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CCM, Composition, Musicology and TheoryCollege-Conservatory of MusicComposition, Musicology & TheoryUniversity of Cincinnati

CCM, Composition, Musicology and Theory
Students in class

Programs and Majors

CCM offers degrees in composition at the undergradate and graduate levels. Use the following links to learn more about individual degree programs.


Why study Composition?

Composing is the act of creating original music. It draws upon both intuitive and intellectual talents, challenging the student to write music of value to performers, audiences, and other composers. A degree in music composition prepares the student for a career as a composer in musical genres of his/her choice and talent orientation. It also provides skills for the preparation of scores, music technology, and the performance of works by others as well as a broad understanding of and appreciation for the art of music. Students also gain skills in critical thinking, 

The successful composer brings talent, creative imagination, competency, theoretical and historical knowledge, desire, and determination to achieve his/her goals. Ability to work both alone and collaboratively is important. The university setting offers myriad educational opportunities in acoustic and electronic realms, as well as opportunities to interact with similarly talented students.

Career Possibilities

The Bachelor of Music in composition is excellent preparation for careers in music which often require graduate study in music, in composition and other areas. The academic background and skills in critical thinking provided can launch a student’s career path in many directions.

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

From the outset, students at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (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.

The composition faculty is made up of active and nationally/internationally recognized composers whose music is performed with regularity in concerts and via various forms of electronic media.

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 composers' work by CCM ensembles or the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and other professional music organizations in Cincinnati. These visits add a valuable element to CCM's commitment to the creation, performance and recognition of new music.

Special Programs

At CCM, the emphasis is on practical experience. Composition students have a broad array of formal as well as informal performance and workshop opportunities to test and discover the relationship between their ideas and the music that is produced from them. 

The development of personal/professional relationships with student performing colleagues offers the young composer the opportunity to locate him/herself in the broad stream of creative music-making. The faculty are all active professional composers and as such, serve as positive models for the students. The faculty also are a diverse group, each pursuing his/her distinctive musical and career goals.

The Visiting Composers Series offers composers an opportunity to see/hear/meet guest composers from around the world.

Admission Requirements

For specific admissions information, International student requirements and application deadlines please visit the CCM Admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Each candidate for a degree must file in the college office, several months before graduation, a formal application for degree. If a student fails to make this application, the university will not be responsible for the student’s graduation. A minimum of one year in residence as a full-time student is required of all students wishing to apply for any degree awarded by the UC College-Conservatory of Music.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

CCM is fully accredited by, and is a charter member of, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Quick Facts

Bachelor of Music Degree in Composition

Full-Time Program Duration

4 Years


Uptown Campus West


University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003
Phone: (513) 556-9401
Douglas Knehans