Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4 years
Credit Hours:

Use your musical talent to compose a career in music.
A bachelor's degree in Composition gives you the foundation you need to build a vibrant career as a composer whether you continue on to graduate study or apply your skills in the professional world.

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Why Earn a Music Composition Degree?

UNT's College of Music is internationally recognized for artistic and academic excellence. The Composition program has more than 70 students and six full-time faculty members representing a variety of compositional approaches.

Our program helps you develop your musical imagination and hone your skills in writing for instruments and voices, making professional-quality scores, collaborating with performers, and using advanced computer music and intermedia technologies.

Students can present original works at SPECTRUM student composition recitals, composition workshops and open reading sessions by the UNT orchestras and wind ensembles. Other opportunities are available with:

  • The Nova ensemble — performs contemporary music and often features visiting specialists in new music performance
  • Music Now forums — feature weekly presentations by our faculty members, students and visiting composers and performers
  • The Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts (iARTA) — brings together faculty members and students from across the arts, engineering and science to explore new media applications based on shared expertise and evolving technologies
Marketable Skills
  • Music editing, copying, arranging, transcribing
  • Organizing, promoting, managing public events
  • Entrepreneurial aptitude
  • Audio engineering/recording studio management
  • Computer technology competency

Music Composition Degree Highlights

Scholarships are available to help you pursue your degree. These scholarships are awarded based on creative potential, involvement in the program and academic achievement.

The College of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, which means the college meets or exceeds strict academic standards for excellence in education.

The Spectrum concert series features new solo and chamber works for instruments and voices, often utilizing new technologies and intermedia.

An interdisciplinary center within UNT’s Division of Composition Studies, the Center for Experimental Music & Intermedia (CEMI) provides a unique environment for the exploration of time-based arts and is internationally renowned for its long history of innovation, particularly in the realm of electroacoustic music.

The composition program at the University of North Texas is one of the largest and most diverse in the nation, with approximately 70 composition students and nine faculty members representing a variety of compositional aesthetics and approaches.

Regular guest composer residencies, visiting new music specialists, and dozens of events each year provide students with a rich educational and artistic experience.

What Can You Do With a Music Composition Degree?

Our graduates are employed as arrangers, orchestrators, music copyists, audio engineers conductors and teachers. They work for:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Film studios
  • Recording companies
  • Symphony orchestras
  • Universities

Music Composition Degree Courses You Could Take

Intermediate Composition I (1 hr)
Writing in small forms for simple media in contemporary styles.
Instrumentation (3 hrs)
Basic ranges, transpositions and terminology; transcriptions for instrumental combinations. Score study and rehearsal attendance required.
Orchestration (3 hrs)
Historical survey of orchestrational practices, with emphasis on contemporary approaches. Creation of original works or transcriptions for orchestra. Score study and rehearsal attendance required.
Music as Politics (3 hrs)
This course explores various intersections between music, activism, and politics. Previous experience with musical performance (including the ability to read music) is not required or expected. 
Music Business and Entrepreneurship (3 hrs)
Provides students with a hands-on experience in planning and launching a musical venture. Upon completion, students will have compiled a professional portfolio, created or improved their own web sites, and will have implemented a plan of action for a music business plan based on their specific interests and needs. Students may also be referred to other UNT faculty and alumni for more information and potential networking opportunities to support their ventures. Through readings, lectures, case studies, assignments, classroom and guest presentations, students become acquainted with the entrepreneurial strategies and diverse trends used to embark in professional music careers.
Music Cultures of the World (3 hrs)
Survey of music cultures of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. Music traditions are studied from a perspective that emphasizes music as an integral part of society and culture.

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