Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Music Theory - Composition - Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of the Arts

School of Music

E101 Center for the Performing Arts
Tel: 330-672-2172


The Ph.D. in Music Theory–Composition prepares composers, research scholars and college/university teachers in the areas of music theory and composition. This degree program is based on the premise that original composition of high quality requires a strong background in theory, and that significant scholarship in theory requires experience in original composition.

Admission Requirements

Official transcript(s); 3.0 GPA; three letters of recommendation; resume; statement of career goals; a substantial term paper on a theoretical topic or a master's thesis in music theory written in English; and at least three scores of original compositions demonstrating a variety of genres (chamber, orchestral, piano, choral, etc.).

For more information about graduate admission, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum of 60 to 64 credit hours.

Program Learning Outcomes
  1. Students compile a body of completed compositions.
  2. Students demonstrate and apply compositional techniques for creation of new works including musical style and structure.
  3. Students analyze music from a wide range of styles and style periods and communicate results in written and oral formats.
  4. Students are able to recognize, identify and analyze representative literature from different historical periods, countries and composers.
  5. Students are able to communicate knowledge of composition, theory and other aspects of music in classroom and private teaching.
Thesis/ Dissertation

The Ph.D, program requires a dissertation.

All students writing a dissertation must pass a dissertation defense. Dissertation defense may be attempted two times.


This examination will normally be taken when the student has substantially completed his/her coursework and has received the consent of the advisory committee to attempt the examination. The written portion of the examination will cover the major and supportive areas of study and will be followed by a comprehensive oral examination. Students who fail the candidacy examination two times will be dismissed from the doctoral program.


The student must complete at least 15 semester hours of study within one calendar year in residence.


National Association of Schools of Music