Music Composition

College of Fine & Applied Arts


What is Music Composition ?

This major focuses on the concepts of composition and teaching. Students take specialized classes in orchestration, music formalization, and jazz arranging. Coursework also includes experimental, electronic, and computer music. In this major, you'll be able collaborate with fellow music students. You can also use experimental music studios and have your original works performed. Students learn from exceptional faculty pushing the boundaries of contemporary music. Our program also prepares students for graduate study. You must pass an audition to be accepted into this major.

Career Options

  • Arrangement
  • Composition
  • Film music editing
  • Music engineering & mixing
  • Music performance
  • Music recording
  • Music therapy
  • Teaching

Post-Graduation Success1

87% employed or continuing education

56% employed after graduation

31% attending graduate school

$50,503 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Arc Worldwide, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Solstice View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania View All

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong talent review (audition or portfolio)

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

4.2 years to degree

95% first-year retention rate

45% four-year graduation rate

73% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $14,340
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $37,490


  • Tuition: $33,460
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $56,950


  • Tuition: $34,408
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $57,898