Music Theory and Composition (BM)

Program Description

The Bachelor of Music Program in Music Theory and Composition combines a liberal arts education with coursework in music theory and composition to prepare students for a variety of careers in the music industry. Students are actively involved in the organization and performance of their own works, in concerts and readings by NYU performance groups in residence, in school performing ensembles, as well as in chamber groups specially hired for specific composition concerts. Through the weekly Composers Forum, students meet and work with composers and performers, prepare two student showcases per semester, and attend highlights in the New York City new music concert season.

Composition majors have many opportunities to collaborate with performers, dancers, actors, and multimedia applications, which include music technology, jazz studies, and instrumental and vocal performance programs, and to work with musicians and other artists from New York City.


The program offers three concentrations:

Concert Music

Students in this concentration take courses in orchestration and conducting, have multiple opportunities to have their concert works performed in concerts, residencies, and readings by NYU performance groups, and collaborate with performers, dancers, and actors. 

Contemporary Songwriting and Production 

Students in this concentration study the music industry and the craft of writing, producing, and recording songs, through intensive course work and collaboration with professional musicians. The concentration includes courses in songwriting history and criticism, studio production skills and techniques, and the business structure of the music industry. Students take private lessons, learn to use industry-standard music technology, and participate in the Songwriters Forum, a seminar geared toward developing the art and craft of writing popular songs.

Screen Scoring

This concentration is designed to provide the diverse knowledge necessary for working with visual media. Coursework and other activities focus on technology, composition, aesthetics, and historical approaches for music written for the screen.

Majors in Screen Scoring may consider a dual degree option which enables them to complete a master's degree in Music Theory and Composition: Screen Scoring. Interested students should consult with their advisor for more information.


New York University's Office of Undergraduate Admissions supports the application process for all undergraduate programs at NYU.  For additional information about undergraduate admissions, including application requirements, see How to Apply

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to each concentration: