Brandeis University

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Music Composition and Theory


415 South Street, MS 084

Waltham, MA 02453

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

Music thrives at Brandeis. We have an award-winning faculty comprised of composers, scholars, instrumentalists, vocalists and conductors. We offer both a one-year MA and a two-year MFA in composition and theory. Both degree programs are designed to help you develop a command of the craft of composition. That objective is supported by studies in theory and analysis and in electro-acoustic music.

The one-year MA program is for you if you want to engage in beginning graduate study without making a multi-year commitment. The two-year MFA program offers more in-depth study and requires writing a master's thesis in the form of an original composition.

Our PhD degree program in composition and theory offers in-depth study in composition, theory and analysis and electro-acoustic music. We provide you with the time and means to develop a secure command of the craft of composition under the guidance of our award-winning faculty. Your compositions will be performed and recorded as part of the graduate student composers' concert series, New Music Brandeis. You may also have your compositions read by the Lydian String Quartet and by ensembles-in-residence that are invited to Brandeis by the music department.

Preparation for teaching careers is an integral part of our PhD program in composition and theory. You'll serve as a teaching fellow during your second, third, fourth and fifth years of training. As such, you'll be responsible for course preparation, lecturing, administering and grading exams and meeting individually with undergraduates. Your culminating doctoral thesis will consist of an extensive original composition and a written analytical thesis.


New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Eligibility Requirements:

All applicants must have obtained a bachelor's degree or the international equivalent prior to matriculation. Applicants are considered holistically on the basis of a number of factors. In most cases, previous work as an undergraduate major or as a formal minor (18 credits or more) is desirable. However, an applicant should always check with the Music department concerning the suitability of previous academic work as it pertains to the degree program in question.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: A variety of loan programs, including the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the TERI Continuing Education Loan, may be available to Graduate Professional Studies students who meet this criteria.

Locale: Midsize Suburb

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