School of Music
MM in Composition
Advanced study of composition at the master's level.
Composition requires a minimum of 30 credit hours
|MUS 506 Chamber Music (Composer's Ensemble)||1|
|MUS 510 Bibliography and Research in Music||3|
|MUH 520 Seminar in Music History||3|
|MUT 530 Seminar in Music Theory||3|
|MUP 603 Applied Music (composition)||12|
|MUP 690 Recital||0|
|Electives–Any MUH, MUS, MUP, MUT or MUE 500 or 600 level courses.||8|
|A two-year residency is required.|
Information for Matriculated Students
Graduate Competency Exams
All incoming School of Music graduate students must pass a competency exam in music theory/ear training prior to enrollment in MUS 530, Seminar in Music Theory. This exam will be graded pass/fail and may be taken no more than three times. Students unable to pass after three attempts must withdraw from the program.
Special Requirements and Standards
All music graduate programs must be completed within six years from the date of matriculation.
Students must maintain a B average in all coursework and must have no grade lower than B-. Students who receive grades lower than B- will be reviewed for retention in the graduate program.
Each program requires that students demonstrate mastery in their primary area of study. Composition students meet this requirement through the presentation of a recital.
The following conditions will apply to all graduate recitals:
- Required recitals must be performed after successful completion of the comprehensive exams.
- Grading of the recital will be by a committee of at least two jurors. The jurors will be drawn from the graduate faculty and the degree candidate's private instructor.
- The candidate must receive a grade of B or higher on the recital. If the grade of B is not achieved, the candidate must perform another recital that contains at least 50 percent new material. If the grade of B or higher is not achieved at this recital retake, the candidate must petition the faculty to remain in the degree program.
Six graduate credits may be transferred to USM from another NASM-accredited college or university.
Additionally no more than six graduate credits for work earned at USM in the five years prior to matriculation may be credited to the master's degree.
Composition requires a two-year residency.
Composition majors must present one forty-five minute recital for which either program notes are provided or the student presents verbal introductions to each work. The recital should comprise forty-five minutes of original music for a variety of instrumentation composed while in residency for the degree. The composer will participate as performer on at least one work on the recital. In addition to the recital, the composer is encouraged to seek performances for his/her work elsewhere; only in exceptional cases might any part of this recital be substituted for outside work.
Applicants are required to provide the following materials:
- Application: Online Application
- Application fee: Waived for all applicants.
- Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
- International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
- An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
- A professional résumé
- TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.
In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program in composition must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:
- A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
- An interview and portfolio review (by invitation only; see details below)
- Applicants in composition must also submit:
- Scores of three representative works from three different performance media showing originality and technical competence
- Recordings (CD, mp3, or url link) of three representative works (to correspond with scores above, if possible)
- Complete list of works with first performances arranged chronologically.
Music Interview and Portfolio Review
Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for composition will contact applicants selected for an interview.
Each degree program has specific audition requirements. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition are required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.
In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:
- College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
- Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
- International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.
Where to send transcripts and application materials
Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:
Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412
Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to email@example.com.
For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation
English Proficiency Test Scores
Official English proficiency examination scores are required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. The University of Southern Maine accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program.