The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu

Audition Requirements- Graduate

Not all graduate music degree programs require an audition for acceptance. Please see the Graduate Admissions page for a breakdown of which programs require an audition, for information about how to apply, and for a list of upcoming Music Audition dates.

When an audition is required for admission to a Graduate Program, applicants are expected to perform in various period styles within the repertory of their instrument/voice, before March 1st for fall admission. SIGHT READING MAY BE REQUESTED.

Click on your instrument group for specific graduate audition requirements:

WOODWINDS  (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone)

BRASS  (Trumpet, Trombone, Horn, Euphonium, Tuba)

STRINGS  (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass)


PIANO  (Piano and Collaborative Piano)





Participating in an on-campus audition is required, especially if a student wishes to be considered for a scholarship. If a student is unable to attend a regularly scheduled audition day, it is possible to request a Special Audition on the Music Application form for an individual date/time with the appropriate faculty.

Similarly, a Special Arrangement is possible if an extenuating circumstance prevents a student from attending his/her chosen audition date. It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to be in touch with the appropriate studio faculty to arrange an audition date/time. Spring entry applicants MUST select a Special Arrangement audition.

Recorded (whether hard copy or online) and streaming auditions are not allowed in lieu of a live audition except in exceptionally extenuating circumstances. The Department reserves the right to require a live audition before granting final admission to any degree program.

Requirements, expectations, and permission for these auditions vary for each studio and audition requirements may be adjusted compared to what is listed on the Music Program website.

All Special Arrangements and (if granted) recorded/streamed auditions for prospective graduate students must be completed by May 1 (for Fall entry) or November 1 (Spring entry).

Please call Admissions Director Nathaniel Gowen, 413-545-6048 or email with any questions.

Graduate applicants in Jazz Composition and Arranging are not required to audition, but are encouraged to do so. While the portfolio is the primary focal point of the Composition/Arranging application and subsequent degree, a sample CD or live audition of the applicant's performing abilities is encouraged, as is the participation in large and small jazz ensembles while pursuing the Masters degree. A particular performing strength can sometimes compensate for a smaller writing portfolio as an initial foray into the Masters in Jazz Composition/Arranging.

Graduate jazz applicants may contact Program Director & Professor Jeffrey Holmes,, (413) 545-6046, for additional details about the program and audition information.