Program in Composition Studies College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Program in Composition Studies College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Stony Brook, NY
student ratio
Not Reported
total students
average amount to complete degree
Not Reported
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


Music Composition Graduate Degree Programs at Stony Brook University

The Department of Music at Stony Brook University offers both master's and doctoral degree programs in composition studies. These programs emphasize music composition theory, methodology, analysis, and history.

Graduate students gain in-depth knowledge of the principles involved with creating music. They also receive practical training that includes learning how to listen critically to music, arranging original musical scores, and developing their creativity.

Stony Brook University also offers graduate students several other benefits including an experienced and talented faculty, interdisciplinary study within and outside of the music department, and a diverse student population.

Building Practical Experience in the Field

Graduate students in the Department of Music at Stony Brook University are treated like professionals and colleagues. They are given the opportunity to manage the day-to-day operations of the department. They organize concerts, provide administrative support, teach and mentor undergraduate students, perform in ensembles, and provide technical support.

These practical experiences, along with outstanding classroom learning, prepare students for exceptional careers in their fields.

Master of Arts in Composition at Stony Brook University

Students in the Master of Arts (MA) in Composition program at Stony Brook University take general courses that include compositional skills of tonal music, pro-seminar in tonal analysis, foundations of musicianship, and graduate musicianship.

They also take core courses such as the history and analysis of 20th century music, studies in music history, fundamentals of electronic music, and advanced composition (which is taken in every semester of residence). Additionally, students participate in an electronic music workshop in which they create experimental works and use electronic music equipment.

Students may also choose to enroll in a course in computer music in which they learn about the history and repertoire of the field, as well as how to use computers to create music. Topics include computer manipulation of natural sound, software synthesis, and interactive performance.

Developing Composition Portfolios

Students who pursue a Master of Arts in Composition also complete comprehensive examinations in music analysis.

Furthermore, they present portfolios of their compositions to the department. These portfolios, which include a variety of written compositions, allow students to showcase their talents.

PhD Program in Composition at Stony Brook University

During the first year of study, students in the PhD in Composition program work with faculty members to create individualized curricula that detail courses to be taken, length of full-time residence, compositions to be created, topics of examinations, and research papers to be written. Students also teach 2 semester-long courses and participate in a seminar about teaching music.

After students complete their study plans, they advance to PhD candidacy which involves submitting dissertation outlines and passing preliminary examinations that cover their musical craft and aesthetics. Students then complete their dissertations, which are to be original works of scholarship or composition.

In addition, they create several musical compositions that reflect their competency in a variety of contemporary performance media. Students also demonstrate that they have reading knowledge of French, German, Italian, or Spanish.

Faculty for Graduate Programs in Music Composition

Graduate students in the music composition program learn from professors -- like Peter Winkler -- who are dedicated educators, accomplished composers and scholars, and talented musicians.

Professor Winker focuses his teaching and research on the history and theory of popular music. He has published several papers on the subject including "Randy Newman's Americana."

He is also a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and has composed music for concerts and theater productions. As a talented pianist, Professor Winkler has been featured on several recordings and is a member of Play It By Ear, an opera improvisation group.

State of the Art Facilities

The music department provides a full-range of rehearsal and teaching facilities, over 70 practice rooms and studios, and more than 40 Steinway grand pianos. It also maintains a fully-equipped electronic and computer music studio and has a collection of early instruments including harpsichords, organs, viols, and Renaissance wind instruments.

In addition, the music library maintains an extensive collection of books, periodicals, scores, microfilm, and recordings. It also includes a technologically advanced listening facility.

Application Process for Graduate Programs in Music Composition

The admissions process at Stony Brook University involves completing an online application. Individuals must also submit the following supporting materials via mail: official transcripts of undergraduate study, 3 letters of recommendation, examples of undergraduate work, and musical scores and recordings.

Financial Aid

All applicants for graduate programs in music composition at Stony Brook University receive consideration for financial assistance from the Department of Music.

Financial assistance, typically, includes teaching assistantships and tuition scholarships. Student loans and fellowships are also available.

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is one of the State University of New York's four university centers. Located in Stony Brook, New York, in the northeastern region of the United States, Stony Brook University offers more than 8,000 graduate students 102 master's programs, 40 doctoral programs, and 32 graduate certificate programs.

Because it is situated on Long Island's north shore, Stony Brook U. is close to a wide-variety of recreational sources including beaches, parks, cultural institutions, entertainment venues, restaurants, and shopping establishments. Furthermore, the university is only 60 miles from vibrant and fascinating New York City.

Stony Brook provides excellent academic and research programs, as well as a supportive and diverse community that meets its students' social, cultural, and academic needs and interests. This commitment to superior scholarship earned Stony Brook University a ranking on U.S. News and World Report's 2010 list of the top 100 national universities.

Location & Contact

Contact Info
Dr. Eugene Hammond
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Phone: 631-631-632-9277
Fax: 631-632-7568

Contact Info
Dr. Andrew Newman
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Phone: 631-631 632-7373
Fax: 631-632-7568

Degrees & Award

Programs Offered:
Offers Composition Studies (Certificate).

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & Fees$4,685
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported