Jump to main content

A Supportive Environment for Art and Scholarship

UNC’s Master of Music with emphasis in Music Composition provides innovative, 21st-century training for doctoral studies and careers in arranging and composing. UNC offers excellent opportunities to showcase original compositions through performances of your work. In addition, you’ll develop superior aural skills, while deepening your understanding of musical form and analysis.

Our outstanding School of Music is led by distinguished faculty who have achieved career success in composition and musical scholarship. They’ll encourage you academically and artistically, providing a supportive environment in which to develop your creative voice. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art sound studios and technology, allowing you to work on innovative compositions and experiment with new sounds. You’ll graduate with outstanding preparation for a doctoral program or employment as a composer or in the broader field of music.

Degree Details

Credits Required:




Cost Estimator

Degree Option

M.M. in Music Composition

The music composition master’s degree offers maximum flexibility, enabling you to focus the program on your creative strengths and academic interests. You’ll complete 33 hours of coursework, with wide discretion in your selection of courses. In lieu of a written thesis, the program culminates in a recital of original compositions written as part of your master’s studies.

M.M. Program Details

Your Future in Music Composition

Alumni from UNC’s master of music programs have an impressive track record. Our graduates have gone on to doctoral programs at leading music schools across the country, while achieving career success as composers, performers, teachers and scholars. The UNC School of Music enjoys national recognition for the quality of its programs, helping you compete successfully for jobs and doctoral program placements.

Consider UNC’s M.M. in Composition if you want to:

  • Advance to doctoral studies in Music Composition
  • Work as a professional arranger or composer
  • Produce original scholarship

You’ll learn:

  • Musical structure
  • Aural skills
  • Compositional analysis

Sample courses:

  • Music History
  • Individual Instruction in Composition
  • Electronic Music
  • Analytical Studies in Music

Beyond the Classroom

The UNC School of Music provides an ideal setting for creative musical minds. The School of Music includes over 450 talented musicians and faculty members, who possess the technical and artistic skill to bring your compositions faithfully to life. Our ensembles perform regularly and have appeared all over the world.

Open Space Festival of New Music

Each year the Composition Section sponsors the Open Space Festival of New Music. In the past we have featured composers Christian Wolff, Alvin Lucier, Gabriela Ortiz, Jean-Claude Risset, Kyle Gann, and Paul Rudy. Interpreters have included the Callithumpian Consort, the Jake Schepps Quintet featuring mandolinist Matt Flinner, pianist Stephen Drury, French electric guitarist Jean-Marc Montera and saxophonist Raphael Imbert. Open Space 2016 features guest composer Sean Friar, Rome Prize Fellow for 2011-12.

Where can your degree take you?

Doctoral studies

Doctoral studies

Music industry employment

Music industry employment

Private instruction

Private instruction

Research and scholarship

Research and scholarship

Ready for what's next? Here's what you need to know.

If there's anything else we can do, be sure to connect with us. We're only a shout away.

Still not completely sold? We understand. Here's more information on costs and funding and how to apply.

Klawz signature on paper application

Apply now

Look at you go! We're excited to meet you. Wait, there's more...
apply to the School of Music.

Flying envelope illustration

Request information

We'll send you some more details.

Visit shuttle illustration

Plan a visit

There's nothing quite like walking on our turf. Take a virtual tour.