Composition students may pursue either the Ph.D. or DMA degree. They participate closely with students from other concentrations in seminars in history, theory/analysis, and ethnomusicology. A number of public performances each year are devoted solely to the presentation of students' compositions, and excellent facilities are available for those interested in computer music.
A minimum of 60 credits of approved course work is required for a Ph.D. in Music and D.M.A.–Composition. Courses will be credited toward the Ph.D. and D.M.A.–Composition only if they are part of a program approved by the Executive Officer or his/her deputy.
For students concentrating in composition, whether for the Ph.D. or for the D.M.A., the first 30 credits should include the following five courses (or their equivalent): introduction to musicology; bibliography and research techniques; one seminar in theory/analysis; one seminar in music history prior to 1900; two tutorials in composition. For the Ph.D., the student concentrating in composition will normally take four 2-credit tutorials consisting of individual lessons in composition plus two composers’ forums and two advanced seminars that deal with various compositional issues. He/she will also take four 80000-level research seminars in music history and theory, one of which must be on music before 1600 or ethnomusicology. For the D.M.A., the student will normally take four 3-credit tutorials consisting of individual lessons in composition, plus two composers’ forums and two advanced seminars that deal with various compositional issues. He/she will also take one course in twentieth/twenty-first-century performance practice and two research seminars.