Composition and Theory

The music theory and composition area features a student-centered approach to academic coursework in all undergraduate and graduate music programs. Kent State offers a BM in composition, MM in composition, MA in music theory, and Ph.D. in theory/composition. Students in these programs, as well as all music majors, receive individual attention in small classes taught by full-time faculty.


The BM in composition leads to a professional degree and includes specialization in music theory and composition. This degree program 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.


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 students receiving assistantships in the music theory and composition area will experience teaching first-year aural skills and music theory, holding office hours, tutoring undergraduate students, proctoring placement exams during audition days, and assisting faculty in the music theory & composition area. Graduate assistantships include a stipend and tuition waiver for 8 credits per semester for masters students and 9 credits per semester for Ph.D. students.


Joshua AlbrechtRichard DevoreH. Gerrey Noh | Adam Roberts


For more information, contact Richard Devore at 330-672-2409 or at