Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Artist Diploma

A full-scholarship advanced study program for highly gifted young professionals preparing for exceptional careers.

The most advanced program in the School of Music is the Artist Diploma, designed to meet the needs of the more mature musician who has already completed the equivalent of the master's degree in music performance or composition.

This highly selective program accepts only a few musicians each year, each of which is considered by the faculty to show potential for a major career.

Applicants must first submit a pre-screening demonstrating their level of talent. Upon careful review by the Artist Diploma committee, a small number of musicians will be invited to audition on campus for the artist faculty. Based upon this live audition and the supporting materials submitted, the most promising candidates will be accepted for entrance into the program.

The Artist Diploma program is a full-time two-year program of study that focuses solely on Studio Instruction, Major Ensemble, and Chamber Music. The School of Music awards each young artist a full-tuition fellowship with no requirement of assistantship responsibilities. In fact, all Artist Diploma students are expected to concentrate solely on the development of their major area of study- performance or composition.Students will have individual weekly lessons with a member of the studio faculty in their applied area.  These lessons will concentrate on aspects of technique and/or performance repertoire as proposed by the student and approved by the studio teacher.

Performance majors are required to present four full recitals, one each semester.  Participation in School of Music ensembles may be required if determined by the studio teacher to be relevant for the student’s proposal. 

Composition majors are required to complete two major original works, in addition to other compositions.  One work must be for full orchestra.  It will be performed by the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.  The nature of the other work will be proposed by the student and approved by the studio teacher based on the student's interests and on the School of Music's available resources for performing the work.

Securing support for living expenses throughout residency is important for the Artist Diploma student to consider, as stipends are not available.