Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

General Questions

There is no need to send any materials through the mail except official transcripts and test scores for graduate students. All application materials can be submitted online and media can be uploaded.

Graduate transcripts should be mailed to:

Office of Recruitment and Enrollment, CFA 108
Carnegie Mellon School of Music
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Official GRE scores should be sent to Institution Code 2074 Department “Arts – Performance and Studio – Music” 2404

Undergraduate transcripts and test scores should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

You will receive an email confirmation of your audition/portfolio review date and time in early January. Be sure to check your spam folder or remove filters.

A live on campus audition is always best. However, we know this is not always possible for students and families.  Full consideration is given to all applicants who audition at regional locations or by recording. Be sure to review the Audition/Portfolio Requirements for your area of study since some programs are not eligible for regional auditions.

Undergraduate applicants receive an initial artistic decision from the School of Music in mid-March. The final admission decision comes from the Office of Undergraduate Admission around April 1. The final decision is available online through the “Where Am I in the Process?” webpage. Financial Aid decisions are available through the Office of Undergraduate Admission after admission decisions are processed.

Graduate applicants will receive decisions via email.  Admission decisions will be released in mid-March and will include merit scholarship. Federal loans are processed after a graduate student enrolls at Carnegie Mellon.

You can, but we typically see the most successful auditions from students who audition on what they consider to be their primary instrument. If you choose to audition or interview for two programs within the School of Music, you will need to complete the Online School of Music Application twice. Please contact the Office of Recruitment & Enrollment if you plan to apply to two programs.

Vocalists will be provided with a staff collaborative pianist during on campus auditions. Vocalists who audition at regional sites should plan to bring their own pianist. Instrumental auditions are unaccompanied both on campus and at regional sites.

No. Your portfolio review/interview is your audition for the Composition studio.

A K-12 Music Education Certification is available for undergraduate performance or composition majors. The Certification is also offered as a three-semester post graduate program (Music Education Certification). The School of Music also offers a Master of Music in Music Education.

Advanced Music Studies Certificate candidates may apply to begin in the spring semester with faculty approval.  Master of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates very rarely begin in the spring semester.  Please contact the Office of Recruitment & Enrollment to inquire about spring options.

Admitted students can defer their admission one year as part of the enrollment process.  During this one-year deferral, you cannot be enrolled at any other degree-granting institution. Graduate students must send a formal letter requesting deferral to the Office of Recruitment and Enrollment by April 15. Undergraduates should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission about the deferral process.

Undergraduate Questions

No. The School of Music minors do not require an audition. Once you are enrolled as a Carnegie Mellon student, you can apply for the minor through the Director of Student Services in the School of Music. If you are interested in minoring, you do not need to include the School of Music as part of your application process. This process is only for prospective music majors.

You still have the opportunity to enroll at Carnegie Mellon. Feel free to reach out the BXA Program Office to explore the internal application process once you are a Carnegie Mellon student.

The audition or portfolio review is a large factor of your admission decision. This artistic decision happens first.  Students who are admitted to the School of Music are recommended for admission to the University. At this point, a student can still be admitted, denied or put on the wait-list for the School of Music by the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

If you are in the Music/Performance or Composition track/concentration, you will take four semesters of studio lessons as part of your curriculum. Technology track/concentration students are able take lessons through the Extension Division for non-majors since studio lessons are not a part of the curriculum.

Yes. Music students are able to study abroad but need to work closely with their advisor if they plan to be away during the academic year.  Typically students use the summer as a time to study abroad. The Study Abroad website is a great resource. The BXA program also has a student exchange program.

Graduate Questions

Only students applying for the MS in Music & Technology need to take the GRE.

The School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University offers competitive fellowships and assistantships based on merit and institutional need.

Administrative, Ensemble Staff, Teaching and Studio Assistantships are available.

A Graduate Assistantship, available only for Master of Music candidates, reduces tuition by $10,000 per year and requires the student work 10 hours per week for their assigned supervisor.

Graduate applicants will apply for assistantships through the online School of Music application. 

All admitted domestic graduate students at Carnegie Mellon are eligible for federal loans through The Hub. Your FAFSA is processed after you have chosen to enroll at Carnegie Mellon. The Hub takes the Cost of Attendance and subtracts scholarship or assistantship tuition remission in order to determine loan eligibility. Review the Graduate Financial Aid Guide for more information.

International Questions

Undergraduate applicants are required to submit a TOEFL score of 102 or better on the internet-based TOEFL or an IELTS score of 7.5 and above. Please arrange to have these scores sent no later than January 1st.

Master of Music Candidates must meet the following minimum TOEFL requirements. 

Minimum iBT score: 84
22 in Reading
22 in Listening
18 in Speaking
22 in Writing

Artist Diploma and Advanced Music Studies Certificate Candidates must meet the following minimum TOEFL requirements.

Minimum iBT score: 64
15 in Reading
17 in Listening
17 in Speaking
15 in Writing

Yes. Carnegie Mellon requires either the SAT Test or ACT Test from every applicant. The Carnegie Mellon SAT code is 2074 and the ACT code is 3534.

Once you have confirmed your enrollment at Carnegie Mellon, we will begin the process of issuing your I-20. Please visit the International Students

 pages for more information.

Undergraduate International students do not qualify for need based financial aid through the Office of Undergraduate Admission. 

Graduate international students are eligible for fellowship and assistantships based on the audition/portfolio review. However, graduate international student are not eligible for federal loans.

Fast Facts

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon School of Music




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Faculty-Student Ratio



Pittsburgh is home to a dynamic arts and cultural community including:

  • Attack Theatre
  • August Wilson Center for African American Culture
  • Chatham Baroque
  • Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
  • NAT 28
  • Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society
  • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
  • Pittsburgh Festival Opera
  • Pittsburgh Opera
  • Pittsburgh Public Theatre
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The downtown Cultural District encompasses seven world-class theaters and a dozen art galleries. Named by National Geographic Traveler as one of the best places in the world to experience in 2012, Pittsburgh has “a wealth of fine art and architecture, and a quirky sense of humor.”