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

CCM, Composition, Musicology and Theory
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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?

The Composition Department at College-Conservatory of Music/University of Cincinnati offers programs to students at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels devoted to the art of composing original music. Through individual lessons, coursework, and a variety of performance opportunities, students engage their intuitive and intellectual talents to gain the skills and experience needed to cultivate their own individual voices as composers, enabling them to write music of value to performers, audiences, and other composers in the field of composition.

A Master of Music degree in music composition prepares the student for a career as a composer in musical genres of his/her choice and talent orientation, as well as providing skills for the preparation of performance materials; the performance of works by others; and a broad historical, theoretical and practical understanding of and appreciation for the art of music in general.

Students in the MM composition program at CCM study privately 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, and students gain valuable skills in analysis, orchestration and professional development through the many courses offered by the composition department at the graduate level.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the composition program at CCM is ranked in the top 10 nationally, largely based on the quality and accomplishments of its faculty, which 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

During the course of their studies at CCM, students in the MM composition program at CCM will learn to write both small and large-scale works for a variety of mediums, including vocal, instrumental, solo, chamber, large-ensemble, electronic, and multimedia and will gain experience in preparing professional-level performance materials associated with their work, such as scores, parts, and electronic components. Through their required recitals and other performance opportunities, students will gain valuable experience in collaborating with performers and other artists in the presentation and performance of new music. Students will also learn to study and analyze important works of music by other composers to gain insight into how successful pieces of music project music forward in time. Through group lessons and symposia, students will learn to offer feedback and constructive criticism on music of their peers.

After completing the MM in Composition, master’s students typically seek further education at the doctoral level, either continuing graduate level work in our Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program, or gaining admission to other distinguished doctoral programs in composition.

Career Possibilities

MM students who later graduate from doctoral programs, whether at CCM or elsewhere, typically obtain positions in higher education as instructors of composition, though they may also supplement or substitute this career path with a variety of options such as running a professional ensemble/arts organization, film and game music composing, and arts administration.

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students receive readings and performances of their work by CCM’s orchestras, wind ensembles, and choruses, as well as by renowned visiting professional artists. The Visiting Composers Program at CCM invites composers of national and international renown to visit CCM regularly to teach, lecture, and meet informally with students, most often in connection with a performance of their work by CCM ensembles or other professional music organizations in Cincinnati, such as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Special Programs

CCM composition is a participating member – along with Indiana University, University of Iowa and University of Michigan – in the Midwest Composers Symposium, an annual festival devoted entirely to the performance of work by student composers in an environment that encourages cross-pollination of ideas across institutional boundaries. In addition, CCM composition is also a chapter member of Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), a national professional organization that helps provide the student body with support for a variety of endeavors, such as inviting illustrious guest composers for master classes, guest performers for workshops and concerts, facilitating recording projects, etc. 

Admission Requirements

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


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

CCM’s founding schools (the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the College of Music of Cincinnati) were both charter members of the National Association of the Schools of Music (NASM). The requirements for entrance and graduation in all music programs are in accordance with the published regulations of NASM.

Quick Facts

Master of Music Degree in Composition

Full-Time Program Duration

2 Years


Uptown Campus West


University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music
P.O. Box 210003
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003
Phone: (513) 556-9478
CCM Graduate Admissions