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Admission to the School of Music Graduate Program

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community is of utmost importance to us. Due to COVID-19, the application and audition process for the School of Music will be virtual this year. Please see below for the complete instructions. If you have any questions, please contact Megan Foster.

Applicants for admission to Master's degree programs and Artist Certificates in music must have completed an undergraduate degree in music roughly equivalent to those conferred by the University of Tennessee.
Admission to a graduate degree program is determined jointly by the Graduate School, music faculty in the appropriate area of concentration, the Director for Graduate Studies in Music, and the Graduate Committee of the School of Music.

Consult the University Graduate School's website for deadline dates and other important information.


  1. Apply to the UT Graduate School.
    Information on admission procedures can be found on the Graduate School website.
    Submit the following directly to the University of Tennessee Graduate School Admissions Office by December 15: 
    • Graduate Application for Admission
    • $60 application fee
    • One official transcript from all colleges and universities attended. Transcripts must be official transcripts sent from school to school.
    • If you are majoring in musicology, you may submit GRE scores. These are optional and not required.
    • If your native language is not English, send official scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
    • International students must follow the Admission Guide for International Students

  2. Record your Audition videos.
    • All applicants, except for Composition, Music Theory, and Musicology, and Conducting must audition on their primary instrument.
    • Auditions will be virtual and will be pre-recorded videos that will be attached to your School of Music application.
    • Unless otherwise noted, the attached videos are NOT a pre-screen and will serve as your audition
      • Areas requiring prescreens:
        • Vocal Performance, Music Theory, Composition, Tuba/Euphonium
        • For Vocal Performance applicants, your pre-screen video also serves as your audition video.

          Graduate Audition Repertoire

  3. Apply to the School of Music Graduate Program via Acceptd:   
    • Interviews are scheduled through A fee of $35 will be assessed for graduate applications.

      Applications and audition videos for areas requiring a pre-screen are due on December 15, 2020. Applications and audition videos for all other areas are due February 1, 2021.

        • Indicate your preferred virtual interview date on your Acceptd application
          • January 30, 2021: Graduate Vocal
          • February 6, 2021: All Graduate
          • February 13, 2021: All Graduate
          • February 20, 2021: All Graduate (Excludes Vocal and Theory/Composition)
          • March 6, 2021: Graduate Vocal

            • Vocal Performance, Music Theory, Music Composition, Tuba/Euphonium, and Knoxville Opera Studio applicant interviews will be scheduled once you have passed the pre-screening.
            • Composition, Music Theory, and Musicology applicants do NOT need to upload an audition video with your application, unless you are applying to be a graduate teaching assistant.

        • Upload the following items to your Acceptd application:
          • Scholarly writing sample (REQUIRED)
            All applicants must submit a scholarly writing sample considered to be representative of their writing skill on a music research topic. This sample may be an essay previously written for an upper-division course.  The typed document should follow a recognized style manual and demonstrate ability in critical thinking, appropriate research techniques, and skill in the cogent use of English.
            Note: International students should personally translate all of the above documents into English.
          • Personal statement of education and career goals (REQUIRED)
            Applicants must submit a one-page typed personal statement of education and career goals.
            Note: International students should personally translate all of the above documents into English.
          • 2 letters of recommendation are REQUIRED (3 if you are applying for a Graduate Assistantship)
            • For applicants in performance, one letter must be from the studio teacher.
            • For applicants in academic areas, one letter must be from a professor in the academic area.
            • You may use the Graduate Rating Form provided or have your references draft a separate letter of recommendation. These letters may be the same ones as those used to support your application for a graduate assistantship (see below).
            • For the Graduate Assistantship Form, please click here.
          • Required submissions specific to your area of study
            If needed, contact the appropriate area coordinator for more information.
            • Knoxville Opera Studio applicants must submit a graduate assistantship application form. Once you pass the pre-screening, your audition will be scheduled.
            • Collaborative Piano applicants must submit a complete list of repertoire (solo and collaborative), along with a CV detailing collaborative and ensemble experience. You can find audition repertoire HERE.
            • Both Composition MM applicants and Theory MM applicants must upload the writing sample, a personal state, and 3 letters of recommendation. Composition applicants must additionally upload at least two (preferably three) compositions with recordings (midi files are acceptable). Include pieces that show your ability to write for diverse instrumentations. Preliminary round decisions for MM composition and MM theory applicants will be made by December 20. All the above required materials must be uploaded to Acceptd by December 15. Those passing the preliminary round will be invited for an interview/audition in February.
            • Conducting (instrumental and choral) applicants must upload a pre-screening video of both rehearsal and performance by December 15. Auditions will be scheduled after passing the pre-screening.
            • Percussion MM Applicants
              • MM Candidates must submit video performance submissions to Accetpd with the following requirements: each work must be performed in full, with no editing within the movement or work; no post-production work such as reverb should be applied to the recordings; videos should be submitted in landscape mode where relevant, not portrait. Performance requirements are the same as those listed for the live audition.
              • Applicants must also include a PDF resume or curriculum vitae, a PDF audition repertoire list detailing the items performed in the video, and a 2-5 minute video introducing yourself, your background, why you are interested in attending the University of Tennessee Percussion Studies program, and what you would like to take from your time on campus.
              • For additional information regarding the repertoire, click here.
            • Tuba and Euphonium applicants must upload the following preliminary recorded round to Acceptd by December 15:
              • Euphonium: Jacob "Fantasia", complete. Piano accompaniment preferred but not required.
              • Tuba: Any Snedecor Low Etude, Book 1 or Book 2 and Vaughan Williams "Concerto for Tuba", Mvt. 1. Piano accompaniment preferred but not required.
            • Vocal Performance applicants must upload 3 songs (a combination of arias and art songs) in 3 different languages (Italian, French, German, and English). This may be a sound or video recording of a recent performance.

        • Graduate Assistantship applicants must:
          • Submit a Graduate Assistantship form.
          •  Submit a total of 3 letters of recommendation (instead of the normal 2 letters). See above for more information regarding the recommendation letters.
          • Submit a statement that briefly describes your professional goals and how a graduate assistantship would support those goals.
          • Submit a curriculum vita (CV).
          • GA requirements specific to your area of study:
            • Theory/Composition: In order to be considered for a theory Graduate Teaching Assistantship, you must virtually interview and complete a teaching audition. You will submit a teaching demonstration video with your application by the December 15 deadline. At the interview, you will be asked about your background, interests, teaching experiences, and future plans. We will also discuss your teaching from the video. Please teach a 10-minute lesson on melodic or dictation. For further information, click here.

        • Pre-screening Process
          • Theory/Composition: Preliminary round decisions for MM composition and MM theory applicants will be made by December 20. All above required materials must be uploaded to Acceptd by December 15. Theory MM students must upload only the writing sample, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Composition MM students must upload the same materials plus their scores and audio files. Those passing the preliminary round will be invited for an interview/audition in February.
  4. Interview with the appropriate faculty.
    • In addition to your pre-recorded audition videos, you will be asked to attend a live, virtual interview with a faculty member in your area. Interviews will be scheduled once you have submitted your application and audition videos.

Non-Degree Admission

Application for non-degree status may be made by those who, for example:

  • do not desire to pursue a degree program
  • have already received an advanced degree
  • need additional time to fulfill application requirements for a degree program.

See the Graduate Catalog for details.

Transfer Credit

If approved by the Graduate Committee of the School of Music, as much as one-third of the total hours required for a Master's degree (generally, 11 hours) may be transferred from other institutions.

Transferred courses must have been completed within the six-year period prior to receipt of the degree.

Transferred courses will be placed on the student's UT transcript only after admission to candidacy, but students should seek evaluation of such courses immediately after their first semester of study.

To be transferred into a master’s degree at UT, a course must:

  • Be taken for graduate credit.
  • Be a course transcribed for graduate credit and in which the student earned at least a grade of B.
  • Not have been used for a previous degree.
  • Be approved by the student’s graduate committee and the Dean of the Graduate School on the Admission to Candidacy form.

Please see the UT Graduate Catalog for additional information.

Other requirements for transferring credit can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

For evaluation of courses regarding transfer credit, please use the appropriate form below:

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.