Examples of Possible Careers*
Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary
- 5.6% faster than the average
- 116,300 number of jobs
- $69,690 potential earnings
Music directors and composers
- 1.7% slower than the average
- 58,000 number of jobs
- $52,250 potential earnings
Source of occupation titles and labor data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.
The Ph.D. degree in Music Theory–Composition prepares composers, research scholars and college/university teachers in the areas of music theory and composition. This degree program is based on the premise that original composition of high quality requires a strong background in theory, and that significant scholarship in theory requires experience in original composition.
National Association of Schools of Music
- Master's degree from an accredited college or university
- Minimum 3.000 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000 point scale
- Official transcript(s)
- Goal Statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- Substantial term paper on a theoretical topic or a master's thesis in music theory written in English
- Minimum three scores of original compositions demonstrating a variety of genres (chamber, orchestral, piano, choral, etc.)
- English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
- Minimum 525 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
- Minimum 71 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
- Minimum 74 MELAB score
- Minimum 6.0 IELTS score
- Minimum 50 PTE score
- Minimum 100 Duolingo test score
For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of this program will be able to:
- Compile a body of completed compositions.
- Demonstrate and apply compositional techniques for creation of new works, including musical style and structure.
- Analyze music from a wide range of styles and style periods, and communicate results in written and oral formats.
- Recognize, identify and analyze representative literature from different historical periods, countries and composers.
- Communicate knowledge of composition, theory and other aspects of music in classroom and private teaching.
This examination will normally be taken when the student has substantially completed his/her coursework and has received the consent of the advisory committee to attempt the examination. The written portion of the examination will cover the major and supportive areas of study and will be followed by a comprehensive oral examination. Students who fail the candidacy examination two times will be dismissed from the doctoral program.
Students in the Ph.D. must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours of study within one calendar year in residence.