Doctorate in Composition and Theory (PhD)

Close up of sheet music for "Getting Somewhere"

Our PhD degree program in composition and theory offers in-depth study in composition, theory and analysis and electro-acoustic music. We provide you with the time and means to develop a secure command of the craft of composition under the guidance of our award-winning faculty. Your compositions will be performed and recorded as part of the graduate student composers' concert series, New Music Brandeis. You may also have your compositions read by the Lydian String Quartet and by ensembles-in-residence that are invited to Brandeis by the music department.

Preparation for teaching careers is an integral part of our PhD program in composition and theory. You'll serve as a teaching fellow during your second, third, fourth and fifth years of training. As such, you'll be responsible for course preparation, lecturing, administering and grading exams and meeting individually with undergraduates.

Your culminating doctoral thesis will consist of an extensive original composition and a written analytical thesis.

Why Brandeis?

At Brandeis, you can hear your compositions performed and recorded as part of New Music Brandeis, a contemporary concert series that showcases the work of Brandeis student, faculty and alumni composers. You may also have your compositions read by the Lydian String Quartet and by ensembles-in-residence that are invited to Brandeis by the music department.

Our state-of-the-art facilities include:

We also belong to the Boston-area library consortium, so you can use books in major libraries in the area.

Careers and Alumni

Graduates of our PhD program have gone on to successful careers in composition and in teaching at colleges and universities throughout the country.