Areas of Study

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B.M. in Composition

The Bachelor of Music in Composition is designed to develop fundamental craft and technical skills, to encourage independent stylistic development and artistic excellence, and to give students the real-world experiences and practical professional skills needed for the many different careers open to today's composer. Student composers collaborate with not only the Division of Music’s outstanding faculty and student performers, and our highly-supportive ensembles, but also with students in dance, theatre, video and film, and digital gaming, allowing them to find their own unique artistic path and to facilitate performances of their music in a wide variety of venues both on and off campus. Beyond coursework, our students have access to numerous professional portfolio-building resources, such as our modern electronic music studio and professional score/part preparation station, that give students that all-important edge when presenting their music to others.

Music Composition admission requirements:

Students applying for admission to the Music Composition program must perform an audition on their principal instrument (includes Voice) as outlined in the Required Undergraduate Audition Repertoire section of this website, submit a composition portfolio, complete a theory examination, and interview with Composition faculty.

The composition portfolio should consist of: 2-5 scores in PDF file format with links to accompanying YouTube/Vimeo videos of performances (live preferred, but MIDI realizations are acceptable), and a 1-2 page written statement of their composition interest, background, and goals in PDF or MS Word format.

For composition students auditioning live on-campus: upload your composition portfolio materials when you submit your online audition registration form.

For composition students submitting a recorded audition in lieu of a live audition: upload your composition portfolio materials in addition to your video audition recording as you complete your recorded audition submission.

View additional information on undergraduate admissions and auditions.

Degree Requirements

The following is the current course of study for the degree. Current students should refer to the SMU Catalog (maintained by the Registrar's Office) listings under their year of matriculation to find their authoritative degree plan.

See List of Music Courses & their Description

Requirements for the Degree Credit Hours
Universitywide Requirements Varies
MUAS 1020 (one enrollment fall term of 1st year) 0
MUAS 1010 (each term of residence except fall of 1st year) 0
MUTH 1129, 1130, 1229, 1230, 2129, 2130, 2229, 2230 12
MUTH 1325 3
MUTH 3350, 4300, 4310, 5360, 5370 15
MUTH 3200 or 3300 2–3
MUTH 5000 (each term of residence) 0
MUHI 1302, 3301, 3302 9
PERB 1131, 1132, 2131, 2132 (or 1233, 1234) 4
Private Studies 3200 or 3100 (two to four terms, as needed) 4
MURE 4201 2
MUCO 3208 (choral) or 3209 (instrumental) 2
PERE/PERB Ensemble: (must include two terms of large ensemble) 8
Music/AMAE Electives 7
Community Experience: MSA 1001 or 1101 0–1
Free Electives (hours vary as needed to meet University residency and degree requirements) varies

Each year, students are expected to organize at least one performance of an original work (completed in their studies) in a general/studio recital or another appropriate venue or medium, such as a film score, incidental music, a dance collaboration or an electronic music installation. Attendance at regularly scheduled composition seminars is expected of all students enrolled in private composition study; failure to attend will be reflected in the grade given for composition. Students receiving an artistic scholarship must enroll in a PERE large ensemble each term as assigned by the director.

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Communication Studies

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts



Welcome to the Division of Music

About the Division of Music

Undergraduate Studies


B.A. in Music

B.M. in Performance

B.M. in Composition

B.M. in Music Therapy

B.M. in Music Education (Teacher Certification)

Dual Degree in Performance and Music Education

Minor in Music

Music Minor in Songwriting

Minor In Musical Theatre

Minor in the History of Visual and Performing Arts

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