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GRADUATE ADMISSIONS

Learn how to apply to the School of Music.

Admission Requirements

The University of Maryland Graduate School requires that all incoming graduate students have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). The School of Music will petition for waiver of this requirement only in extraordinary circumstances. Students interested in applying to the School of Music with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 should be sure to submit fall grades and consider retaking any music or writing courses in which a grade of B- or lower was earned. 

In most cases, graduate admission to the School of Music requires an undergraduate degree in music. A waiver of this requirement may be granted in some circumstances, but the applicant should be prepared to demonstrate the equivalent of an upper-level, undergraduate competency in music theory and music history. The graduate program in ethnomusicology does consider applicants who have earned undergraduate degrees in related fields.

Application Instructions

Graduate Students

The application process for the School of Music graduate degree programs is a two-part process. All prospective students must apply to both the University of Maryland Graduate School and the School of Music. We request that you fill out and submit the graduate application first, and then submit the separate music application. Both applications are due December 1 unless otherwise specified.

All applicants must:

  1. First apply online to the Graduate School.
    • For the program of study, please choose the applicable program for your intended major:
      • For those applying for an M.A. or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, your four letter program code is MUET [Music: Ethnomusicology (MUET)]
      • For those applying for an M.A. or Ph.D. in musicology or music theory, your four letter program code is MUSA [Music: Non-Education M.A. and Ph.D. (MUSA)]
      • For those applying for an M.A., M.M. or Ph.D. in Music Education, your four letter program code is MUED [Music: Education M.A., M.M., Ph.D. (MUED)]
      • For those applying for any other degree program in music (this includes all performance and composition degrees), your four letter program code is MUSC [Music: Non-Education M.M. and D.M.A. (MUSC)]
    • Letters of Recommendation–The Graduate School application will ask you for your recommenders’ names and email addresses, however it is set to not require you to fill out these fields. The School of Music faculty DO NOT review your graduate school application. They will only review your School of Music application. Any letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf should be submitted electronically via the School of Music application.
    • You’re required to upload a scanned version of transcripts issued by each institution attended (in English). International applicants must upload a scanned official copy of all previous degrees/diplomas and transcripts issued in the original language with a literal English translation. Please make sure the scanned copy is legible. Upon enrollment, all students will need to have an official copy sent to the Graduate School by each institution you previously attended. For a full description of the transcript requirements, please go to the FAQ section of the Graduate School's website that describes transcripts and diplomas. If you are submitting hard copies of your transcript, please mail them directly to the graduate school at the address listed below.
  2. After submitting the Graduate School application, please fill out and submit the School of Music application. You should upload your repertoire list, writing samples, resume and any additional supplemental materials.
    • All applicants (excluding ethnomusicology, musicology and Ph.D. music education—for your requirements, see Graduate Program Requirements) are required to submit a brief (1,000–2,000 word) statement addressing the following two questions:
      • What are your reasons for undertaking graduate study at the University of Maryland? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field or allied fields, your plans for a professional career or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject.
      • What life experiences have you had that you feel have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree at a large, diverse institution such as the University of Maryland? Among the items you might care to include would be your financial, community and family background, whether you are the first person in your family to pursue a higher education or any other factors that you feel would contribute to the diversity of our academic community. You may also wish to give the graduate admissions committee some examples of your determination to pursue your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas and/or your capacity for working through problems independently.
    • Please upload the most recent version of your resume/curriculum vitae (recommended).
    • In the School of Music application, students must list the name and email address for three recommenders, and then their recommenders will receive instructions via email to submit their letters of recommendation online. The Graduate School application may require you to submit the names of your recommenders in order to be able to submit the application. Please be aware that the School of Music faculty DO NOT review your Graduate School application. They will only review your School of Music application. Any letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf should be submitted electronically.
    • All applicants must submit transcripts in order to be considered for admission to the University of Maryland Graduate School. You may upload a scanned copy or unofficial copy of your transcript to the School of Music application. Please make sure the transcript is legible. If you have a copy of a transcript that is encrypted, please do not upload it. It will show up as a blank document. Print the document out, scan it, then upload a scanned version.
    • Performance applicants [those applying for the Music: Non-Education M.M. and D.M.A. (MUSC) program] should upload a repertoire list.
    • Composition applicants should upload your scores and recordings through the School of Music application. View the specific requirements for composition applicants.
    • For other programs, please click here to find specific information about application materials required for your program. If you are applying for an auditioned program, you will need to submit your audition video. If your audition video is not ready for upload at the time of your application, you can submit it on your application status page until February 1.
    • Please be aware, you will not be able to submit the School of Music application until you have filled out all required fields and uploaded all materials required for your specific program or instrument.
  3. If you are applying for conducting, please upload your pre-screen materials to your School of Music application.
  4. Pay the music application fee when you submit your School of Music application.

Upon enrollment, hard copies of transcripts should be mailed to the Graduate School:

University of Maryland
Enrollment Services Operations
Application for Graduate Admission
0130 Mitchell Building
College Park, MD 20742

For Fall 2021 admission, recorded auditions will be required for all applicants. You will have the opportunity to indicate interest in a live audition on your music application, but it is not likely that we will be able to accommodate live auditions this year. Additionally, the faculty reserve the opportunity to interact with you via an in-person zoom interview/audition, but it will not be required in all areas, and should not be taken as an indicator of likelihood for admission. 
 
Please also be aware that due to teleworking arrangements, the Music Admissions Office will not be regularly checking mail. Please do not send any application materials via postal mail.

For International Students

International students must follow the above requirements as well as additional requirements specific to international students such as certification of finances and English proficiency.

For complete details on international admissions requirements, consult the International Admissions page maintained by the Office of International Programs.

The Graduate School's policy on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) can be found here. PLEASE NOTE that the School of Music's requirements are slightly different than those of the Graduate School.

School of Music Requirements:

All non-native English speakers must submit a TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score. This requirement may be waived for certain applicants:

  • If you have earned an undergraduate degree from an English-language institution in an approved English-speaking country and completed at least three years of coursework at that institution, you will not be required to submit a test score.
  • If you have earned a graduate degree in an academic (non-performance) field from an English-language institution in an approved English-speaking country and completed at least two years of coursework at that institution, you will not be required to submit a test score. Graduate degrees in performance or performance certificates/diplomas will not exempt an applicant from submitting a test score.

The School of Music will evaluate auditions for students able to report a MyBest TOEFL (or equivalent IELTS/PTE) score of 88 or higher.

To be considered for full admission, M.A. and M.M. applicants must submit a MyBest TOEFL (or equivalent) score of 92 or higher, with sectional superscores meeting the following requirements:

Reading: 26
Speaking: 22
Listening: 24
Writing: 20

To be considered for full admission, Ph.D. and D.M.A. applicants must submit a MyBest TOEFL score of 96 or higher, with sectional superscores meeting the following requirements:

Reading: 26
Speaking: 22
Listening: 24
Writing: 24

In order to be considered for funding (including assistantships), applicants must meet all requirements for full admission by February 15 (postponements are considered on a case-by-case basis). Applicants who do not meet the requirements for full admission and who do not wish to be considered for funding are advised to enroll in the Voxy Program in the spring or summer. Failure to submit a test score that meets the requirements for full admission by the start of the fall semester will result in enrollment in the MEI English Bridge Program.

If you have any questions, please contact music admissions to determine exactly how this policy affects you. Please provide your overall score and subscores so we can more quickly answer your question. 

Pre-Screen Requirements

Pre-screen videos are required for all conducting applicants. Specific requirements for the pre-screen can be found on the Graduate Auditions page. All pre-screen recordings should be submitted as part of your School of Music application. Our application and pre-screen recording deadline for conducting applicants is December 1.

Audition Information

Performance graduate degrees require a video-recorded audition. You may submit this recording on your application at the time of application submission, or via your application status page (post-submission). Videos are due February 1.