A separate application to the School of Music is required. Students must submit any required pre-screening audition materials or portfolios and must complete in-person auditions to be accepted. These deadlines and audition dates can be found on the School of Music website, https://music.gsu.edu/academics/application-and-audition-information/.
In addition to the general requirements of the College of the Arts, the School of Music has the following requirements
Formal admission into the Music Composition degree usually takes place after the sophomore year. Students interested in pursuing Music Composition as a major are encouraged to enroll in MUS 4210 (Composition Seminar). This course is designed, in part, to help prepare freshmen and sophomores for the entrance jury into the program. The only prerequisites for Composition Seminar are successful completion of Theory I (MUS 1440) and Aural Skills I (MUS 1540).
There is a three-step procedure for formal admission into the composition concentration.
Step One – Prerequisites
Students must have completed the fourth semester of theory and aural skills from Georgia State or the equivalent by way of transfer credits from another institution and/or as determined by the Theory Placement Examination. Students must also have a minimum cumulative 2.5 grade point average for consideration of admission into the composition concentration.
The pre-requisite theory courses are:
- MUS 1440 – Theory I
- MUS 1450 – Theory II
- MUS 2440 – Theory III
- MUS 2450 – Theory IV
- MUS 1540 – Aural Skills I
- MUS 1550 – Aural Skills II
- MUS 2540 – Aural Skills III
- MUS 2550 – Aural Skills IV
Step Two – Portfolio
Prospective music majors in the composition concentration must turn in a portfolio consisting of a minimum of three scores. These scores must be drawn from the following:
- solo for single line instrument
- vocal work (solo voice(s) or chorus) with piano or small chamber accompaniment
- small mixed or standard chamber ensemble
- solo piano piece
- electroacoustic work for tape alone or with acoustic instrument(s)
The faculty is interested in a diversified and balanced compositional background. Students are highly encouraged to refrain from submitting different works with the same instrumentation (for example, three piano solos, three tape-alone pieces, etc.) If a tape-only work (or works) is submitted, the applicant is expected to include acoustic compositions in the portfolio (even if the student is applying for the Computer Music / Electroacoustic Music emphasis).
The scores turned in as part of the portfolio must represent a total minimum duration of 15 minutes of music. Pieces must be fully and neatly notated either by hand or computer. Recorded performances of works are highly recommended for inclusion with the portfolio. MIDI realizations, however, are acceptable. Works for fixed media alone must provide a written overview of the work either in a graphic or narrative format in lieu of a traditional score. Recordings of works without a score or written overview in the case of fixed media pieces will not be considered.
Step Three – Entrance Interview / Special Jury
Prospective composition majors must take an entrance interview with the area faculty. Topics for discussion in this interview will include but are not be limited to, the following: compositional and theoretical background of the applicant, performance background, music the applicant is interested in and composers the applicant admires as well as composers and music the applicant is less interested in. For those students having participated in the Composition Seminar, a special barrier jury may serve as the format for the interview and examination of the portfolio.
A recommendation concerning admittance into the BM Composition Concentration will be made after the successful completion of the prerequisite theory and aural skills courses, after careful consideration of the portfolio and after the interview.