B.A. in Music Composition

The composition major provides a diverse and highly individualized foundation for students aspiring to build careers in composition with opportunities to create concert music, as well as to collaborate with their fellow students in film, video and gaming. The curriculum focuses on fundamentals of creative compositional thinking and techniques that can be applied to any compositional style or application.

All new works composed by student composers receive workshops and performances by either students or professionals, and all are professionally recorded. Coursework involves a year of composition classes, including an introduction to electronic music and orchestration. This is followed by private lessons in which students compose the program for their senior recital.

Most of UMBC’s full-time faculty specialize in contemporary music performance, and collectively they have premiered thousands of works in their careers. They often mentor or coach performances of student composers’ pieces. The annual Livewire Festival of Contemporary Music is always a highlight of the year and features both professional and student compositions.

Composition students work collaboratively to produce concerts of their works at UMBC each semester and learn practical entrepreneurial skills to promote their careers. Master classes with guest composers frequently augment the curriculum and give students a broad perspective on the rich and varied musical culture of the twenty-first century.

To view the academic requirements for this degree, please visit the academic catalog.


Linda Dusman, D.M.A
Marc McAneny