Applicants to the BM Composition degree are automatically considered for merit scholarships in composition and in performance (based on an instrumental audition).

We also encourage applicants to apply for additional types of financial aid.


Graduate students pursuing the MM and DMA degrees are eligible for graduate assistantship positions (GA) in Music Theory, Music Composition, Electronic Music, and Music Technology as well as fellowships and scholarships (no teaching duties). All applicants to the graduate programs are automatically considered for funding, and there is no supplemental application to be considered for a GA, scholarship, or fellowship. GA positions include:

  • Music Composition Instructor for non-composition majors and Composition Area coordinator/liaison
  • Computer Lab Assistant (Assistant to the Electronic Media and Arts Director)
  • Music Technology Instructor (responsible for teaching MUS 291 and/or MUS 441 and/or 442)
  • Music Theory Instructor (awarded by composition faculty but supervised by the theory faculty)

More information about Graduate Assistantships at MSU. 

Additionally, some applicants are nominated for university-wide competitive funding opportunities:

University Distinguished Fellowship

The UDF fellowship programs provide financial support for outstanding students in a doctoral or master of fine arts program. We are particularly aware of the special role that graduate education plays in training the next generation of leaders in academia, government and the private sector. In assisting MSU achieve its educational mission, our goal is to foster an intellectually vital and diverse educational community that will prepare graduate students to assume their professional roles in a diverse society. The Graduate School's recruitment fellowships support departments and programs in their goal of attracting a cohort of students who:

  • have demonstrated academic excellence
  • articulate their commitment to research goals well matched to department or program doctoral emphasis areas
  • show evidence of leadership potential or of the capacity to make a distinctive professional or scholarly contribution
  • contribute to a diverse educational community, as evidenced in personal history and experience, research goals, or the promotion of understanding among persons of different backgrounds and ideas
  • have different racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, geographic, and disciplinary backgrounds

Academic Achievement Graduate Assistantships

AAGA funding is intended to help provide financial support for students who have been accepted into a master’s or a doctoral degree program and whose enrollment will enhance the educational diversity of the student body of the program into which they are admitted. Criteria for awarding the assistantships include students’ personal history, experience, leadership potential, and research goals, as well as their demonstrated promotion of understanding among persons of different background and ideas, and their demonstrated academic achievement by overcoming barriers such as economic, social, or educational disadvantage. In particular, the Graduate School’s AAGA recruitment program is designed to assist graduate programs in attracting students who traditionally have not participated in the University’s graduate programs. Programs are encouraged to nominate undergraduates who have participated in programs like McNair and SROP and students who have attended an undergraduate institution such as a small liberal arts college or a HBCU or HSI.