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Music Admissions: Graduate

Admissions Process | Audition or Not? | TA & Exam Info | Deadlines | Audition Days | Contact

Acceptance into a Graduate music program requires academic acceptance by the University as well as acceptance by the Department of Music & Dance. Acceptance is based on the quality of your audition and/or supplemental materials.

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 graduate application is complete.


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.




  • Required Materials: Music Application plus an Audition and/or appropriate Supporting Materials
  • Priority Deadline: December 1 for Music Application and Supporting Materials.
  • Priority Audition Deadline: February 19 to be considered for performance-based TA offerings.
  • Recommended: directly contact the applied instrument faculty for your audition instrument or area coordinator for your academic field to introduce yourself and your intentions.
  • For details about each graduate concentration, including required courses/projects and faculty/staff contacts, see the Graduate Concentrations or the Academics - Graduate Music webpages.




Graduate programs which DO require an instrumental audition:

  • Master of Music in Collaborative Piano
  • Master of Music in Music Education (Performance)
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Music in Jazz Performance
  • Professional Performance Certificate (Graduate non-degree program; see webpage for description)
  • Jazz or Classical Performance Certificate (Non-degree supplemental programs for current MM students)

Click here for Graduate Audition Requirements.

Graduate programs which DO NOT require an instrumental audition:

  • Master of Music in Conducting*
  • Master of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music in Jazz Composition and Arranging
  • Master of Music in Music Education (Conducting*, Research, or Pedagogy)
  • Master of Music in Music History
  • Master of Music in Music Theory
  • Ph.D. in Music Education

*After submitting their Supporting Materials, applicants for any Conducting concentration may additionally require a live interview with the conducting faculty as well as conducting/rehearsing a UMass ensemble.

All Supporting Materials must be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator.



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.

In addition, TA positions in the GenEd area may be combined with TAships awarded by studio faculty.

Diagnostic Exams: Graduate diagnostic exams are taken after enrolling and are not part of the application process. Click here to learn more about Graduate Music Diagnostic Exams.

Graduate Record Exam: The GRE is not required for any graduate program offered by the Department of Music & Dance at UMass Amherst.


SUMMARY OF DEADLINES, 2023-2024 Graduate Admissions Cycle

  • January 15, 2024 – Final deadline for Music Applications if planning to attend an on-campus Audition Day. 
  • February 19, 2024 – Priority audition deadline for performance-based TA consideration.

Submissions received after priority deadlines listed above will be reviewed in the order that they are received for purposes of admission and TA consideration.



Graduate applicants can sign up for an Audition Day by completing the Music Application by January 15.

Click here for the Graduate Audition Requirements and Special Arrangement audition policy.

Music auditions take place at the Bromery Center for the Arts on campus. All audition days for Fall 2024 applicants take place in February 2024; refer to the list below for dates available for each instrument:

Flute - 3, 17
Clarinet - 11, 17* (Please choose Feb. 11)
Bassoon - 11, 17 
Oboe - 3, 11, 17
Saxophone - 3, 11* (Please choose Feb. 3)

Horn - 3, 11, 17
Trumpet - 3, 11, 17* (Please choose Feb. 3 or 11)
Trombone - 3, 11, 17
Euphonium/Tuba - 3, 11, 17

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass - 9, 11* (Please choose Feb. 9)

All Voice ranges - 3, 11*, 19 (Please choose Feb. 3 or 19)

Piano (classical) - 11, 17

Percussion - 11, 17

Jazz Bass, Drums, Guitar, Piano, Trombone, Trumpet, Voice (all ranges) - 3, 17* (Please choose Feb. 3)
Jazz Saxophone - 3, 11* (Please choose Feb. 3)

* = This audition date is filled for the given instrument. Please choose a different date.

Contact Information

For inquiries pertaining to the Graduate School application and related materials:
UMass Graduate School Admissions, gradadm@grad.umass.edu, 413-545-0722

For general inquiries about the graduate program and supplemental materials:
Nicole Avakian, Graduate Program Coordinator, musicoffice@music.umass.edu, 413-545-0311

For inquiries about auditions and the Music Application:
Nate Gowen, Director of Music Admissions, musicadmissions@umass.edu, 413-545-6048

For inquiries about the graduate degree and its concentrations:
Erinn Knyt, Director of Graduate Music Studies, eknyt@umass.edu 


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.