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Admissions Requirements


To apply to one of the doctoral programs in music, there are requirements established by The Graduate Center and Music Department. Please be sure to check both, in order.

 

I. Graduate Center Requirements


Please click here for the General Admissions Requirements for the CUNY Graduate Center, including letters of recommendation and so on. These are required of all applicants.

 

II. Music Department Requirements


Please click below for the specific requirements from the music doctoral program to which you are applying. The GRE and TOEFL test requirements have been waived for applications for the 2021 cycle.

Composition (Ph.D. or D.M.A.)


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, be advised that both GRE and TOEFL exam requirements are suspended for all music department applicants for the Fall 2021 entering class.

In addition to the general admissions requirements, please submit:

1. One or two samples of your written work, that is, a substantial term paper or a chapter from an undergraduate or Master's thesis, etc.

2. Three or four recently completed compositions (scores and recordings when possible). Send these directly to:

Professor Jeff Nichols
Ph.D./D.M.A. Programs in Music
Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10016-4309


Applicants for the Composition degree must demonstrate exceptional achievement in composition as well as a strong background in the areas of music history, theory, and analysis. Prospective students may be asked to come for an interview with the Composition faculty.

Application Deadline: December 15th

If you have any further questions, please contact Prof. Jeff NicholsJNichols@gc.cuny.edu
 

Ethnomusicology


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, be advised that both GRE and TOEFL exam requirements are suspended for all music department applicants for the Fall 2021 entering class.

In addition to the general admissions requirements  please submit one or two samples of your written work, that is, a substantial term paper or a chapter from an undergraduate or Master's thesis, etc.

Applicants for the Ethnomusicology degree must demonstrate promise of superior achievement in advanced study and research. Prospective students may be asked to come for an interview with the Ethnomusicology faculty.

Application Deadline: December 15th

If you have any further questions, please contact Prof. Jane Sugarman, Deputy Executive Officer, Ph.D. Program in Ethnomusicology: jsugarman@gc.cuny.edu
 

Music Performance (D.M.A.)


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, be advised that both GRE and TOEFL exam requirements are suspended for all music department applicants for the Fall 2021 entering class.

Note that a Master's Degree in Music Performance is a pre-requisite for the D.M.A. program in Music Performance.

Begin by looking at the general admissions requirements on the Graduate Center web site. There you will find information about submitting transcripts, letters of recommendation, and so on. Make sure you review all steps, 1-6.

Application deadline is December 1st. 

In addition to these general requirements, please submit:

1. One or two samples of your written work, that is: a substantial term paper or a chapter from an undergraduate or master's thesis, etc., plus a personal statement outlining your professional goals and your reasons for applying to the program.
 
2. The first round of auditions consists of pre-screening videos containing a total of 40-60 minutes of music. Titles and composers of all works should be clearly identified. Your program should include solo repertoire from (at least) three different musical periods. Singers should include selections in four languages including English. For string players and pianists, a complete sonata from the 18th or 19th century is required. It is recommended that you include one work composed after 1950. For the remaining piece or pieces, you may include complete movements excerpted from longer works. The video does not need to be of a concert performance.
 
Applicants whose materials have been approved will be notified by early January regarding arrangements for an audition at the CUNY Graduate Center. Requirements for the live audition are the same as the pre-screening materials. You may use some or all of the same program.
 
Auditions—by appointment only—are usually scheduled during a weekend in February, and include a live audition, a meeting with the director of the program, and a two-hour qualifying exam in music theory and music history. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will not be holding the usual in-person auditions in February. Those applicants who would otherwise be invited to live audition will be notified as to how we will proceed.
 
In addition to the general University requirements for admission, applicants for the Performance D.M.A. must present an adequate background, as judged by the Admissions Committee, in the areas of music history, theory, and analysis. Applicants must demonstrate promise of achievement in study, research, and scholarly writing.
 
Application Deadline: December 1st
 
If you have any further questions, please contact:
Prof. John Musto, Co√∂rdinator, D.M.A. Program in Performance: jmusto@gc.cuny.edu‚Äč

Music Theory


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, be advised that both GRE and TOEFL exam requirements are suspended for all music department applicants for the Fall 2021 entering class.

In addition to the general admissions requirements  please submit:

1. One or two samples of your written work, that is, a substantial term paper or a chapter from an undergraduate or Master's thesis, etc.

2.  One or two samples of tonal composition in an authentic late-18th- or early-19th-century style (these will be pastiche or model compositions). The Admissions Committee wants to see that you can handle yourself musically in this traditional environment, demonstrating the sorts of skills you will be teaching in the music theory classroom. Successful past applications have included, for example, chorale melody harmonization, a sonata exposition, a  fugue exposition, a song, or the like. No more than two samples are requested.

In addition, especially those applicants who have scholarly interests in areas outside the Western repertoire have the option of sending audio or video recordings (or links to recordings) that  demonstrate musical skills in these other areas. These may include a recording of jazz improvisation; a pop composition; a performance on a non-Western instrument; or the like. 

Applicants for the Music Theory degree must present a strong background in the areas of music history, theory, and analysis. They must demonstrate promise of superior achievement in advanced study and research. Prospective students may be asked to come for an interview with the Music Theory faculty.

Application Deadline: December 15th

If you have any further questions, please contact Prof. Poundie Burstein, Deputy Executive Officer, Ph.D. Program in Theory: pburstein@gc.cuny.edu

Musicology


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, be advised that both GRE and TOEFL exam requirements are suspended for all music department applicants for the Fall 2021 entering class.

In addition to the general admissions requirements please submit one or two samples of your written work, that is, a substantial term paper or a chapter from an undergraduate or Master's thesis, etc.

Applicants for the Musicology degree must present a strong background in the areas of music history, theory, and analysis. They must demonstrate promise of superior achievement in advanced study and research. Prospective students may be asked to come for an interview with the Musicology faculty.

Application Deadline: December 15th

If you have any further questions, please contact Prof. Anne Stone, Deputy Executive Officer, Ph.D. Program in Musicology: 
AStone@gc.cuny.edu