May 19, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [Archived Catalog]

Music Composition - MM

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Degree Title and Name:  Master of Music in Music Composition

Program Name and Number:  Music Composition – MM5185

Department/Unit:  School of Music

Delivery Mode:  Athens Campus

Term(s) of Entry:  Fall, Spring

Program Overview:  The graduate degree program in music composition at Ohio University offers specialized training in music composition, complemented by a well-balanced, advanced education in music history and theory, as well as orchestration and electronic/computer music.

Music composition at Ohio University is taught in private or semiprivate lessons with their major professor. Three semesters of private study are required for the master’s degree in composition, but most students take advantage of the opportunity to enroll in composition as an elective whenever their schedules permit. The degree culminates with a composition thesis–a large-scale musical work–and a composition recital.

Students have the opportunity to hear their music read or performed by School of Music ensembles such as the orchestra, wind symphony, or concert band. Composition department recitals provide valuable opportunities for young composers to hear their chamber music performed.

Ohio University also has strong programs in film, video, theater, and dance. Student composers are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities outside the School of Music by composing music for student films, videos, theater productions, and dance concerts. The School of Music has a first-rate electronic and computer music program centered around a multi-station lab and a surround sound studio equipped with a dual processor Apple G5 Powermac. Each workstation in the lab is equipped with a new 20” screen G5 iMac, a MIDI keyboard, and a variety of commercial and custom software and is available for student use about 80 hours a week. The surround sound studio is available for advanced student projects. 

Expected time to degree with full-time study is two years.

Program Learning Outcomes:  In successfully pursuing an Ohio University Master of Music degree, students will

  1. Develop advanced capacities to work independently and make effective artistic and intellectual judgments and professional decisions in the area of specialization.
  2. Demonstrate professional competence in the area of specialization before peers and faculty.
  3. Produce a final project or equivalent reviewed by more than one faculty member.

Link to Program:

Link to Program Handbook:

Graduation Requirements:  Minimum semester hours required: 30 hours

  • Qualifying exam: No
  • Placement Exam (beginning of studies): Yes
  • Thesis requirement: Yes (thesis defense with committee approval required)
  • Comprehensive oral exam (near conclusion of study): Yes
  • Composition Recital: Yes

Required Coursework

  • MUS 5090 - Music Composition (6 hours)
  • MUS 6200 - Theory/Hist Seminar (2 hours)
  • Music theory and history electives (9 hours)
  • Electronic Music Electives (2 hours)
  • MUS 5140 - Adv. Orchestration (2 hours)
  • MUS 6950 - Thesis (4 hours)
  • MUS 6970 - Recital (1 hours)
  • Music Electives (4 hours)

Culminating Experience: This degree culminates with a composition thesis (a large scale musical work) and a composition recital.

Admission Requirements:

  • A portfolio of compositions
  • An artist statement that includes how this degree fits into your education and career goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional you are acquainted with your work.

International Students: This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.  

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