- Offered as:
The study of music includes the art of performing and listening to music, the history of music, music technology, the role of music in cultures, and methods of teaching music.
The major in music composition is part of the University's bachelor of music program.
- Requirements and core courses
Majoring in music composition
All music majors take a similar set of core courses:
Mus 164—Intro to Music Technology
Mus 251—Materials and Structures of Music I
Mus 252—Applied Theory I
Mus 253—Materials and Structures of Music II
Mus 254—Applied Theory II
Mus 181, 182, 281—Class Piano I, II & III
(As needed to pass piano proficiency)
Upper division core:
MUS 351 Materials and structures of music III
MUS 352 Applied Theory III
MUS 353 Materials and structures of Music IV
MUS 354 Applied Theory IV
MUS 359 History of Music: Antiquity to 1650
MUS 360 History of Music: 1650-1850
MUS 361 History of Music: 1850-present
All music composition majors should enroll in a 300-level performance studies course and a 200-level music theory course during the freshman year.
A performance audition (usually completed in the semester before enrolling at WSU) is required for enrolling in 300-level performance classes. Music theory placement tests are taken as part of the performance audition.
Courses in the composition major
The music composition major includes courses like these:
Musical Style in Composition
Materials and Structures of Music
Applied Theory III and IV
Seminar in Instrumentation
Seminar in Advanced Composition
Seminar in Jazz Arranging/Composition
For a bachelor of music degree in composition, two-thirds of course work is in the composition specialization. At least 40 hours in this degree must be 300- or 400-level courses.
This information is for example only. It may not include all requirements, and you'll have the opportunity to choose from many more courses than are shown here.
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
For music majors
Scholarships are available for incoming students through two scholarship audition days held in the spring semester. Potential students attend one of these audition days for acceptance into the music program and to compete for scholarships.
See the School of Music website for audition dates and procedures.
Scholarships are also available to continuing students within the music program, based primarily upon achievements in the program.
One-fourth of all music scholarship funds go to students not majoring in music.
Music majors also may apply for university-level scholarships and more than $50,000 in scholarships awarded by the College of Liberal Arts.
For all students at WSU
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
Complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure your eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
- Facilities and technology
Music facilities at Washington State University include:
- 400- and 100-seat concert halls in Kimbrough Hall
- The 700-seat Bryan Hall Theatre, which houses a 47-rank Schanz organ
- The Recording Studio Complex
- Rehearsal space for all sizes of ensembles
- The Kemble Stout Music Listening Library
- Electronic Piano/Music Computer Lab
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
If you enjoy playing music and being part of musical groups, you can continue in college (even if you aren't majoring in music).
- Prepare for college-level music with strong participation in high school bands, orchestras, choirs, or private studios.
It's a good idea to have additional preparation, especially if you're planning to major in music. If you can, prepare yourself through:
- Training or exposure to music theory concepts
- Keyboard skills (regardless of performance area)
- Lessons in at least one instrument or performance area