San Diego State University Logo
School of Music and Dance logo


Composition photo


Bachelor of Music, Global Composition

Master of Music, Composition


Review the Bachelor of Music Degree Learning Outcomes

Review the Master of Music Degree Learning outcomes for Composition


The composition major is designed to welcome students who bring a range of musical backgrounds and experience to their creative work as makers of new music.  We recognize that the majority of composers today come from backgrounds in a wide variety of popular genres, K-pop to hip-hop, EDM to Eminem, video games to space operas, rock to reggae, metal to Mariachi.

We embrace all of these, and recognize the important cultural conversations taking place within them.  We see ourselves as contributors to that dialogue. 

Composition students compose works for various ensembles, including orchestra, film scores, EDM, song writing etc.  We give our students the tools to hit the ground running and seize many opportunities, from creating original work, to working in recording studios, creating their own software, publishing and even creating album artwork.

Students learn to trust their intuition, draw from the unknown, and apply structural and technical tools to realize highly personal, literate musical works.

Graduate students have opportunities to teach, and there is partial scholarship support available. We are growing the composition area and seek energetic graduate students and undergraduate students.

The music composition program at SDSU takes it’s orientation from the maverick genius composer Harry Partch, whose ensemble was in residence here for several decades.  We aim to be an utterly unique composition program: open, inclusive, all embracing, deep, rigorous and dynamic, the best composition program in the country, on our own terms.


Composition Faculty

Joseph Waters, coordinator
Texu Kim
Chris Warren

How to Apply


Electronic Music Studio (EMS)