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Music Composition, B.M.

College of Arts & Sciences

The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The School’s highly selective composition program emphasizes mastery of technique and encourages students to develop their own artistic voices.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Topic(s): Arts, Humanities and Design

Degree requirements

Applicant type

Applicant type

Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).

Music Composition is a capacity-constrained major. An additional application is required after you enroll at the UW, and admission may be competitive. Submission of a portfolio and a personal statement are required for entry into this degree program. Visit the department website for more information.

Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

Departmental application deadline: Following completion of prerequisite classes, students are eligible to apply to the major.
Please contact the department for details about the application process.

This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission.
  • Complete: a) MUSIC 202/205, b) MUSIC 216-217-218, and c) MUSIC 120.
  • Transfer students must consult with the Undergraduate Advisor for an evaluation of applicable music transfer courses.
  • Submit the following materials to the Advising Office two weeks prior to the Audition date: a portfolio of recent compositions, scores and recordings as available, transcripts of all undergraduate course work (at the UW or elsewhere), and a statement of purpose. The statement of purpose should indicate why the student has decided on this major and describe the academic coursework and personal experiences and interests that have influenced this decision.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Courses required for the major:

  • MUSIC 202 A&H – First-Year Theory II
  • MUSIC 205 A&H – First-Year Ear Training II
  • MUHST 212 A&H – Introduction to the History of Western Music III
  • MUSIC 216 A&H – Introductory Composition
  • MUSIC 217 A&H – Introductory Composition
  • MUSIC 218 A&H – Introductory Composition
  • Prospective students must also submit a portfolio of recent compositions. See adviser for more information on the application process.

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 52
Total from Washington community colleges: 10

Career outcomes

See list of all majors