Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts in Composition and Theory

1968 BUCHLA 100 Modular Electronic Music System

1968 BUCHLA 100 Modular Electronic Music System

Music thrives at Brandeis. We have an award-winning faculty comprised of composers, scholars, instrumentalists, vocalists and conductors. We offer both a one-year MA and a two-year MFA in composition and theory. Both degree programs are designed to help you develop a command of the craft of composition. That objective is supported by studies in theory and analysis and in electro-acoustic music.

The one-year MA program is for you if you want to engage in beginning graduate study without making a multi-year commitment. The two-year MFA program offers more in-depth study and requires writing a master's thesis in the form of an original composition.

Students who are successful in the MA program often choose to continue for a second year in order to complete the MFA.

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

Many of our graduates go on to pursue a doctoral degree in composition and theory or a related field and are now on the faculty of such prestigious institutions as the Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory of Music, Hartt School of Music and University of Electro-Communications and Musashino Academia Musicae, Tokyo.


For the one-year MA in composition and theory, you will:

For the two-year MFA in composition and theory, you will:

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Partial need-based tuition scholarships are available from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Information about this and other sources of funding may be found on the GSAS website. The music department may also recommend additional merit scholarships, determined on a case-by-case basis.