Film Scoring Graduate Programs

A graduate degree like a Master of Music in Film Scoring or a Master of Fine Arts in Media Scoring can lead to a career as a screen composer, audio engineer, or music producer. Learn about different degree programs and common courses. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Types of Graduate Programs in Film Scoring

Master of Music in Film Scoring (M.M.)

An M.M. in Film Scoring degree program can prepare individuals for a career in screen composition or music editing. This type of program will typically require an undergraduate degree in a music-related field. Individuals might take courses like motion picture scoring or composition. An M.M. in Film Scoring program usually takes an average of one or two years and 36-39 credits to complete.

Master of Fine Arts in Media Scoring (MFA)

Earning an MFA in Media Scoring typically takes two years and an average of 60 credits. Most programs require students to submit a thesis project. This type of program usually covers scoring across a variety of media platforms that might include film, television, and video games. Individuals with an MFA in Media Scoring often work as music producers or audio engineers.

Master of Arts in Music Composition (MA)

This type of degree program might lead to a career as a music teacher or professional musician. An MA in Music Composition degree program usually requires a bachelor's in music or a related field. It typically takes one or two years and an average of 30-48 course credits to complete an MA in Music Composition degree program. Common classes include composition and music history.

Doctor of Philosophy in Composition (Ph.D.)

A Ph.D. in Composition is the highest level of degree program available in the field of film scoring. A bachelor's degree is required for entrance, and many programs award students both a master's and doctorate upon completion. This type of program usually requires four or five years of study and typically involves completing a major thesis or dissertation. Many individuals with a Ph.D. in Composition become music directors or musicologists.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
Master of Music in Film Scoring (M.M.) 1-2 years *undergraduate degree *Screen Composer
*Music Editor
Master of Fine Arts in Media Scoring (MFA) 2 years *undergraduate degree *Music Producer
*Audio Engineer
Master of Arts in Music Composition (MA) 1-2 years *undergraduate degree *Music Teacher
*Musician
Doctor of Philosophy in Composition (PhD) 4-5 years *undergraduate degree *Music Director
*Musicologist

How to Earn a Graduate Degree in Film Scoring

Most graduate degree programs in film scoring require a bachelor's degree in music or a related field. It typically takes one or two years to earn a master's degree and four or five years to earn a doctorate. Courses generally focus on scoring, composition, and orchestration.

Motion Picture Scoring

This type of class typically provides individuals with the theoretical and technical skills needed to develop a film score. Students might learn about the history of motion picture scoring. They might be required to create a sample film score for submission at the end of the semester.

Composition

A composition course usually involves music writing in a practical setting. This type of course will typically involve a combination of independent composition and artistic advising. Students might learn about different composition models and historical periods.

Orchestration

Students typically learn how to write and produce music for a variety of instrument types in an orchestration course. They might observe different orchestration techniques and learn how to apply them across a range of media. They might also learn how to incorporate new technologies into music orchestration.

History of Music

A class in music history usually examines musical styles across various historical periods. Common periods include the Renaissance, the Baroque and Classical periods, and the Romantic period. Students might also gain exposure to music history across different cultures.

Music Criticism

This type of course often involves evaluating music from a critical perspective. A music criticism class might incorporate group discussions about different musical pieces. Students might read music reviews and write their own.

Admission Requirements for a Graduate Degree Program in Film Scoring

All graduate degree programs in film scoring require a bachelor's degree, usually in music or a related field. Admittance will typically require official transcripts, personal references, and an application fee. Applicants are often expected to submit a music portfolio and complete a live audition. GRE scores are not required for most programs, but international applicants must take the TOEFL exam.

Common graduate degree programs in film scoring include a master of music in film scoring and a master of fine arts in media scoring. Programs usually require an undergraduate degree in a music-related field and take anywhere from one to five years to complete.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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