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Music Admissions: Graduate

General Requirements

Acceptance into a Music Department Graduate program requires academic acceptance by the University as well as acceptance by the Music Department. The Music Department part of the application process includes an audition (for degrees with a performance component) or submission of appropriate scores and documents (for degrees without a performance component). Please see below (Graduate Degree Programs) for clarification.

Application Deadlines and Audition Dates are below.

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.

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,


APPLICATION DEADLINES: 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 programs (MM, PhD) is January 15. Applications must be submitted by October 1 for spring admission.

Graduate Degree Programs: Audition or Not?

As well as applying through the UMass Amherst Graduate School, graduate applicants in Music may wish to contact the appropriate area-of-concentration program director 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 file).

Information on Diagnostic Exams in Music Theory & Music History >>.

Not all graduate music degree programs require an audition for acceptance.

Graduate programs which DO require an audition (before March 1st):

Masters in Music:

  • Collaborative Piano
  • Music Education / Applied (Performance)
  • Music Education / Conducting (Choral or Instrumental) (see Supporting Materials page)
  • Performance (all instruments/voice)

Professional Performance Certificate (Graduate non-degree program; see webpage for description).

Ph.D. in Music:

  • Music Education / Applied or Conducting
  • Music Theory  (currently suspended/not available)

Graduate programs which DO NOT require an audition:

Masters in Music: (see Supporting Materials page)

  • Composition
  • Jazz Composition and Arranging 
  • Music Education / Research
  • Music Education / Policy and Practice
  • Music History
  • Music Theory

Ph.D. in Music: (see Supporting Materials page)

  • Music Education / Research OR Policy and Practice
  • Music Theory   (Ph.D. in Music Theory is currently not available)

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 are always required for placement in ensembles. You must submit any required scores or other documents to the Graduate Program Director, Prof. Brent Auerbach


Music Audition dates for 2018: (for graduate or undergraduate applicants)

All Instruments & Voice (except Strings, see below):
Saturday, January 27, 2018   (except Jazz Bass, Bassoon)
Saturday, February 3, 2018   (except Flute)
Saturday, February 17, 2018   (except Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Piano, Percussion, Bassoon)
Saturday, March 3, 2018   (except Trombone, Clarinet, Horn)
(UPDATE: The Saxophone Studio cannot accept any more auditions on March 3. Please contact Music Admissions if you cannot make Jan. 27 or Feb. 3)

Violin, viola, cello, double bass only:   (Click for Graduate String Quartet program info)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018

If you are unable to attend on any of the available dates, please contact the appropriate faculty member and the Music Admissions office to request an alternate date.

Students should schedule an audition as early as possible, and may do so even before submitting the application for academic acceptance. Auditions may take place prior to academic acceptance to the University; but not before a University application has been submitted.


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.