The composition and music technology program is among the most vibrant and progressive in the country, featuring internationally recognized faculty members whose works are regularly performed by top orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists throughout the world.

Because of the program’s emphasis on individuality, the student body is impressively diverse, representing a wide range of stylistic interests, techniques, notations, performance venues and audiences. Students draw upon the excellent resources of the Bienen School of Music, comprising premier researchers and performers, a music library that houses the largest collection of post-1945 music in the world, and the thriving cultural community in nearby Chicago.

The school’s Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition provides a special dimension to the program, as prizewinners—thus far John Adams, Oliver Knussen, Kaija Saariaho, John Luther Adams, Aaron Jay Kernis, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Steve Reich, Jennifer Higdon, William Bolcom, and Tania León—spend two weeks on campus, closely interacting with students and faculty.

The graduate student support provided to PhD students includes year-round tuition and stipend and fully subsidized health insurance.