Master of Arts

Songwriting Degree

Apply for September 23 semester start. • Get a decision within 2 weeks

The Master of Arts in Songwriting will instill in you a deeper knowledge of lyrical and musical techniques, song forms, and ideas on arranging and production that past and current innovators in songwriting have used with great success. You will explore the creation of a personal brand and connect it to your writing and marketing, understand current career options available to songwriters, and develop the skills required to ideate and plan your career.

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You will apply the principles of songwriting to your own advanced music project, which can take many forms, always in keeping with having a product and calling card that will move you forward in your career arc.

The Master of Arts in Songwriting is a unique project-focused master’s degree program, where the goal is to produce a body of work that will prepare you for a career in the current commercial music industry. You choose your career focus, whether it’s as a performing songwriter, top-line collaborating songwriter, songwriter/producer, vocal arranger/producer, sync and licensing expert, or songwriter for musical theater or various niche markets.

Upon completing the program, you will also be well prepared to adapt to rapid changes and new creative directions in the music industry.

By the end of the program, you will be able to:

  • Synthesize and apply songwriting processes and techniques, including lyric writing, melodic writing, and harmony and groove writing to your work
  • Analyze songs using artistic, academic, market criteria, as well as production methods and styles and understand songs and recordings from a historical perspective
  • Connect artistic vision, mission, and voice to a personal brand that includes visual and sonic components
  • Synthesize and apply recording and production processes and techniques, including beat-making, hook-writing, arranging, vocal production, editing, and mixing to your own work
  • Demonstrate an understanding of current music markets, how songs are perceived in relation to those markets and contextualize your songs within those markets
  • Effectively collaborate with other songwriters, as well as producers and business entities
  • Write a portfolio of finished songs that express a unique artistic perspective
  • Produce or collaborate on the production of the songs in your portfolio in a style that both supports the artistic perspective and orients the songs toward a specific market
  • Design and execute a branded online presence that includes social media, website, and other elements as needed to promote yourself within the industry as a songwriter
  • Write songs for various uses including advertising, libraries, sync to film/TV, and writing for niche markets
  • Define and execute a career plan that takes into consideration your unique skill set and career goals, keeping in mind current and potential future income streams available to songwriters
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  1. Fill out the online application (15 minutes).
  2. Statement of Purpose: Create a 500-750 word essay, or a 3-5 minute video essay, in which you tell us about your background and why you are applying to the program, in addition to describing the project you intend to pursue in the program.
  3. Compile your résumé or CV.
  4. Portfolio: Prepare two examples of recently recorded work, along with a detailed explanation of your role in writing the songs.
  5. Attach your official transcripts.
  6. Ask for two letters of recommendation.

Read full graduate admissions requirement details .


Online graduate degree tuition vs. competitor's campus-based programs

Affordable Tuition

Online graduate degree tuition is $34,980 for 36 credits (includes associated fees). To get started, this degree program includes a non-refundable $75 application fee.

Read full tuition and associated program fee details for this, and all other graduate programs here.

Note: September 2023 Semester Price Increase

In September 2023, online graduate degree tuition will increase to $35,304 for 36 credits (includes associated fees).

Available Financial Aid