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. 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 music-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu

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.

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 ccan be uploaded through your School of Music Acceptd application.

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.

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.

Instrumental auditions are unaccompanied.

Vocalists are welcome to work with a collaborative pianist for their audition, however we understand this is very challenging due to COVID-19 safety measures. Please do not use an accompanist if it is not safe to do so!! If you are able to comfortably and safely work with a collaborative pianist for your audition submission, we welcome the opportunity to see you perform with a live accompanist. We also encourage vocalists to consider using alternative accompaniment options, like pre-recorded materials or working with a collaborative pianist to make a recording for an individual. Again, we recognize these are unusual times and we will welcome whatever audition submission you can provide, pianist or not! All applications will be reviewed equally.

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, 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.

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.  

Master of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates cannot begin in the spring semester. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Please review all Admission requirements and note that for the 2022 application cycle, Carnegie Mellon is test-optional.

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.

Yes! If your Common Application essay is related to music, we would love to see it. However, if you do not feel the essay is related to your musicmaking, we would prefer to see an essay that discusses your passion and interests with music. We suggest an essay close to 500 words, but please use that number as an estimate - if you choose to use a supplemental essay or your full Common Application essay, please feel free to do so.
Yes, if you qualify for and use a Common Application fee waiver, you qualify for a School of Music fee waiver. Please contact Megan Grady, mgrady@cmu.edu, to confirm the receipt of your fee waiver and receive your code.

Graduate Questions

No! For graduate and AMS applicants, we only require a School of Music application. There is no general graduate application that you need to complete.

Only students applying for the MS in Music & Technology need to take the GRE. For the 2022 application cycle, we will remain test-optional for GRE scores.

The Artist Diploma program will remain on hold for the 2021-2022 application cycle.

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. 

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.

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.

At this time, we do not offer graduate fee waivers. We do not currently require an enrollment deposit, so the fee waiver is the only fee you will be required to invest throughout the entire admission process.

International Student 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
SUBSET REQUIREMENTS:
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
SUBSET REQUIREMENTS:
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
SUBSET REQUIREMENTS:
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

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 Megan Grady, Director of Recruitment & Enrollment, if you have any questions surrounding your test score/date at mgrady@cmu.edu.

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.

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.

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

Established

1900

1912

Total Faculty

1,436

100

Undergraduate

6,400

152

Graduate

7,582

149

Faculty-Student Ratio

10:1

3:1

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.”