person writing on music sheet
What does it cost?

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

How long will it take?

120 credit hours

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.

The Georgia State Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Composition offers students personalized instruction and an immersive learning experience. The program features distinguished guest speakers like Eric Whitacre, George Lewis, Caroline Shaw, John Luther Adams and the Grammy Award-winning ensemble, Roomful of Teeth.

Collaborative opportunities in film scoring, including a recent web series with the School of Film, Media, and Theater (FMT), further enhance students’ practical skills. This comprehensive program not only provides exceptional faculty guidance and inspiring guest lectures but also equips students for graduate study in composition, professional composing careers and teaching positions. Successful applicants demonstrate proficiency in theory and aural skills, submit a portfolio of compositions with accompanying recordings and pass an entrance jury.

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

Program Highlights

Unique Opportunities

Composition students are given unique opportunities to showcase their work, with regular performances by highly talented students within the School of Music, creating a vibrant and inspiring environment for creative expression.

Vibrant Location

The downtown location fosters connections with local music ensembles and venues like Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Red Light Cafe, City Winery, Atlanta Opera, nearby theaters, schools and churches. Alumni, faculty and students actively participate in the thriving music scene, performing in various professional groups within the city.

Guest Artists and Ensembles

The School of Music hosts renowned educators and professional musicians who offer concerts, workshops and masterclasses for students. We also have three resident ensembles: Bent Frequency, Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta and Ensemble ATL.

College to Career

Alumni have had their music performed at national and international festivals such as the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy as well as performances at the Society of Composers, Inc., College Music Society and National Association of Composers-USA National Conferences.

Career Outlook

With a degree in music composition from Georgia State University, students unlock a world of exciting career opportunities in the realm of music creation and production.
Composer/Arranger: Equipped with a solid foundation in music theory, arranging and orchestration, graduates can pursue paths as professional composers, film and media scorers, video game music designers, and songwriters. They may find work with film studios, game development companies, advertising agencies or music production houses, creating original compositions for various projects.

Music Educator: The expertise gained while in the program may lead to teaching positions in music schools, colleges and universities, inspiring the next generation of aspiring composers.

Collaborative Projects: The degree program’s emphasis on collaboration and networking prepares students for freelance work and collaborative projects, providing a pathway to a fulfilling and diverse career in the world of music composition.

Composer with a guitar

Program Details

To be considered for admission, students applying to the School of Music at Georgia State are required to complete a separate application through the Acceptd platform. Audition requirements, important deadlines and audition dates can be found on the Music School Application page.

Formal admission into the Music Composition degree usually takes place after the sophomore year. There is a three-step procedure for formal admission into the composition concentration:

  • Step One – Prerequisites
  • Step Two – Portfolio
  • Step Three – Entrance Interview / Special Jury

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.

The Music Composition concentration at GSU offers a dynamic and immersive curriculum for aspiring composers. Students in this program receive expert guidance from renowned faculty and engage in a range of compositional techniques and practices. The curriculum encompasses courses in music theory, counterpoint, orchestration and electronic music, providing students with a strong foundation in composition. Through individual composition lessons, workshops and collaborative projects, students develop their unique artistic voice and refine their skills in writing for various instruments and ensembles. The program encourages exploration and experimentation, fostering a creative environment that embraces innovation and musical diversity. Our Music Composition program graduates emerge as skilled and imaginative composers, prepared to pursue successful careers in the contemporary music landscape or continue their studies at the graduate level.

For complete degree requirements, visit the catalog.

At Georgia State, we understand that students come to our institution from a range of financial backgrounds. We value the investment our students make in their education, and we aim to provide access to scholarships and aid opportunities that can support students through their academic journey.

Learn more about tuition rates or use Georgia State’s cost calculator to determine the investment required for your course of study.


There is an applied music fee of $350 per semester for a one-hour (8000 level) lesson and $200 per semester for a half-hour (6000 level) lesson. Additional lab fees for certain courses may apply.

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. The goals and outcomes from an undergraduate degree include:

  • 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.


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Undergraduate Admissions
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Sparks Hall
Suite 200
33 Gilmer St. SE
Atlanta, GA 30303

School of Music
75 Poplar St, 5th floor
Atlanta, GA 30303

35 Broad St., 4th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303