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B.M. in Music Composition

The music composition degree at Biola's Conservatory of Music will give you opportunities to compose concert and film music, learn valuable skills in music business and technology, and explore what it means to be a composer committed to Christ.

In addition to its strong curriculum, expert faculty members and biblical integration, Biola’s music composition program offers several key advantages:

  • Highly experienced and dedicated faculty
  • Strong academic preparation for graduate school
  • State of the art composition studio
  • Numerous opportunities for original works to be performed and recorded
  • Close proximity to Los Angeles
  • Competitions and National Conferences such as PERC, CFAMC
  • Special scholarship awards
  • Small, close-knit community of Christian believers

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What will I study as a music composition major?

Each year you will write in a wide variety of styles while studying privately with some of the finest composers in the Los Angeles area. Annual concerts feature the works of Conservatory composition students while additional competitions provide feedback from Conservatory and guest judges. Composition students also partner with Biola's Cinema and Media Arts department, gaining valuable experience in scoring for film. A large and talented studio of composition majors will give you a community to thrive in, and Biola's proximity to Los Angeles, one of the artistic centers of the world, puts you in just the right location to experience the music industry firsthand.

Some of your courses include:

Orchestration (MUSC 342)

A study of orchestral instruments with emphasis on a working knowledge of ranges and idiomatic qualities/capacities of each. Included are numerous scoring projects. Grade Mode: A.

Music Technology and Production (MUSC 347)

Emphasis on MIDI, notation and sequencing software, score and part preparation, editing and mastering of recordings, electronic music history, and basic acoustics. Grade Mode: A.

Music Cultures of the World (MUSC 410)

An introductory study of the interrelationships between music and culture through the examination of the music of varying cultures. Basic elements of music as they are found in world cultures will be studied. Grade Mode: A.

Bible and Theology Coursework

As part of Biola’s commitment to a biblically centered education, most undergraduate students complete 30 credits of biblical and theological studies as a part of their degree program. Learn more about our Bible and theology core.

Career Outlook and Preparation

What can you do with a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition?

Whether it's writing music for the big screen, composing music for the world's great concert halls, or teaching composition and theory at the university level, our graduates are impacting the world for Jesus Christ in professions such as:

  • Composer
  • Copyist
  • Film score writer
  • Music arranger
  • Film music orchestrator
  • Principal accompanist
  • Professor of composition

In addition, many composition students pursue graduate studies, while others move directly into the music industry. Biola music composition graduates have become recognizable masters in their artistry. Highlights include:

  • Grammy Award Winning Performing Artist
  • Winner of The ASCAP Foundation Max Dreyfus Scholarship
  • Film Composer and Orchestrator for Warner Bros. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • ASCAP Composer to Watch
  • Nomination for the Best Original Score: Biola Film Festival and Southeastern 180 Film Festival
  • Featured Solo Violinist Seattle Pacific University Jazz Ensemble
  • Assistant to Academy & Emmy Award Winner, Todd Boekelheide
  • Graduate study at prestigious schools such as New York University, European American Musical Alliance in Paris, University of Southern California, Eastman School of Music, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

5% job growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for music directors and composers is projected to be as fast as average between 2021 and 2031.

BLS projections are not specific to Biola University students or graduates.

Hannah Parrott

Through the faculty's integrated encouragement and honest critique, I have been apprenticed in my craft, equipped to see and to listen, to diagnose and to learn. They have aided in coaxing my intentions and creative fragments into unique realities, and they have shown me the immense possibilities while putting the tools in my hands. Biola's Composition Area provided a place for me to be richly and individually challenged, stretched, strengthened and matured, and through their mentorship, I am able to confidently continue this lifelong journey of learning!

Composer, Orchestrator, Arranger
Composition (Piano), B.M. '14
Alex Lu

My experience as a student at Biola was transformative, both musically and spiritually. The first-rate music faculty was nurturing and supportive of me, even years after I graduated. I am blessed to have made friends with students and faculty who continue to enrich my life.

Composer, Pianist, Educator
Composition and Performance (Piano), B.M. '04
Melissa Miles

In the composition area at Biola, you can tailor your education to what fits your interests. Since I was particularly interested in writing for musical theatre, I spent much of my time during my last year honing my songwriting skills. Although I focused more on composing for theatre, I felt like my experience studying composition at Biola was very well rounded and I had the chance to write in many genres and for many instruments/ensembles as well.

Composition (Violin), B.M.
Judith Hill

Everywhere you go, you wear your faith. When you have the Holy Spirit, when you have that core, it doesn’t falter. No matter what major, what classes you’re in or what you’re studying, soak it up. It’s what shapes you... Soak up the serenity, those peaceful places on campus. Once you leave, you have to be a lot more intentional.

Grammy Award Winning Performing Artist, Actress, Songwriter
Composition (Keyboard and Voice), B.M. '05
Joel Balzun

My experiences at Biola - especially those with applied faculty - helped me solidify the connection and intersection that is present between my craft as a musician, and my identity as a child of God. As I return to join the applied voice faculty, I hope that I can help my students identify the same crucial intersection that has informed my own musical preparation and performance.

Baritone, Composer, Educator
Composition (Voice), B.M. '13


Admissions Process

Learn about Biola’s admissions requirements, steps to apply, application deadlines and more at our Undergraduate Admissions page.

Program-Specific Admissions Requirements

Students interested in majoring in B.M. in Music Composition are required to complete a Conservatory application and audition.

Explore the Conservatory Application Process

Explore the Audition Process

Schedule a Visit

Learn more about this program by attending an upcoming event for prospective students and parents, or by scheduling a personalized visit.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

Biola is more affordable than you might think — dramatically lower than the “sticker price” in most cases — with 100% of incoming undergraduate students receiving some form of financial aid.


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You'll study in person at Biola University's campus in Southern California.

Total Credits

Total program credits include major-specific courses and Biola's core curriculum.

Standard Completion Time

This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.


Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.