The Music Performance Program is part of the BGSU College of Musical Arts.

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  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctorate

Music Composition

As a composition major at BGSU, you will be part of an active community of musicians and scholars who love to listen, compose, and explore the meaning, creation, and power of music. Our vibrant new music program, internationally renowned faculty, and excellent facilities make the BGSU composition program one of the most visible and thriving in the country.


The MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at BGSU is an award-winning national center devoted to the study, performance, creative work and promotion of new music. At the heart of the Center’s activities are the annual Bowling Green New Music Festival and the Music at the Forefront concert series. In addition, the Center administers a grant program in support of contemporary music projects and research at the College of Musical Arts, organizes "New Music from Bowling Green" concerts featuring faculty and student performers at acclaimed venues around the country, and helps produce Living American Composers: New Music from Bowling Green, a radio series, in collaboration with WGTE-FM in Toledo.

Enjoy modern facilities with more than 70 practice rooms, an 850-seat concert hall, 250-seat recital hall, and state-of-the-art computer labs and recording studio.

Quality classroom experiences

The music composition degree offers students learning opportunities in the classroom and in one-on-one lessons, as well as hands-on experience in the Electroacoustic Studio. We provide composition students with the opportunity to have their music performed throughout the year, and to interact with guest composers and ensembles through a variety of residencies, reading sessions, and special events.

Stand Out in courses like

  • Composition Lessons
  • Music Technology
  • Orchestration and Arranging

Curriculum

Music composition students receive private lessons on their main instrument and in composition, participate in small and large ensembles, take supporting courses in music technology, orchestration and arranging, counterpoint, keyboard harmony, and conducting, and complete the music core (music theory, aural skills, music history). The capstone experience is their senior recital.

Annual Toledo Symphony Orchestra Reading Session offers the opportunity for student compositions to be read, workshopped and recorded

Internships and Careers

Alumni from the composition program are numbered throughout the world in the music profession. Our graduates are accepted into prestigious Master’s and Doctoral programs such as the Eastman School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Michigan. Alumni have gone on to obtain university teaching positions and related work in the private sector.

go far in your career

  • Composer
  • Arranger
  • Educator
  • Conductor

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College of Musical Arts Admissions

All students who wish to major or minor in music must audition before being accepted to the College of Musical Arts. Students first apply to the University, then select that they want to be a music major. They then must submit an Audition Reservation Form to schedule their audition date. More information about applying.  

In the College of Musical Arts we believe that success is based on both musical and academic ability. While your audition is the primary consideration in your application for admission, your academic portfolio is also of great importance. This includes ACT or SAT scores, high school GPA, and your background and experiences in music.

Although the College of Musical Arts has no official test score requirements, we have found that acceptance into the CMA, and academic success in music classes, is most likely to be achieved by students with ACT scores of 22 or higher (1030 SAT). The average student ACT score in the College of Musical Arts is currently 26 (1190 SAT).

The annual New Music Festival features concerts, panels, seminars and master classes with world-renowned composers and performers

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in music are expected to:

  • Possess a repertoire of musical skills and knowledge;
  • Demonstrate independence of thought and action in music performance and scholarship;
  • Make informed aesthetic judgments about music compositions and performances, including evaluation of musical knowledge;
  • Understand the styles and structures of music and relate this knowledge to performance;
  • Understand relationships among multiple traditions, histories, and styles of music, art, and other disciplines;
  • Apply technical vocabulary to communicate with a community of other professionals and to instruct novices;
  • Apply musical knowledge to novel situations in performance, teaching, scholarship, and composition, including personal interpretations of the repertoire;
  • Participate in associations and organizations for the improvement of music in our society and articulate complex professional issues to audiences and community constituencies in ways that make these concepts understandable;
  • Lead musical performances and discussions.

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Music Performance program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and is in good standing.

More information on accreditation

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Music Performance program does not lead to professional licensure.

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Music Performance program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

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