Music Composition

Bachelor of Music

Music Composition provides students with both a strong understanding and a working knowledge of the creative and technical aspects of music. Composition majors go on to a variety of careers that include composing, sound design and sound for film, music technology development, as well as conducting, and teaching at the college/university level. The Bachelor of Music in Composition often leads to graduate study in composition but can also give direct access to work in the music industry.

Students must complete a minimum of 120 units with a Pacific cumulative and program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the bachelor of music degree with a major in music composition.

Bachelor of Music Major in Music Composition

Students must complete a minimum of 120 units with a Pacific cumulative and program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the Bachelor of Music degree with a major in music composition.

I. General Education Requirements

For more details, see General Education

Minimum 28 units and 9 courses that include:

A. CORE Seminars (2 courses)

CORE 001Problem Solving & Oral Comm3
CORE 002Writing and Critical Thinking4

Note: 1) CORE Seminars cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit. 2) Transfer students with 28 or more transfer credits taken after high school are exempt from both CORE seminars.  

B. Breadth Requirement (7 courses, at least 3 units each)

At least one course from each of the following areas:
Artistic Process & Creation
Civic & Global Responsibility
Language & Narratives
Quantitative Reasoning
Scientific Inquiry
Social Inquiry
World Perspectives & Ethics

Note: 1) No more than 2 courses from a single discipline can be used to meet the Breadth Requirement.

C. Diversity and Inclusion Requirement

All students must complete Diversity and Inclusion coursework (at least 3 units)

Note: 1) Diversity and Inclusion courses can also be used to meet the breadth category requirements, or major or minor requirements.

D. Fundamental Skills

Students must demonstrate competence in:
Quantitative Analysis (Math)

Note: 1) Failure to satisfy the fundamental skills requirements by the end of four semesters of full-time study at the University is grounds for academic disqualification.

II. Major Requirements

Major Area
MMGT 005Introduction to Music Industry Technology1
MCOM 009Introduction to Music Notation Technology1
MCOM 014Introduction to Orchestration2
MCOM 021Applied Composition2
MCOM 022Applied Composition2
MCOM 023Applied Composition2
MCOM 024Applied Composition2
MCOM 135Applied Composition3
MCOM 136Applied Composition3
MCOM 137Applied Composition3
MCOM 138Applied Composition3
MCOM 109Advanced Orchestration3
MPER 151Principles of Conducting2
3 units in music technology to be selected from the following:3
The Analog-Digital Studio
Sound Recording Fundamentals
Film and Media Scoring
Digital Music Synthesis
Supportive Courses in Music
MAPM 021Applied Music2
MAPM 022Applied Music2
MAPM 023Applied Music2
MAPM 024Applied Music2
MAPM 125Applied Music2
MAPM 126Applied Music2
MAPM 127Applied Music2
MAPM 128Applied Music2
MCOM 032Music Theory I3
MCOM 042Musicianship I1
MCOM 033Music Theory II3
MCOM 043Musicianship II1
MCOM 034Music Theory III3
MCOM 044Musicianship III1
MAPM 003Class Piano I1
MAPM 004Class Piano II1
MCOM 03520/21 Century Music Theory3
MPER 054Dean's Seminar1
MHIS 011Survey of Music History I3
MHIS 012Survey of Music History II3
Eight units and eight semesters of the following, based on placement auditions:8
Ensemble Performance
Concert Band
University Chorus
MPER 060Varied Ensemble1

An end-of-the-year advisory portfolio review is required of all composition majors. Admission to the upper division is based on a review of the student’s work at the end of the second year.

A senior composition project is required in the senior year.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate with Collaborators. Communicate clearly and effectively with performers, artistic collaborators, and audiences.
  2. Demonstrate Technical Skills. Express detailed and original musical ideas in musical notation and other appropriate means of transmission.
  3. Apply Music Technology. Gain fluency and produce original work in music notation software, digital audio workstations, and related music technology.
  4. Analyze and Synthesize. Analyze model compositions and apply structural concepts to original creative work.
  5. Practice Artistic Independence. Develop a self-sustaining composing routine and independently produce new compositions from concept to finished product.