Where should I send my materials?
There is no need to send any materials through the mail. All application materials can be submitted online and media can be uploaded. If you need to email scores, like transcripts or test scores for any reason, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official GRE scores should be sent to Institution Code 2074 Department “Arts – Performance and Studio – Music” 2404
Undergraduate applicants transcripts and test scores should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
How should I make my video?
While it would be preferable to have your video completed in one take, to mimic a live audition, we know that students do not always have control over their environment. Some areas may have more explicit instructions, but in general, please do you best to record on the same day, submitting one or multiple videos, as similar to an audition as possible.
All recordings can be uploaded through your School of Music Acceptd application.
When will I know my admission decision?
Undergraduate applicants receive their decision from the Office of Admission and School of Music in late March. The final decision is available online through the “Where Am I in the Process?” webpage and you will receive a notification from the School of Music via Acceptd. Financial Aid decisions are available through the Office of Undergraduate Admission after admission decisions are processed - please allow up to three business days for financial aid to post.
Graduate applicants will receive decisions via Acceptd. Admission decisions will be released in mid-March and will include any fellowship and/or assistantship offers. Federal loans are processed after a graduate student enrolls at Carnegie Mellon, typically in the summer. Information about graduate aid can be found here.
Am I able to audition on two instruments or for two programs?
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.
Do I need a collaborative pianist at my audition?
Instrumental auditions are unaccompanied.
Vocalists are required to have accompaiment, preferably in the form of a live collaborative pianist. Prescreening materials with recorded auditions will be considered, though live accompaniment is strongly preferred.
I am a composer – do I need to audition on my primary instrument?
No. Your portfolio review/interview is your audition for the Composition studio.
What Music Education study opportunities are available?
A K-12 Music Education Certification is available for undergraduate performance or composition majors, as a music minor + certification. 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.
May I apply to enroll starting in the spring semester?
Advanced Music Studies Certificate candidates may apply to begin in the spring semester with faculty approval - these circumstances are rare and must include explicit approval through the Office of Recruitment & Enrollment.
MM/MS and BFA/BXA/BS candidates cannot begin in the spring semester.
How does a deferral work once I have been admitted?
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 School of Music Office of Recruitment and Enrollment by April 15.
Undergraduates must contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission about the deferral process.
Do I need to audition for the minor?
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.
I am applying to BXA, what if I only get into one of the two schools of study I applied to?
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.
Applicants who are admitted to a non-music area and wish to pursue BXA with music, must apply as if they are an external candidate to the School of Music. They must follow all deadlines and complete the online music application, like any other applicant.
How important are grades and test scores in the admission process for the School of Music?
The audition or portfolio review is a large factor of your admission decision, accounting for about 80% of your final admission decision. This artistic decision happens first. Students who are admitted to the School of Music are recommended for admission to the University. A student can still be admitted, denied or put on the wait-list for the School of Music by the Office of Undergraduate Admission, though these circumstances are rare.
Am I able to take lessons if I am in the technology track for M&T or BXA?
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.
Are there Study Abroad opportunities?
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.
Can I submit my Common Application essay for my School of Music application?
If I qualify for a Common Application fee waiver, do I qualify for a music application fee waiver?
Is there a university graduate application in addition to the School of Music application?
Do I need to take the GRE?
Only students applying for the MS in Music & Technology need to take the GRE. For the 2023 application cycle, we will remain test-optional for GRE scores.
Is the Artist Diploma available?
What graduate assistantships are available and how do I apply for one?
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, includes a stipend of $10,000 per year (paid biweekly during the academic year) and requires the student to work up to 10 hours per week for their assigned supervisor.
Graduate applicants will apply for consideration for assistantships through the online School of Music application.
Why aren’t my loans packaged in my financial aid decision?
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.
Can I still apply if I do not have an undergraduate degree in music?
Yes, though a music degree is strongly preferred. Applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree in music and do not have demonstrable prior academic work in music will undergo additional evaluation by the Admission Committee and may require special approval. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in music might indeed require catch-up theory/history work in addition to program requirements and remedial classes.
An applicant may choose to apply to our Advanced Music Studies Certificate program prior to applying to a MM degree, should they choose to refine their skills and take preparatory coursework. Courses taken in an AMSC program are not transferable to a MM degree program, but are intended to help prepare students who feel they need additional preparatory work before applying to the MM.
Do I qualify for a graduate fee waiver?
International Student Questions
What TOEFL score do I need to be accepted?
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
Master of Music in Music Education Candidates must meet the following minimum TOEFL requirements.
Minimum iBT score: 90
24 in Reading
22 in Listening
20 in Speaking
24 in Writing
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
Please note: the School of Music only accepts TOEFL scores from a single test date, not MyBest scores.
Please review International Graduate Music Applicant Requirements and test scores here.
If I have a degree from a U.S. institution, do I still need to submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo score?
Yes. All international applicants or students whose native language is not English, are required to submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo English Test score to the School of Music.
If you have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS since applying for an undergraduate program in the United States, we will be able to accept scores if they are within the last five years and meet our minimum standards. If scores are older than five years or do not meet the minimum for the program to which you are applying, you will need to take either the TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo English Test prior to applying to the School of Music. Please contact the Office of Music Admission if you have any questions surrounding your test score/date at email@example.com.
If I am applying as an undergraduate, do I need to take the SAT or ACT?
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.
For the fall 2022 cycle, please review Carnegie Mellon's test-optional policies. Applicants who elect to include test scores as part of their application must include them after indicating to do so on their Common Application. Students are not automatically switched to test-optional if they do not submit scores. Failure to comply may compromise your admission decision.
How do I get my I-20?
Once you have confirmed your enrollment at Carnegie Mellon, we will begin the process of issuing your I-20. Please visit our International Students page for more information.
Do international students qualify for financial aid?
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.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon School of Music
Pittsburgh Arts & Culture
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.”