labs and a distributive learning center.

Composition opportunities and activities

Composition students are expected to take advantage of the many performance opportunities available at UNT. These include the Spectrum concert series that features new instrumental works, vocal works and works utilizing new technologies by faculty and student performers. There are also regular opportunities for students to have new works read by large ensembles, including the UNT Symphony Orchestra and Nova Ensemble.

The Composers Forum student organization brings new student works to the publicís attention, coordinating performances of UNT composersí works on and off campus. The weekly Music Now forum encourages the exchange of ideas and information about the creation, performance and understanding of recent music.

Students are also encouraged to submit their works for performances at conferences and festivals. The composition studies division has access to a national network of professional composers through the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) and an institutional membership to the American Composers Forum (ACF).

The interdisciplinary Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (CEMI), provides a unique environment to explore time-based arts and is internationally renowned for its long history of innovation, particularly in electroacoustic music. Students, faculty members, guests and collaborators from a variety of disciplines engage in research, creation and performances in CEMIís six production studios and the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater.

Technology and the arts come together in the Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts (iARTA) research cluster. Faculty members across the arts, engineering and science disciplines explore new media applications based on shared expertise and evolving technologies. Experimental process and inquiry energize research and lead to new frontiers. The use of new technologies in art often acts as a laboratory for subsequent industrial and commercial applications.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

Admission to the Composition program is through the Toulouse Graduate School and the College of Music. The graduate schoolís admission requirements and procedures are outlined in the catalog. The college requires:

  • scores of three representative works
  • recordings of three representative works
  • current rťsumť or curriculum vitae
  • transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • three letters of recommendation
  • writing sample
  • personal statement that addresses compositional aesthetics and influences, long-range professional goals, and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree at UNT

Degree requirements

Master of Arts degree

General or computer music media track

  • 15 semester hours of core music courses
  • 3 semester hours of a masterís composition course
  • 9 semester hours of music courses in a specific degree track
  • 9 semester hours of music-related electives

Interdisciplinary track

  • 15 semester hours of core music courses
  • 12 semester hours of interdisciplinary courses
  • 9 semester hours of music-related electives

Doctor of Philosophy degree

General track

  • 36 semester hours of core music courses
  • 9 semester hours of a doctoral composition course
  • 15 semester hours of composition courses
  • 6 semester hours of music theory courses
  • comprehensive oral exam
  • dissertation defense

Computer music media track

  • 36 semester hours of core music courses
  • 3 semester hours of a doctoral composition course
  • 15 semester hours of computer music courses
  • 6 semester hours of music theory courses
  • 6 semester hours of composition or performance courses
  • comprehensive oral exam
  • dissertation defense

Financial assistance

The composition studies division provides scholarships, teaching assistantships and teaching fellowships to assist with graduate education expenses. For more information on scholarships and graduate assistantships, visit our admissions site. Information about other financial assistance opportunities is at the Toulouse Graduate School site or at the Financial Aid website.