Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

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.

Career - what can you do with a music composition degree?

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.

Career paths

  • Composition lessons
  • Music technology
  • Orchestration and arranging

Quick Facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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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.

Required courses


Sample courses

  • Orchestration
  • Music Technology
  • Conducting
  • Area Studies in World Music
  • History and Literature of Jazz

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).

  • Guitar
  • Instrumental
  • Piano
  • Vocal Pedagogy
  • Voice
  • Woodwind Specialist

BGSU College of Musical Arts

The criminal justice program is part of the BGSU College of Musical Arts.

Updated: 03/14/2024 01:24PM