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

How long will it take?

Minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed in 4 semesters (2 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 admission: November 15  (All concentrations except Conducting)
  • Summer admission: March 1 (Music Education and non-degree programs only)
  • Fall admission: February 1 (Conducting concentrations)
  • June 1 (All concentrations except Conducting) 

Master of Music, Concentration in Composition, M. Mu.

Graduate Director
Dr. Lara Saville Dahl
laradahl@gsu.edu

404-413-5965 

This concentration prepares students for careers as professional composers, teachers of composition and preparation for doctoral programs in composition. Successful applicants have a portfolio of compositions representing a variety of media and techniques. Portfolio/recording review required.

The mission of the Georgia State 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.

The graduate programs in the School of Music offer unparalleled opportunities in one of America’s most vibrant urban centers. The school enrolls about 90 students in Master of Music degree programs, Artist Certificate programs, and Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in music education.

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.

Master of Music, Concentration in Composition, M. Mu.

Graduate Director
Dr. Lara Saville Dahl
laradahl@gsu.edu

This concentration prepares students for careers as professional composers, teachers of composition and preparation for doctoral programs in composition. Successful applicants have a portfolio of compositions representing a variety of media and techniques. Portfolio/recording review required.

The mission of the Georgia State 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.

The graduate programs in the School of Music offer unparalleled opportunities in one of America’s most vibrant urban centers. The school enrolls about 90 students in Master of Music degree programs, Artist Certificate programs, and Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in music education.

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?

Minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed in 4 semesters (2 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 admission: November 15  (All concentrations except Conducting)
  • Summer admission: March 1 (Music Education and non-degree programs only)
  • Fall admission: February 1 (Conducting concentrations)
  • June 1 (All concentrations except Conducting) 

Program Highlights

  • Graduate Assistantships Available (Full Tuition plus Stipend)
  • The MM in Music Composition prepares students for continued graduate work at the doctoral level. Students from the Composition Program have gone on to such institutions at the University of Michigan, New York University, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music among others.
  • Graduates from the MM have received high level commissions from such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra among others.
  • Alumnus Carlos Simon has garnered significant recognition in the field including a fellowship at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, winner of the Underwood Emerging Composer Commission from the American Composers Orchestra, and the prestigious Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Award.
  • Alumni have had their music performed and 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 within the field including Georgetown University, Georgia State University, and Kennesaw State University among others.

Careers

The graduate programs at the School of Music prepare students for competitive careers in performance, conducting, composition and music education.

Highlights include one-on-one lessons and mentorship with an internationally acclaimed faculty, 100% job placement in the field of music education, successful placement in prestigious doctoral programs, the opportunity to network with high-profile artists, scholars and businesses, practical experience from conferences to international music festival participation, artist residencies, as well as assistantships to develop practical skills and garner pedagogical experience.

The graduate program leads students to career paths such as solo performance artists, composers, placement in prestigious professional classical, jazz and operatic ensembles, private, K-12, college music educators, scholars and entrepreneurs, among others.

Program Details

A separate application to the School of Music is also 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:

  1. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree or concentration in music, or the equivalent.
  2. Applicants must submit a portfolio of original music scores and recordings of composed works.
  3. Applicants are required to take placement examinations in music history and music theory before registering for coursework. Those applicants whose examination scores reveal deficiencies will be required to take appropriate additional coursework, which will not be applied to the graduate degree.

The Georgia State 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 a graduate 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.
  • Required Courses:
    • APCP 8001 Applied Composition I (3)
    • APCP 8002 Applied Composition II (3)
    • APCP 8003 Applied Composition III (3)
    • APCP 8004 Applied Composition IV (3)
    • MUS 6210 Composition Seminar (2) (four semesters)
    • MUS 6460 Analysis of Post-Tonal Music (3)
    • MUS 8000 Introduction to Graduate Studies (2)
    • MUS 8870 Twentieth Century Music (3)
    • MUS 8890 Composition Recital (3)
    • MUS 8910 Final Project in Composition (2)
  • Up to (3) credit hours of electives
  • A piano proficiency examination to be taken after the second semester of enrollment or 20 hours of study.
  • Comprehensive examination

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.

Description

Contacts

Graduate Director

Dr. Lara Saville Dahl

laradahl@gsu.edu

Administrative Specialist, Graduate
Ms. Ella Chamis
echamis@gsu.edu
404-413-5955 

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

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