Music Composition Degree (BM)

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Transform notes, rhythm, and melodies into performance music while studying music history, theory, musicianship, and performance. Enhance your passion for music and entertain audiences with a music composition degree from Indiana State.

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Why Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition at Indiana State?

Every piece of music has a composer who wrote, arranged, and prepared it for performance. The Music Composition BM program at Indiana State helps you develop the tools and talent to transform your musical imagination into original, memorable compositions.  

Immerse Yourself in Musical Practice

Learn composition techniques in our music composition program and prepare for careers in composing, arranging music, and related creative professions.

You will take basic and advanced composition courses, music theory, music history, music literature, musicianship, and performance. You will also participate in performance ensembles, take private lessons, attend music concerts, and study piano, music technology, scoring, and conducting in the School of Music’s designated rehearsal spaces.

NOTE: In addition to Indiana State’s regular admission process, there is a separate admission process for a student to be admitted as a music composition major.

Learn from Accomplished Faculty

Indiana State's instructors are trained musicians and music scholars with experience as composers and performers. They regularly perform in orchestras and music ensembles. They will assist you with composition projects and provide private music lessons.

In our small classes, you will have the chance to work one-on-one with your faculty. They will provide creative guidance and mentorship while helping you develop lifelong learning skills. You will also have the opportunity to join music ensembles and perform at special events.

Perform in Our Ensembles

All majors School of Music majors must participate in music ensembles for at least seven semesters of their undergraduate degree. These ensembles provide opportunities for you to work with faculty, learn new music, gain performance experience, and perform alongside your peers.

Student ensembles and combos include brass, jazz, piano, percussion, string, and wind, plus several chorale groups, a women’s concert choir, a musical theater/opera workshop, and the University Symphony Orchestra.

Music majors are required to attend a specified number of concerts, recitals, and events in the annual Contemporary Music Festival, a three-day event held on Indiana State’s campus. Indiana State students perform alongside faculty and visiting guests including the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. 

What You'll Learn in the Music Composition Program

The Bachelor of Music [BM] in Music Composition provides a strong foundation in all areas of music history, theory, and composition. You will develop a theoretical and practical capacity to compose musical works with your professors’ guidance. You will also enhance your music skills, ear training, sight singing, keyboard harmony, conducting, music analysis, and music philosophies. You can complete our music composition bachelor’s degree in four years of full-time study.


You will also perform a senior recital. Music composition majors perform a whole or half recital of original compositions in a variety of media, styles, and forms.


Transfer Credit

Indiana State University accepts credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities within the United States, and from selected schools located outside the United States. Credit also may be granted for military training and experience. Previously earned college credit can be applied toward completion of the program per Indiana State's transfer guidelines.

Transfer Guidelines

Career Possibilities for Music Composition Majors

Your degree from Indiana State will prepare you for careers in composing, arranging, and related music professions. Many of our graduates also pursue graduate study in composition and music theory.

Maximize Your Experience at Indiana State

Explore our Honors College to learn how you can maximize your college experience with faculty mentors, undergraduate research, internships, and Honors housing. Students in the Honors College also enjoy opportunities to travel across the nation and abroad for conferences, service-learning trips, and immersive academic and cultural studies.

Learn About the Honors College


Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Higher Learning Commission

In addition, the School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Music Education program holds accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the Music Business program is affiliated with NAMM – International Music Products Association.

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