Music Admissions: Graduate
Click for a pdf of the Graduate Application Process Overview, seen below.
Overview: The graduate application process is composed of three equally-important elements. Leaving any one of them incomplete will result in an incomplete application and/or lack of funding.
The Application Process
1. APPLY TO YOUR INSTRUMENT/AREA
Contact faculty from your area (*)
Deadline: Feb. 1, or 3 weeks before audition (Jan.15, music theory only)
Required Materials: Audition Request Form; Audition/Interview; Teaching materials
2. APPLY TO UMASS GRADUATE ADMISSIONS
Portal: SPIRE admissions portal (Click "Apply for Graduate Study")
Deadline: Feb. 1, or 3 weeks before audition (Jan. 15, music theory only)
Required Materials: College transcripts; Recommendations; Resume; GRE scores (music theory only); TOEFL scores (if applicable)
3. APPLY FOR FUNDING (*)
Link: GenEd Teaching Assistantship Application
Deadline: Feb. 1
Required Materials: Writing Sample(s); Summary of Teaching Experience
* TAships in the GenEd area may be combined with TAships awarded by studio faculty
Acceptance into a Music Department Graduate program requires academic acceptance by the University as well as acceptance by the Music Department. Acceptance to the Music Program is based on the quality of your audition and/or supplemental materials, depending on your desired area of study. The Graduate School will issue acceptance to the University to applicants who meet the admissions requirements upon Departmental recommendation. The Graduate School cannot process our Department's acceptances until your application is complete.
Have music graduate admissions questions? Contact our Graduate Program Coordinator, Kelsea Aaberg, 413-545-0311 or email@example.com.
Academic application forms for admission to graduate study are available from the UMass Amherst Graduate School web page or from the Graduate Admissions Office, Goodell Hall, (413) 545-0722, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For fall admission, the application deadline for all graduate programs in Music, except Music Theory, is February 1. The application deadline for graduate study in the Music Theory MM is January 15. Applications must be submitted by October 1 for spring admission.
Music Audition dates for Fall 2020 entry will be released later in the summer.
Auditions must be scheduled at least three weeks before the requested audition date, by filling out the Audition Request Form. Students should schedule an audition as early as possible, and may do so even before submitting the application for academic acceptance. However, the University application must be submitted prior to the actual audition date. Auditions may take place prior to academic acceptance by the University, but not before a University application has been submitted.
All Instruments & Voice (except Strings, see below):
To be announced for Fall 2020 entry: Usually Saturdays in February
Violin, viola, cello, double bass only:
To be announced for Fall 2020 entry.
(Click for Graduate String Quartet program info)
If you are unable to attend on any of the available dates, please contact the appropriate faculty member to request an alternate date.
Graduate Degree Programs: Audition or Not?
Graduate programs which DO require an audition:
On-campus audition required:
- Master of Music in Collaborative Piano
- Master of Music in Music Education / Performance
- Master of Music in Performance (all instruments/voice)
- Ph.D. in Music Education (Performance)
- Professional Performance Certificate (Graduate non-degree program; see webpage for description)
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS > (by instrument/voice)
20-minute DVD of rehearsal and performance footage in lieu of a live audition:
- Master of Music in Conducting (Choral, Orchestral, or Wind)
- Master of Music in Music Education (Conducting)
- Ph.D. in Music Education (Conducting)
See Supporting Materials page
Graduate programs which DO NOT require an audition:
Masters in Music: (see Supporting Materials page)
- Jazz Composition and Arranging
- Music Education / Research
- Music Education / Pedagogy
- Music History
- Music Theory
Ph.D. in Music: (see Supporting Materials page)
- Music Education
You must submit any required scores or other documents to the Graduate Program Director, Prof. Brent Auerbach.
Graduate Record Exam: Application to the M.M. with a concentration in Music Theory requires the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Other M.M. concentrations DO NOT require the GRE. Entry to the Ph.D. program in Music Education also DOES NOT require the GRE.
Teaching Assistantship: If your degree program does not require an audition, you may elect to perform an audition if you would like to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship (TA) that includes performing.
Ensemble auditions, which take place at the start of each semester, are always required for placement in ensembles.
Jazz MM: 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.
More Info: As well as applying through the UMass Amherst Graduate School, graduate applicants in Music may wish to contact the appropriate area coordinator if more specific information is desired. DEGREE SUBPLANS (required & optional courses) for graduate programs are also available on the Master's Degree and PhD Degree webpages and the Graduate Handbook (pdf).
The University of Massachusetts Amherst prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, or veteran status, in any aspect of the admission or treatment of students or in employment.