Theory and Composition B.Mus.

Program Type
Bachelor of Music
College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

About this Program

Develop your individual creativity through courses that emphasize a deep exploration of aesthetics and technique!

Mentored by faculty who are actively producing artists, as a student in the Theory & Composition program you will work toward professional-level public performances of original compositions throughout your college career, grounded in a core curriculum of harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, form and analysis, as well as ensemble and studio work. 

With unique opportunities for performances and recordings, Theory & Composition majors at UMD enter the professional world with a high level of experience that allows their musical visions to take flight in a new light.

UMD hits all the high notes

  • UMD has the variety and quality of musical instruction that you would expect from a place three times larger, with the individualized instruction and care of an institution half the size.
  • Learn, practice, and perform with students from many different states and multiple continents in beautiful Weber Music Hall, a dedicated Department of Music facility that is recognized across the country for its top-tier acoustics.
  • Our exceptional faculty are specialists on their instruments and in their fields and continue to record and to travel internationally to perform on the world’s stages, yet they are also passionate about teaching and about your education and development as musicians and people.
  • The Department of Music at the University of Minnesota Duluth is proud to be a fully accredited member of NASM, the National Association of Schools of Music.

Acquired Skills

Music training hones the following skills that are applicable to any career:

  • Self-discipline & persistence
  • Problem-solving
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Confidence
  • Research techniques
  • Ability to synthesize feedback/constructive criticism

The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), which accredits UMD’s Music programs, ensures that our program addresses specific Composition competencies.

Program Learning Outcomes - Core

Program Learning Outcomes - Theory and Composition

Career Possibilities

UMD Music graduates continue on to graduate school to further their research or enjoy many different careers as professional performers, music educators, composers, conductors, music therapists, instrument repair technicians, music librarians, and sound editors, to name just a few.

Additionally, as a complement to any other field of work, a study in music opens the pathways to creative thinking, sharpens skills in collaboration and the ability to listen, and develops a way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas.

Playing music also trains individuals to focus on the present and the future simultaneously. For these reasons and more, music is highly regarded as a complementary background for students pursuing careers in many other areas.

Recent UMD Graduates Job Placement Data

Admissions and Scholarships

Admission to Music programs is based upon standard UMD admission guidelines, as well as an audition (see details below in Requirements).

Music majors can compete for several different talent-based scholarships at the time of their initial audition, and several of the music scholarships are renewable each year for continuing students.

Student Clubs

Student clubs in the Department of Music vary each year according to interests but may include Mu Phi Epsilon, Music Student Association, and the National Association for Music Education.


All Music majors at UMD are required to audition for admission to the program. Auditions are typically held on several Saturdays each spring prior to fall admission but may also be arranged at other times. Current information about the audition process and preparation is found on the Music website.

All UMD Music majors are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop as specified on the School of Fine Arts page for Technology Requirements