The Setnor School of Music offers a master of music (M.M.) degree program in composition. You will study privately with our prestigious faculty and also meet weekly in the Composer’s Symposium to discuss current issues and meet a variety of nationally established guest composers.

Admission + Audition Requirements

Your experiences are further enriched with master classes and performances by Syracuse’s nationally acclaimed Society for New Music (SNM), which specializes in presenting and performing the music of living composers. Each year one student from the department works with the SNM to see how a professional, not-for-profit new music organization works from the inside.

Because all students in the Setnor School are required to play works written in their own lifetime, many opportunities exist for student composers to hear their own works in recitals and concerts. Each semester you may have works performed on the student composers’ concert, and you often have works performed on fellow student junior, senior, and graduate performance recitals. The school’s ensembles are open to reading, performing, and recording student works; in the past 10 years, virtually every piece written by a student composer has been read or performed by such Syracuse University ensembles as the Symphony Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble, and the Symphony Band. Finally, all composition majors (seniors and graduate students) are required to prepare one full composition recital of their own works before they graduate.

Graduates of our program have taught at such prestigious institutions as Northwestern University, Stanford University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Shenandoah Conservatory. Others are pursuing full-time careers in film scoring.


View full M.M. in composition curriculum.