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Composition: Music, B.M.

School of Music

Explore your original ideas in a rigorous and creative environment committed to musical excellence. You'll develop outstanding professional composition skills while pursuing a broad academic education.

A bachelor of music with an area of emphasis in composition provides the study of music composition, traditional study in theory and history, and work in related fields such as orchestration, computer and electronic music, and arranging for commercial music applications. An audition consisting of submission of a portfolio of personal compositions is required.

Program Highlights

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    Expert Faculty

    Work with our extraordinary faculty, and enjoy the many opportunities to hear new compositions performed regularly.

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    Cool Tools

    Study music technology and work in our three studios of advanced digital equipment for the creation of music.

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    Distinguished School

    Since 1969, the School of Music has consistently retained the distinctive National Association of Schools of Music accreditation.

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    Supportive Community

    Foster your creative learning, skill development and personal exploration through Spark: Music Leadership at Carolina.

What You’ll Study

Compose music by studying, listening to existing music and hearing the music you have created. Work with digital technology to create and produce music. Discuss topics related to creativity, composing and musical analysis. Participate in ensembles and collaborate with other students and visiting artists. Demonstrate fundamental piano skills and perform juried exams.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Performance

    Presenting oneself creatively through a specific medium to an audience

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

    Listening Skills

    Understanding what others are saying to facilitate effective communication

  • Innovation

    Introducing new ideas, methods or products to improve performance or achieve a specific goal

    Cultural Awareness

    Learning about and respecting diverse cultures and beliefs


    Exchanging information and ideas through speaking, writing or other means of expression

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Professional Composer/Arranger
  • Film Music Composer/Arranger
  • Gaming Composer/Arranger

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Director of Music
  • Musician
  • Piano Accompanist

Workplace Settings

  • Music
  • Entertainment
  • Film
  • Performance
  • Technology
  • Media

Advanced Degrees

Advance your career or options with post-graduate education.

The School of Music’s supportive and collaborative atmosphere has made my time here a vibrant, enriching experience. I’ve had opportunities to explore new interests, develop special projects and work with artists across multiple disciplines.

Rachelle Armstead
Portrait of Rachelle Armstead

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.