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Admissions & Auditions FAQ

I want to major in Music Theory, Music Composition, or Musicology. Do I still need to pass an audition?

Yes. You need to pass an audition on a classical instrument or voice. All students pursuing degrees in the School of Music must successfully complete their audition.

Can I major in classical guitar?

Classical guitar is only available as a major instrument for students wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) in Music Education or Music Therapy. We do not currently offer a classical guitar performance degree. If jazz guitar is your instrument, you may audition for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Jazz Studies. 

On my KU Admissions Application, I indicated "pre-music." Does this mean I'm accepted into the program?

No. "Pre-music" means that you are accepted to the university with an intent to major in music. To become a music major you must also pass your audition. Pre-music students are not eligible to take classes in the School of Music outside of non-major courses and ensembles.

What if I can't make it on any of the scheduled audition dates?

If none of the scheduled dates work for you, please contact the faculty member listed in your area directly and arrange your audition date and time with them. If you cannot reach a faculty member, contact the main School of Music office at music@ku.edu and we will assist you. Make sure your audition is prior to March 1. 

Am I eligible for a music scholarship if I do not major in music?

No. Music scholarships - with the exception of athletic band scholarships - are reserved for students who major in music only.

Can I be in band, choir or orchestra without majoring in music?

Yes. All students at KU are invited to audition and join our ensembles. 

I want to study music, but I don't play an instrument or sing. Can I still be a music major?

No. All students in the School of Music must be proficient in a classical or jazz instrument or voice. If you are interested in music, but do not have skills in those areas you are invited to take one of our non-major courses. The School of Music is a professional school, so all students must first meet both the academic and music requirements for admission. 

I am interested in sound production/engineering (e.g., running a recording studio, operating a mixing board for live or studio music, etc.). Is there a program for this?

No. We do not currently offer courses or a degree in sound production/engineering. 

I scheduled an audition, but came down with the flu and can't make it. Am I allowed to reschedule?

Yes, of course. Just make sure to communicate your situation with us as soon as possible so we know what is going on. We can then assist you in contacting the appropriate faculty member in your area to schedule an alternate date. To allow time for any unforeseen circumstances we strongly encourage you to schedule your audition in January or February. 

Is the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Theatre & Voice degree a musical theatre degree?

No. The B.F.A. in Theatre & Voice combines study in classical vocal music and the theatrical arts. Your voice lessons/vocal study will focus on art songs, oratorio, opera, and other classical pieces. Be sure to plan your audition repertoire accordingly.

Do you have an application packet?

For Music please download this Graduate Application and Audition packet (doc). This document also has the audition requirements and audition scheduling form.

Music Education/Music Therapy Graduate applicants need to download this packet (pdf) for all the necessary application information.

Where do I go to apply for graduate admission to the School of Music?

Please begin by going to this web page on the Graduate Studies website ».

What is an “official” transcript?

The definition of an official transcript is one that has been sent directly from the College or University in a sealed envelope. This ensures that the transcript has not been tampered with in any way. If the seal has been broken or the transcript is removed from the sealed envelope, the transcript is an unofficial transcript. Electronically delivered transcripts are official if they are sent directly to the Graduate admissions office or the School of Music Graduate Services office.

When do I need to provide an official transcript?

You need to upload copies of all transcripts of previous college/university work to your application. If you are admitted, you must provide official transcripts showing degrees conferred by the end of your first semester as a student at KU.

If you are applying to the Music Education or Music Therapy degree programs, you are required to have official transcripts sent with your application materials. Your application will not be considered complete without official transcripts.

Do I need to submit GRE scores?

GRE scores are only required if you are applying for the Master’s Degree in Music Education or Music Therapy, PhD in Music Theory, PhD in Musicology, and PhD in Music Education or Music Therapy.

When will I know if I have been admitted?

Your application will not be evaluated by the appropriate faculty until all of your application materials have been received and you have auditioned (if required). Once you have been admitted, you will receive an email from the KU Graduate Studies office letting you know that a decision letter is available in your application account. The School of Music Graduate Services office tries to keep you as up-to-date on your application status as possible, so you will also receive an email letting you know if your admission approval has been sent to the Graduate Studies office for final acceptance or if your admission has been denied.

What does it mean if I’ve been “wait-listed?”

Sometimes a particular studio or divisions will have more acceptable applicants than there are spaces to fill. In those cases, the faculty will determine the top applicants and put the remaining fully qualified applicants on a “wait list.” This means that, should one of the top applicants declines the offer for admission, the next person on the wait-list is offered admission to the School of Music. There is not guarantee that, if you are “wait-listed,” you will be admitted. It is recommended that you consider your other options for graduate study if you are “wait-listed.” The Graduate Services office will let you know if you are on a wait list and will ask if you would like to continue to be considered. You are generally kept on the wait-list until the end of May.

I applied for the next fall, but would like to wait another year. Do I need to reapply?

No, you don’t need to reapply. We will keep your application for 1 year beyond the year for which you are applying for admission. Just let the School of Music know if you wish to change your application information, including the year of admission.

I was accepted to the School of Music but wish/need to defer my enrollment. Can I do that?

Yes, you can defer your enrollment for 1 year after the semester for which you were admitted. Let the School of Music Graduate Services office know what your plans are.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the KU School of Music Graduate programs?

You may contact the Graduate Services Coordinator, Jane Gnojek, at jgnojek@ku.edu or at 785-864-2862. She is a good resource for information. If you are interested in Music Education/Music Therapy Graduate programs, contact Lois Elmer at elmer@ku.edu, or 785-864-4784.

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Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually