Music Composition | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Department of Music & Theatre

Music Composition

Close up of sheet music
Department of Music & Theatre

Music Composition

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Undergraduate

132 - 136 credits

required for program

132 - 136 credits

132 - 136 credits

required for program

A degree in music composition lays a foundation for graduate study or further experiences writing music in classical, sacred, educational, commercial, or film genres.


of seniors view the faculty as available and accessible


composition makes a terrific double major for music education students


of seniors feel prepared to integrate their faith with their academic field


Entrance auditions are required for this major. Auditions are held during the spring semester. You must be admitted to both Northwestern and the Department of Music & Theatre in order to major in music. Please refer to the Music Admissions & Scholarships for audition requirements and dates.

Why study music composition at Northwestern?

Learn from highly credentialed music faculty, seasoned performers, noted educators, sought-after conductors, and acclaimed composers who are dedicated to your musical excellence.

You can participate in competitions and perform on regional, national, and international tours while building your education on Northwestern’s 115+ year history as a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. Christian faculty will help you to grow in your faith and your music.

With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving music industries.

All Northwestern music degrees hold accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music, the principal U.S. accreditor for higher education in music.

If you enjoy vocal or instrumental music, have a knack for songwriting, and are interested in a career in music, this might be the right degree for you.

What will you learn?

You will learn to analyze, think critically, and compose sheet music.

Some classes include:

  • Private lessons in music composition
  • Private lessons in music counterpoint
  • Learn secondary instruments
  • Orchestration
  • Choral arranging
View Course Catalog
Northwestern built the foundation for how I see the world, education, and children to effectively teach.
Andrea Orem, née Peterson, 2016 Double Major: Bachelor of Music in Education & Composition, K–5 Elementary Music Specialist

Careers in music composition

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in music composition.

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Meet your professors

Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.

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Contact Information

Department of Music & Theatre

Totino Fine Arts Center, F2224
3003 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55113

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