Apr 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Composition, Artist Diploma

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Artist Diploma

The Artist Diploma is the most advanced nonacademic performance program offered by The Hartt School. Candidates for this program will be expected to demonstrate a high level of professional accomplishment and should be in the beginning stages of a professional career. A graduate diploma, certificate, master’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission. The Artist Diploma must be completed within four years from the date of matriculation.


The curriculum is designed around the interests, abilities, and needs of individual students. Each program is designed jointly by the student and an advisory committee (major teacher, department chair, and division director) and could include private lessons, chamber music, ensemble performance, and optional academic classes.

The Artist Diploma requires a residence of two years and a minimum of 24 earned credits, including one recital at 2 credit hours. Full-time course load is 6-9 credits per semester.

Concentration in Composition (24-32 credits)

The purpose of this program is to provide intensive study in contemporary compositional techniques and the presentation of new work for those composers who plan to work primarily outside of academia. (For those composers who plan to make teaching their primary focus, an M.M. or D.M.A. degree program is recommended.)

Other Studies in Music

Choose two courses (6 credits) in consultation with an advisor from the following list:


  • Electives (with permission of advisor) 1-12 credits


At the end of the program of study, the AD composition candidate must present a portfolio of works in a variety of media- electronic, multimedia, or performance art/dramatic works-for evaluation. The portfolio should represent one concert’s worth of music. A majority of these pieces should have been performed at The Hartt School during the program of study.  The portfolio is reviewed in an exit interview with faculty.

Academic Electives

An A.D. student electing to take courses in music history or music theory must take the graduate placement examinations in history or theory and fulfill the Graduate Music History (or Theory) Review Requirement. HLM 615  is a pre-requisite for all graduate courses in music history.

After acceptance into the Artist Diploma program, students are required to take an Ear Training Placement Exam. In addition, applicants for the Artist Diploma in composition are required to take an examination in score reading, keyboard proficiency and keyboard harmony. Students who fail the exams must enroll in the appropriate classes during the first year of their graduate study. Students whose examinations reveal deficiencies at the undergraduate level will be required to take the appropriate undergraduate courses. Proficiency examinations will be administered the week prior to the beginning of each semester.

Different courses of study may require the student to attend certain courses offered in alternate years or semesters, thus demanding the student’s presence during a given semester. Students should not expect to complete their programs by summer residence.

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