Occasionally, a composer without a degree in composition but who has an extensive relevant experience might also be considered.

This semester is ideal for composers who want support and feedback in launching or refining a specific project; want to explore new genres; feel stalled or stuck and want an opportunity to jumpstart their process; want the opportunity to write for an upcoming ensemble-in-residence; or who would like to spend a semester of intense study with a particular member of the VCFA faculty.


Postgraduate students may use this opportunity to work closely with a particular faculty member on a specific composition project or projects. Because a postgraduate student is not enrolled in the degree program and, therefore, not required to meet the usual degree requirements, the semester works entirely around each student’s own interests and goals.

Optional Residency

VCFA graduates (having already completed five residencies) may choose to do the semester only and not attend the initial residency. At least partial attendance at the final residency would be required if the postgraduate wrote for an ensemble-in-residence. A composer who is not a graduate of our programs would be required to attend the initial residency period, an intensive time of workshops, lectures, concerts, showcases, and many other stimulating offerings. Prior to (in consultation with the Program Director) or during the residency, the postgraduate chooses an advisor–a postgraduate student generally receives his or her first choice of faculty mentor and completes a preliminary study plan outlining the semester’s work. This course of study will develop more fully as the semester unfolds and advisor and student get to know one another and the student’s work better. Flexibility is key to making the most of this period of intensive work.

Semester Work

The semester work schedule and means of communication (typically email, Skype or similar sessions, etc.) are determined by the student and the advisor. Both student and advisor complete evaluations at the midpoint and the end of the semester.

Tuition and Fees

$7,519 + residency fees

Questions? Want to discuss?

Contact Carol Beatty, Program Director, at [email protected] or 802-828-8610.