The Catholic University of America

Admissions Information for Graduate Applicants

General information

All applicants to the Composition division of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music must apply and be accepted by The Catholic University of America as well as the School of Music. MM and DMA applicants may apply to CUA online

Our website is able to assist you in answering most questions which you may have.  If you still have questions, however, please do not hesitate to contact the head of composition, Dr. Stephen Gorbos (Gorbos@cua.edu).

Master of Music admission and entrance requirements

Audition
 

  • Students seeking admission to the MM program in Composition must submit a representative portfolio of compositions. Prospective students should hold a Bachelor's degree in Music (or, preferably, in Music Composition) from an accredited institution; if the degree is not in Composition, it should incorporate substantial studies in composition.
  • Portfolios for the MM should consist of scores and recordings, if available (MIDI or other electronic realizations of pieces should not be sent unless they are of exceptionally high quality) which show original creative work of high quality and technical merit. Please see the guidelines above (under the BM program) for tips on presenting the best possible portfolio. Details on portfolio submission can be found here.
  • Audition on an instrument (or voice) is also strongly recommended for all MM Composition applicants. All applicants with performing experience are encouraged to schedule an audition, nevertheless, in order to be eligible for a music scholarship.
  • All students applying to the MM Composition programs (both Concert Music or Stage Music emphasis) are required to complete either an on-campus interview or skype interview with the composition faculty as part of the admissions process. These interviews, whether live or via video-chat, will be scheduled on the designated School of Music audition days
  • All entering students in the MM Composition program (either Concert Music or Stage Music emphasis) must take the Theory Placement Examination as well as the Graduate History Placement Examination given at the beginning of each academic semester. The Theory Placement Examination is administered by the School of Music, and is given at the beginning of the first semester of matriculation in the MM Composition program (Concert Music or Stage Music emphasis).  Students who require remediation as a result of these examinations, or whose baccalaureate programs exhibit significant curricular deficiencies in any of these areas, may be required to take remedial courses to satisfy these deficiencies as prerequisites for the MM program. Remedial courses may be taken concurrently with MM program courses.

Doctor of Musical Arts admission and entrance requirements

  • Students seeking admission to the DMA program in Composition must submit a representative portfolio of compositions. Prospective students must hold a Master's degree in Music Composition from an accredited institution.
  • Portfolios for the DMA should consist of scores and recordings (MIDI or other electronic realizations of pieces should not be sent unless they are of exceptionally high quality) which show original creative work of high quality and technical merit and demonstrate that a student is capable of independent work. Please see the guidelines listed above (under the BM program) for tips on presenting the best possible portfolio.
  • All students applying for the DMA are required to complete either an on-campus interview or skype interview with the composition faculty as part of the admissions process. These interviews, whether live or via video-chat, will be scheduled on the designated School of Music audition days
  • Audition on an instrument (or voice) is not required for the DMA in Composition, although a student wishing to pursue applied study must pass an audition in the requisite applied area. All applicants with performing experience are encouraged to schedule an audition, nevertheless, in order to be eligible for a music scholarship.
  • During the first semester of full-time study (generally on the weekend preceding the beginning of the fall semester), all graduate students in Composition are given the Theory Placement Examination and the Graduate History Examination. These exams determine whether or not any remediation in theory or history coursework is required. Should students require remediation in any areas, they may take these courses concurrently with graduate courses (provided that the remedial courses are not prerequisites for the graduate courses taken). Remedial courses do not count towards the degree, but must be successfully completed in order to receive the degree.