The Catholic University of America

Composition Degrees and Programs at CUA

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Composition. Each of our programs seeks first to strengthen and develop composers' technique and to expand the expressive range of their music. Please follow the links on the sidebar, or click on the highlighted names below, to learn more about each program. If you have questions about any of our programs after reviewing these materials, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Bachelor of Music (BM) in Composition seeks to train the beginning composer (or the composer with substantial prior experience) in the discipline of creative activity. BM Composition students take private composition lessons every semester they are enrolled in the BM program (half-hour weekly lessons in the freshman year, one-hour weekly lessons in the subsequent years). From the beginning, BM students are engaged in the life of the Composition division, participating in the weekly Composition Seminar and Composition Division recitals.

The Master of Music (MM) in Composition, Stage Music Emphasis and the MM Composition, Concert Music Emphasis are tailored to meet specific areas of concentration within the compositional field, but each contains the same core of rigorous composition, theory, and history courses. The level of professional preparation is such that our MM graduates, regardless of emphasis, are eligible to begin doctoral study (either at CUA or at another institution).

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Composition, the highest composition degree offered by the School of Music, is designed for students who have substantial prior compositional attainment and display strong professional promise. The DMA curriculum is individually tailored to meet the strengths and needs of each student: coursework and dissertation requirements, including comprehensive examinations, a DMA Research Document, a Composition Recital, and Dissertation Composition ensure thorough preparation for later professional activity.

Two additional degrees with substantial compositional components are available through CUA's Institute of Sacred Music. These degrees are jointly administered by the Composition faculty and by the Director of the ISM.

In cooperation with the Latin American Music Center, housed in the School of Music at CUA, a concentration in Latin American music is offered with the MM Concert Music and DMA Composition degree programs.