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Admission to the School of Music Graduate Program

Applicants for admission to Master's degree programs 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.
    • GRE scores: for students majoring in musicology only.
    • 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. Apply to the School of Music Graduate Program via Acceptd:   

    Auditions are scheduled through A fee of $25 will be assessed for graduate applications.

    • Indicate your preferred audition date on your Acceptd application
      • February 1, 2020: Graduate (Vocal Only)
      • February 8, 2020: Non-Vocal Graduate
      • February 15, 2020: All Graduate
      • February 22, 2020: Non-Vocal Graduate
        **All auditions and interviews may be on the audition days listed above or another day, but should be completed by March 1.

        • Conducting, Vocal Performance, and Knoxville Opera Studio applicants auditions will be scheduled once you have passed the pre-screening.
        • Music Education applicants must interview with the area in addition to their audition.
        • Composition, Music Theory, and Musicology applicants must interview with the area in lieu of an audition.

    • 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.
        • Composition applicants must upload at least two (preferably three) compositions with recordings (midi files are acceptable). Include pieces that show your ability to write for diverse instrumentations.
        • Conducting (instrumental and choral) applicants must upload a video of both rehearsal and performance.
        • 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 GTA you must interview and complete a teaching audition. At the interview you will be asked about your background, interests, teaching experience, and future plans. At the teaching audition, you will teach a 10-minute lesson on one of the following topics: scales, intervals, or basic diatonic harmonic progressions. For further information, click here.

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.