Graduate Studies in Composition

Prospective Composition Students

Composition students are strongly urged to contact the Director of Studies in Composition, Shafer Mahoney, and the Music Department Graduate Adviser, Poundie Burstein, to find out more about our program and admission policies. Current Composition students likewise are strongly recommended to meet at least once a year with Profs. Mahoney and Ewell to discuss their program.

Degree Requirements for Composition Students
MUS 700 (3 cr.) Bibliography
MUS 724 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music Theory I
MUS 725 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music Theory II
MUS 731 (3 cr.) Composition I
MUS 732 (3 cr.) Composition II
MUS 751 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music History I
MUS 752 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music History II
MUS 775 or 776 (3 cr.) Seminar in Ethnomusicology I or II
MUS 799 (3 cr.) Thesis in Composition
Elective(s), totaling 3 credits (preferably Orchestration)

Download the checklist of requirements for Composition (PDF)

In certain cases, substitutions for these required courses may be made in consultation with the Graduate Adviser and the Director of Studies in Composition. A maximum of 9-12 credits transferred from other institutions might be accepted toward the M.A. Degree (students might be asked to successfully pass the relevant proficiency exam before such transfer credit is allowed); see Hunter College Graduate Catalogue for details.

Composition students must take proficiency exams in Western music history, music theory, keyboard skills, dictation, and sightsinging before beginning the program, and they also must take a foreign language examination. Students whose proficiency exam test scores suggest special problem areas might be asked to take remedial undergraduate courses to remedy these weaknesses. All students must pass the proficiency exams before completing more than 18 credits towards their degree.

For Frequently Asked Questions, see FAQs – Graduate.