Becoming a successful composer requires practice. Columbia’s program centers on applied full-length projects so you can gain experience composing for various visual media across musical genres. You’ll learn how to integrate orchestral instruments with electronic samples using the latest recording, production and mixing techniques in a dedicated MFA music lab. You’ll take courses on history and film theory while mastering technical industry standards.
You’ll work with renowned composers in residence to re-score their original works in three distinct workshops that each span seven weeks. Think of this like a flight simulator: Professional composers re-create real-life challenges they faced on the project so you can learn how to anticipate and adjust.
The capstone is a five-week semester in Los Angeles where you’ll intern with a working composer while planning and executing your thesis project: recording your original score with a full studio orchestra. You’ll graduate with a clear path and strong connections that will help you succeed in this competitive industry.
For degree requirements, visit the course catalog.
Students come to the MFA program from diverse backgrounds. Applicants are usually skillful concert composers, and/or adept at producing original music using digital tools. All have a solid foundation of notation and music theory skills, and many have already worked with visual or other storytelling media.Read More
The MFA program, led by composer Kubilay Uner, draws on the Music Department’s diverse, award-winning faculty of working professionals. Students also study with a series of distinguished composers in residence who work in a variety of genres and media, each of whom visit for seven weeks.Read More
Most MFA alumni work in the field of music for media, primarily in Hollywood. Established alumni are the backbone of the program’s success, helping today’s graduates and students connect with opportunities in the field. Recent alumni have worked on films from Warner Brothers and Universal, TV series on Syfy and TBS, PBS documentaries, and best-selling video games.Read More
We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.
If you can’t make it to campus, don’t worry! We have a full schedule of events all across the U.S. and around the world.