As a student in the Master of Music in Composition you will have occasions to hear your work performed in regularly scheduled concerts and in other events.

The UBC Symphony, the UBC Wind Ensemble and the Contemporary Players Ensemble perform or read students’ works. In addition, the Computer Music Studio and ICICS sound studio are available to composers wanting to work with electronics or interactive technologies.


  • Bachelor of Music degree in composition, or an acceptable equivalent
  • Studies in composition, music history, music theory, and performance commensurate with those of the undergraduate curriculum at UBC or equivalents


The master’s thesis is defined as original works for a variety of instruments, ensembles and electronic media composed during graduate study. The student is required to have had at least 45 minutes of their music performed in concerts and public venues.


You must complete a total of 33 credits in

  • 507 Composition – 6 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 509 Advanced Orchestration and Arranging – 3 credits
  • 520A Introduction to Music Research – 3 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 549 Thesis – 6 credits (Ref. 1)
  • Music Theory Electives – 6 credits (Ref. 3)
  • Electives – 9 credits (Ref. 4)

  1. Music 507 is to be taken in the first year of study only. Students shall register in Music 549, which includes second-year composition lessons, beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  2. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. However, students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement: please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students must substitute three 300-level elective credits.
  3. Music Theory Electives must be approved in formal adoption of the individual program and must be at the 500 level or higher. Three of the six credits may be elected in musicology or ethnomusicology and must be at the 500 level or higher.
  4. Electives must be approved in formal adoption of the individual program and must be at the 300 level or higher. A maximum of 6 credits at the 300 or 400 level can be counted toward graduate credit. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor. Six credits may be non-music electives at the 300, 400, or 500 levels.

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