Music (MA), Composition Concentration at Montclair State University

Music (MA), Composition Concentration

Apply NowFrequently Asked QuestionsRequest InformationUpcoming Events

Music (MA), Composition Concentration

The Master of Arts degree program in Composition offers advanced studies to support the development of students’ personal styles. We offer classes and private lessons in a wide variety of topics, including traditional and electronic composition, orchestration, arranging, counterpoint analysis, style and history. New student works are performed frequently before faculty, mentors, peers and guest artists during masterclasses and recitals. The goal of the Composition program is to prepare students for the professional music world and doctoral programs. The school prides itself to being open to all styles and aesthetics of music as demonstrated by the varying styles of the faculty. Students are encouraged to find their own compositional voices, as well as to discover and study old and new sounds and aesthetics.

Along with the Composition concentration of the Music (MA) program, the music department also offers the following options for graduate study: Music with a concentration in Music EducationMusic with a concentration in Music Therapy, a Master of Music degree in Performance, a combined Bachelor’s / Master of Arts in Teaching in Music and certificate programs in Music Education and Music Therapy.

Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

The Office of Graduate Admissions requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees need not submit transcripts. Instead, they must submit a course-by-course evaluation along with U.S. degree equivalency information of their coursework from any member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or by Educated Choices. Please note: Applicants who have an international education may not apply as a last-term senior.

Application Checklist

In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling admission.
  • Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.

The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Music (MA) program,  Composition Concentration:

  • Transcript: One from each college attended.
  • Statement of Purpose – Please write an integrated essay providing a response to each of the following questions:
    • What are your goals for graduate study and your future career?
    • In what ways do your academic background and your professional experiences provide evidence of your potential for success in the program you selected and in your eventual career? Please give specific examples of relevant coursework and/or experience.
    • Is there any further information we should consider in assessing your candidacy?
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two.
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

Auditions for Music Applicants

Applicants to this program are required to audition as part of the application review process. You must first submit a graduate admission application to The Graduate School. During the application process, you will be asked whether you intend to provide a live audition or video audition. After submitting your application, you will have the opportunity to either schedule an audition or upload your audition video depending on your choice. For more information about the application and audition process, please visit the John J. Cali School of Music website.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Music (MA), Composition Concentration Program Coordinator:

*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. Find the updated summer chair for this program.*

Program Coordinator: Aaron Helgeson
Office: Chapin Hall G42