The Eastman theory program maintains a strong tradition of practical musicianship. It has continued to operate within an environment of professional performance and composition study ever since graduate study in theory began here in the 1930s. Thus, all undergraduate theory majors at Eastman must take applied lessons and participate in student ensembles, and graduate theory majors are encouraged to incorporate studio lessons on their instrument/voice or in composition into their studies.
Graduates with the Bachelor of Music in Theory have continued their studies in theory at top graduate schools. Alumni of the MA/PhD program currently hold academic positions at institutions including City University of New York, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, University of Colorado, Florida State University, and Yale.