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Admission Requirements

Guide to Becoming a Music Composition Major at Boise State University

  1. Apply to Boise State University
  2. Apply to the Undergraduate Music Program and audition. You must complete a successful audition and gain acceptance into a performance studio on a primary instrument/voice in order to enroll in the music composition program.
  3. Interview: At any point in the process, preferably before you submit a portfolio, make an appointment to talk to me in person (or over the phone if you’re out of town). Parents/guardians are welcome to join. I would like to get to know you a little better before you send in a portfolio, and to make sure being a Composition major is a good fit for you. This is also a great opportunity to ask me questions about the program. I will attend all audition days, so if you are at all interested in composition please see me while you are on campus for your audition.
  4. Submit a composition portfolio. The portfolio will need to be approved by me in order to be accepted into the composition studio.  Your portfolio should include at minimum three original compositions. Two compositions must be notated and the score submitted as a PDF along with links to accompanying recordings (MIDI or live) on SoundCloud, Youtube, etc.  The third composition may be an electronic piece with or without a score, created with software technology such as Ableton, Logic, Pro Tools, etc.

If you have been accepted into the university, a performance studio, have had an interview with me, submitted a portfolio, AND your portfolio was accepted by me:

You can be a Composition major! Change your major online to Music Composition and sign up for MUS 181. The following years you will have weekly, hour-long private composition lessons.


If you have been accepted into a performance studio but you DO NOT yet have a portfolio of compositions:

Sign up for my MUS 181 Composition class. All first year comp students as well as those who are even interested in composition are welcome to take this class. We meet as a (small) group this first year. You will need a permission number from me to add the class. During this year you can work on building up a portfolio for acceptance into the program.


If you have been accepted into the university but have NOT been accepted into a performance studio (or you are a pre-music major):

You can still take my MUS 181 Composition class! (see above). You will need a permission number from me. Re-audition at the next opportunity.


I’m happy to help during any stage of the process.
Please contact me at ericalexander@boisestate.edu.

Dr. Alexander


Bachelor of Music (B.M.) Degree in Composition

Degree Checklist
Suggested Course Sequence

If you have any questions about the structure and content of the undergraduate composition degree program please contact Dr. Eric Alexander.