Graduate Programs

CCM offers both a Master of Music in Composition (MM) degree and a Doctoral of Musical Arts in Composition (DMA) degree.

From the outset, students at CCM study with major teachers of their choice and may move from one to another according to mutually agreed-upon decisions. Extensive work is done in CCM’s computer music studios. Interaction with student performers under professors’ guidance is offered in workshop courses. Courses in visual media are team taught by composition and media professors.

Composers of national and international repute visit CCM regularly to teach, lecture and meet informally with students to discuss their own work and that of other composers. Most of these visits coincide with performances of the composer's work by CCM ensembles or the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. These visits add a valuable element to CCM's commitment to the creation, performance and recognition of new music. Guests have included such distinguished composers as John Adams, Samuel Adler, William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Philip Glass, Jennifer Higdon, Karel Husa, Aaron Jay Kernis, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bernard Rands, Frederick Rzewski, Joseph Schwantner, Sir Michael Tippett and many others. Each season promises to be equally stimulating with an exciting list of guests.

The master's program is designed to provide a comprehensive course of study in the composition of music in both acoustic and electro acoustic mediums. A candidate is expected to compile a portfolio of compositions in the course of their studies in the master's program, culminating in a solo composition recital given towards the end of their degree program. To accomplish these goals, a candidate will need to develop the requisite skills associated with the technique of musical composition as well as familiarize themselves with the literature and aesthetic issues pertaining to the field. In addition, students in the master's program will undergo a course of study in graduate level theory and history needed in the formation of a well-rounded musician. The MM in composition helps students acquire competence in the broad range of endeavors characteristic of composing through various means:

  • Lessons
  • Board Examinations
  • Recitals
  • Ensemble Participation
  • Classes in music theory, music history, graduate research and writing and music electives.

To accomplish these goals, students will also need to develop the requisite skills in musicianship, languages, etc. Determination of a student's specific responsibilities will be made by a principal adviser, cognate adviser, and director of graduate studies.

Composition students at CCM enjoy a wide variety of performing opportunities ranging from small ensembles to orchestral readings and performances. In addition there are a number of special programs available, such as the Visiting Composers Series and the exchange program with the China Conservatory in Beijing. CCM's composition students are also engaged in a number of activities outside the campus, such as performance in new music ensembles, participation in festivals and membership in professional societies. CCM can provide support for these activities. The CCM Center for Computer Music provides computer music studios and opportunities for composition, performance and research involving technology.

The DMA program is designed to provide a comprehensive course of study in the composition of music at the advanced level in both acoustic and electro acoustic mediums.  A candidate is expected to compile a portfolio of compositions in the course of their studies in the DMA program, culminating in a solo composition recital given towards the end of their degree program. To accomplish these goals, a candidate will need to develop the requisite skills associated with the technique of musical composition, as well as familiarize themselves with the literature and aesthetic issues pertaining to the field.

In addition, students in the DMA program will undergo a course of general studies in the history and literature of music, as well as studies in a cognate area to be determined in consultation with the composition faculty and director of graduate studies. Composition students at CCM enjoy a wide variety of performing opportunities ranging from small ensembles to orchestral readings and performances. In addition there are a number of special programs available, such as the Visiting Composers Series and the exchange program with the China Conservatory in Beijing.

CCM's composition students are also engaged in a number of activities outside the campus, such as performance in new music ensembles, participation in festivals and membership in professional societies. CCM can provide support for these activities. The CCM Center for Computer Music provides computer music studios and opportunities for composition, performance and research involving technology.

The DMA in Composition consists of the following requirements:

  • Performance/Instruction
    • Weekly Lessons
    • Two DMA Recitals
    • One Lecture Recital
  • Coursework/Classes
    • Performance Preparation
    • Historical Perspective
    • Cognate Field of the student's choosing
  • Comprehensive Written and Oral Exams in Composition and the student's cognate
  • Final Composition Document

Students enrolled in a doctoral program at CCM are expected to demonstrate intellectual breadth through the completion of a significant program of study in a secondary field (cognate). 

Cognate in Musicology/Music History

The music history cognate will consist of three graduate-level MUHS topics courses or seminars (at least 9 semester hours at the 6000, 8000, or 9000 level). The student should consult with a musicology faculty member whose specialty is in an area of the student’s interest. If the faculty member agrees, they will become the student’s cognate advisor and will help the student draw up a suitable plan of study according to the following guidelines:

  • At least one of the courses must be an 8000- or 9000-level course.
  • Courses in ethnomusicology may be included if appropriate to the area of specialization
  • The following courses may not be used for cognate hours:
    • Any courses being used to fulfill the student’s degree requirement in music history
    • Any courses being used as substitution for a DMA document.

The cognate advisor will participate on the committee for the student's final oral examination. 


Cognate in Music Theory

The music theory cognate (12 credit hours) consists of three required courses (9 credit hours) and one graduate-level elective (3 credit hours). The cognate aims to provide students with a solid grounding in advanced tonal and post-tonal analysis, theory pedagogy and another practical/theoretical area depending on the student’s interest. Applicants will be interviewed by the cognate advisor (a member of the music theory faculty) to discuss their experience and interest in music theory. Approval will be granted to students with sufficient background and proficiency in analytical and/or theoretical studies in music at the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

Required Music Theory Cognate Courses (9 credit hours)

  • Pedagogy of Theory (THRY 7015) 3 (offered in the Fall every year)
  • Set Theory I (THRY 8011) 3 (offered in the Fall every other year)
  • Schenkerian Analysis I (THRY 8015) 3 (offered in the Fall every other year, in alternation with Set Theory 1)

Cognate electives (3 credit hours)

Students may choose any one course from the following list of graduate-level courses:

  • Advanced Musicianship (THRY 6015)
  • 16th-Century Counterpoint (THRY 6001)
  • 18th-Century Counterpoint (THRY 6005)
  • Special Topics (THRY 6060)
  • Tonal Theory (THRY 7020)
  • Readings in Music Theory (THRY 7050)
  • Advanced Topics in Analysis (THRY 8001)
  • Set Theory 2 (THRY 8012)   
  • Schenkerian Analysis 2 (THRY 8016)
  • Introduction to Aesthetics (THRY 9001)
  • History of Theory 1: Antiquity to 1600 (THRY 9011)
  • History of Theory 2: 1600 to present (THRY 9012)
  • Rhythm and Meter (THRY 9050)
  • Seminar in Analysis (THRY 9082)
  • Seminar in Music Theory (THRY 9081)

Cognate in Ethnomusicology

Students enrolled in a doctoral program at CCM are expected to demonstrate intellectual breadth through the completion of a significant program of study in a secondary field (cognate). 

Requirements (9-15 credits)*:

  • 3 credits: Theory and Historiography in Ethnomusicology (required)
  • 1-3 credits: World Music Lab(s)
  • 3-6 credits: Electives in ethnomusicology or related discipline(s) in consultation with Professor Stefan Fiol and Professor Scott Linford.

* The following courses may not be used for cognate credits:

  1. Any courses being used to fulfill the student’s degree requirement in music history
  2. Any courses being used as substitution for a DMA thesis

The cognate advisor will participate on the committee for the student's final oral examination. 


CCM's admissions process begins on August 1 (undergraduate) and September 1 (graduate) for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Portfolio of three original works:
    • Undergraduate applicants: a recording of at least one of the submitted works (live recordings are preferred where possible)
    • Graduate applicants: recordings of at least two of the submitted works (live recordings are preferred where possible)
    • All applicants: documentation of the submitted works should include scores (in the case of works with instruments or voice) or alternate format (in the case of purely electronic music)
  • All applicants should submit a list of works composed

Interview

More information about interviews coming soon.