Composition and Theory

A student-centered approach to academic courses in Music Theory and Composition 

Kent State offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Music Theory and Composition. 

Undergraduate Information Graduate Information


Joshua Albrecht Richard Devore
H. Gerrey Noh Adam Roberts (Composition)


Degree Offered

B.M. in Music Composition


  • Includes specialization in music theory and composition. 
  • Provides preparation for graduate study in the field and the ability to compose and use technology in a variety of musical styles. 
  • All undergraduate music majors complete an intensive, four-semester core curriculum of music theory, aural skills, and keyboard skills. These skills provide the foundation for future studies in music, as well as enhancing overall musicianship.
  • Applied instrumental or vocal study along with seminars and private composition lessons. 

Find Your Applied Studio

All undergraduate composition majors must present an instrumental or vocal audition for admission into the program.

Brass | Percussion | Piano | Strings | Voice | Woodwinds

Minors to Compliment Your Major

Music Minor Jazz Studies Minor
World Music Minor Arts Entrepreneurship Minor


Degrees Offered

M.A. in Composition
M.A. in Music Theory
Ph.D. in Music Theory-Composition


  • The master's programs in music theory (MA) and composition (MM) are designed to advance the academic and creative skills of students and to prepare them for admission to doctoral study. 
  • The composition program emphasizes mastery of large-scale works for media including orchestra, choir, band and/or chamber music ensembles. 
  • The music theory program further develops abilities in music theory including analytical, aural, written, keyboard, and pedagogical skills. 


  • The doctoral program in music theory and composition (Ph.D.) is a unique program that features both creative and research-based study. 
  • Students complete a core of two years of academic coursework and a two-part dissertation that includes both an original composition and scholarly research in music theory. 

Graduate Assistantships

  • A limited number are available every year.
  • Graduate students receiving assistantships in the music theory and composition area will experience teaching first-year aural skills and music theory tutoring undergraduate students, proctoring placement exams during audition days, and assisting faculty in the music theory & composition area.

Questions or Want More Information?

Liz Root
Recruitment Coordinator | 330-672-2878

Scholarships, Financial Aid & Graduate Assistantships

Scholarship & Financial Aid


Music majors are eligible for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance from a variety of sources.

Several of these programs are administered directly by the School of Music, others are coordinated through Student Financial Aid. It is possible to receive combined assistance from more than one source. 


  • Awarded for outstanding musicianship upon recommendation of the audition committee at the time of acceptance to the School of Music. One audition applies to both acceptance and scholarship application.
  • Scholarships range in a variety of amounts per academic year and may be available for up to four years (eight semesters) provided students meet academic and performance expectations for renewal.
  • Most of these scholarships are awarded soon after our March audition date.

Questions about School of Music Scholarships?

Dana Brown, Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies | 330-672-9236


  • Service scholarships awarded by the society in support of the activities of Kent State University Orchestra.
  • Awarded to exceptional candidates by the Orchestra Director.
  • Amount of awards vary according to talent and need and may be renewable.
  • May be awarded in addition to other School of Music Scholarships.
  • Continuation of the scholarship is based upon artistic development and fulfillment of service responsibilities.

Marching Golden Flash Award


  • $1,000 divided into two $500 installments between the fall and spring semesters.
  • Recipients must participate in ALL required activities of the Marching Golden Flashes.


  • Incoming Kent State University first-year students.
  • Past returning members of the Marching Golden Flashes.
  • Must be enrolled in classes at Kent State.
  • Open to students of ANY major at Kent State.



Graduate Assistantships


The Glauser School of Music offers graduate assistantships in applied music performance, conducting, ethnomusicology, music education, string quartet and theory. Appointments begin August of the academic year. 



  • All graduate assistantships (Master’s and Ph.D.) carry a stipend.
  • Ranges: $3,750-$10,000, depending on workload and degree level.

Tuition Waiver

  • Master’s Students: 8 credits per semester
  • Ph.D. Students: 9 credits per semester


  • Graduate assistantship duties are assigned as appropriate for the student’s area of study or expertise.  
  • Workload: 10 hours (half-time) or 20 hours (full-time) per week.

Learn More and View Anticipated Openings

Audition Dates and Procedures


Overview of Audition Dates, Procedures and Requirements

Explore how you can make the Glauser School your musical home!

Who needs to audition?

  • Undergraduate Students: All students interested in any Bachelor of Music (BM) and Bachelors of Arts (BA) programs need to audition in their major performance medium (voice or instrument).
  • Graduate Students: Only those interested in pursuing a Master of Music (MM) in Performance or Conducting need to audition for admission to their program of choice. Students pursuing Master of Arts (MA) programs only need to audition if interested in applied lessons.
  • Music Minors: Those interested in pursuing a Music Minor with a general or Jazz Studies concentration must audition in their performance medium. World Music Minor students do not need to audition for admission to that minor. 
  • Non-majors: Students in other majors need to audition in their performance area if they wish to take applied lessons. 

Audition Dates and Procedures

Spring 2021 Enrollment

  • Recorded Virtual Auditions Only
  • Deadline to submit the Audition Application:
    •   Friday, January 11, 11:59 p.m. EDT (US)

Fall 2021 Enrollment

Please note: Live auditions will now be offered virtually. Prospective students will be able to meet with and play for faculty from their performance area on a specific day, at a specific time to simulate an in-person experience. 

  • Recorded Virtual Auditions are accepted during the fall 2020 semester.
  • Live Virtual Audition Dates:
    •  Jan. 30*^: Application closes Wednesday, January 20, 11:59 p.m. EDT (US)
    •  Feb. 15*^: Application closes Friday, February 5, 11:59 p.m. EDT (US)
    • Mar. 13*: Application closes Wednesday, March 3, 11:59 p.m. EDT (US)
    • Apr. 3: Application closes Wednesday, March 24, 11:59 p.m. EDT (US)
  • If none of the dates above work, a special audition date can be arranged. Request this on your audition application!

*Prospective undergraduate students auditioning on this date will receive full music scholarship consideration.

^Prospective graduate students auditioning on this date will receive priority graduate assistantship consideration.

Follow these steps when completing your audition application

1. Click here to sign-up for an audition.

2. Audition Options

  • Recorded Virtual Audition 
    • Select "I wish to submit a recorded audition."
    • Follow the instructions for completing your recorded audition, making sure to follow the repertoire requirements for your performance medium (voice/instrument). 
  • Live Virtual Audition :
    • Select from the dates listed.
    • -OR-
    • Select "I am unable to attend a date listed above but wish to do an in-person audition. I will contact the School to set-up a separate date."



Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Graduate Admissions Requirements

Graduate Admission Requirements-Composition (MA)
Graduate Admission Requirements-Music Theory-Comp (PHD)