About the Music Composition Program
The Composition program of Mills College has trained generations of composers from all over the world in the American experimentalist tradition. In addition to taking courses in orchestration, tonal and post-tonal analysis, and contemporary music criticism, you’ll be encouraged to cross disciplinary boundaries and to pursue studies in special areas of interest that may include improvisation, indeterminacy, and environmental sound composition, as well as composing for dance and film.
Our core composition faculty, Fred Frith and Roscoe Mitchell, have won international renown as composers and performers across the musical spectrum, from conventionally notated work to a wide range of experimental practices. We regularly invite distinguished guest composers to teach at Mills—most recently Hilda Paredes and Zeena Parkins. You can study electronic and computer music with faculty from the Center for Contemporary Music. Also teaching in the Composition Program are scholars David Bernstein, a specialist in the music of John Cage and the tonal theories of Arnold Schoenberg, and Nalini Ghuman, whose interests include post-colonial perspectives on musical Orientalism, nationalism, and cross-cultural musical exchange.
To enhance our students’ learning experience, Mills sponsors at least one visiting composer each year.
Programme StructureCourses include:
- Selected Issues in Contemporary Performance and Improvisation
- Seminar in 20th-Century Literature and Theory
- Contemporary Instrumentation and Orchestration
- Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
- Tonal Analysis
- Individual Instruction in Performance and Composition
- 24 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- Apply before
- Apply before
DisciplinesMusic Liberal Arts View 813 other Masters in Liberal Arts in United States
We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.
- Complete the Mills application online and submit the $50 application fee.
- Statement of Purpose.
- We ask that you send us official transcripts (with grades) from the college or university from which you earned your bachelor's degree. Students who earned their bachelor's degree outside of the United States will need to have their transcript evaluated by a NACES member organization.
- Three letters of recommendation are required.
- English Proficiency.
- Your portfolio must include: three scores and, if possible, high-quality audio recordings of your most recent compositions, MIDI versions of scores are permitted, but not encouraged, program notes for the works submitted, annotated representative list of your works
International34832 USD/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 17416 USD per semester during 24 months.
National34832 USD/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 17416 USD per semester during 24 months.
Living costs for Oakland
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.