In addition to the School of Music application and instrumental or vocal audition, students interested in the composition emphasis must schedule an interview with the theory/composition coordinator and submit any examples of creative work.
Admission to this selective program requires submission and approval of a portfolio of at least three works exhibiting variety in terms of instrumentation/media and style. The portfolio may be submitted any time prior to the fifth semester of study at NIU. You may begin secondary composition instruction with faculty to develop a portfolio, or you may already have a portfolio for submission prior to beginning at NIU. Portfolios should be submitted electronically to the theory/composition coordinator with scores in PDF format and links to sound files.
The Master of Music degree program permits qualified graduate students to major in music composition under the individualized specialization option. An audition is not required, but a portfolio of compositions must be submitted as part of the application. The portfolio should consist of at least three recent works exhibiting variety in terms of instrumentation/media and style. Portfolios should be submitted electronically to the theory/composition coordinator with scores in PDF format and links to sound files.
On a space-available basis, undergraduate and graduate students who are not currently composition majors may also study composition for one or more semesters. While there are no specific prerequisites to this individualized study, preference will be given to undergraduate students who have successfully completed most of the core music theory and aural skills curriculum, and to graduate students who have completed the graduate music theory review or demonstrated proficiency in music theory preparation.