Graduate Application Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

When is the application deadline?

The priority application deadline for fall admission is December 1st to be considered for admission, scholarships, and GTA appointments. Students who apply after this priority deadline may still be considered, but it is not guaranteed. See list of all deadlines for each degree program.

IMPORTANT: ALL Piano, Voice, and Conducting performance applicants must submit a prescreening audition video within the application system by December 1st. Your application may not be considered if you do not meet this deadline. 

Is there an Application Fee Waiver available?

  • If you are a current McNair scholar, you are eligible for an application fee waiver and can mark as such on the application. The waiver will be applied to your application once you have marked your status.

Where do I send my application materials?

All of your application materials must be submitted online and applicants should review their Application Checklist to ensure all materials have been received. Applications will not be considered for admission until all required materials have been received and auditions are complete. See the Admission Process timeline for more details. 

What should I include on my Repertoire List (if applicable)?

A repertoire list typically includes a comprehensive selection of pieces that a musician is proficient in performing. The contents of a repertoire list can vary depending on the musician's instrument, genre specialization, and career stage, but here are some common elements to include:

  • Solo Works: Include pieces that you can perform individually without accompaniment. This can range from classical sonatas to solo jazz improvisations, depending on your genre.
  • Chamber Music: List pieces you can perform with a small ensemble, such as string quartets, piano trios, or brass quintets.
  • Orchestral Works: If applicable, list concertos or other solo pieces that you've performed with an orchestra.
  • Etudes and Exercises: Include technical studies that demonstrate your proficiency in different aspects of playing your instrument.
  • Repertoire by Period or Style: Organize your list by musical periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary) or by genre (jazz standards, pop covers, etc.) to showcase your versatility.
  • Excerpts: If you're auditioning for orchestras or specific music programs, include excerpts from standard orchestral repertoire that are commonly requested.
  • Collaborative Works: If you've collaborated with composers or have premiered new works, include those in your list.
  • Vocalists: For singers, include a variety of art songs, arias, or other vocal works in different languages and styles.
  • Improvisational Pieces: If you're proficient in improvisation, mention that and include examples of pieces you can improvise on.
  • Transcriptions and Arrangements: If you've transcribed or arranged pieces for your instrument, include those in your repertoire list.
  • Contemporary Music: Don't forget to include works by contemporary composers, showcasing your engagement with modern repertoire.
  • Accompaniment Skills: If you're a pianist or guitarist who accompanies other musicians, include a selection of pieces that demonstrate your accompanying abilities.

Remember to keep your repertoire list updated regularly as you learn new pieces and gain experience performing.

What is required for a complete application?

  • Official Transcripts - Proof of a bachelor's degree (and any post-bachelor’s coursework or degrees) from a regionally accredited institution, or a foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor's degree requirements
  • Proof of English proficiency for non-native English speakers (US degree or valid exam test scores)
  • Program-specific admission requirements
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • 3 Letters of reference
  • A writing sample or pre-screening video may be required depending on the program area (see the Graduate Auditions webpage for details)
  • An audition or interview may be required depending on the program area (see the Graduate Auditions webpage for details)

Where can I find funding?

Questions about new student funding (area scholarships and GTA positions) should be directed to the Area Coordinator for the program that the applicant is applying to. A list of area coordinators can be found at: Note: None native English speakers will need to provide proof of English Competency to work as a GTA (this requirement is different from the admission requirements for English Proficiency).

GTA Application for the School of Music 

Information about Graduate Studies Funding can be found on their website at: (see Funding & Employment or Fellowships, Scholarships & Awards listed in the menu). Additional information about graduate funding can be found at:

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Between the priority deadline on December 1st and the final application deadline on April 1st, the area faculty will manage the audition or interview process and review all completed applications. This process may take several weeks to complete as it must be coordinated with the School and KU Graduate Admissions.
  • The professor will usually invite you to visit KU and discuss how your career goals may be compatible with the activities of that professor. Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit KU if invited to do so during our annual Audition & Interview Days in February.
  • Ultimately, students must be accepted by the program, school, and Graduate Admissions before they will receive a final admission decision. Students are asked to accept their admission decision if they plan to attend KU. 
  • Funding decisions are communicated after admission, generally between April-May (timing depends on the fiscal year budget timelines)

How long does it take to complete the program?

  • Master of Music (MM) - Generally, students complete all requirements for the MM degree in 2-3 years.
  • Master of Music Education (MME) - Students complete all requirements for the MME degree in 2-3 years. *Note Graduate Equivalency students may take longer. 
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) - Students generally complete the DMA requirements in 3-4 years.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Students complete all requirements for the PhD program in 4-6 years.

What is the Cost of Attendance?

Students have variable costs depending on if they plan to enroll full-time or part-time, are domestic or international students, and if they are provided funding in the form of a scholarship, fellowship, or Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA).