Graduate Admissions

Inquiries & Information

Information may be obtained from the Music Department Office:

Music Office
phone: (860) 486-3728
FAX: (860) 486-3796

Submitting an Application

Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis; there is no deadline. However, students who wish to be considered for financial support in the form of an assistantship should apply by February 15th. All applications are submitted online through the Graduate School website; for details go to

The following table lists the materials required for each of the graduate programs in Music. All these items except the Theory Placement Test and any audio, video, or programs can be uploaded as part of the online application process.

Perf. Cert
2 Letters of Recommendation*
3 Letters of Recommendation*
GRE General Test Scores
UConn Graduate Theory Placement Test**
Writing Sample***
Audiotape, Videotape, Programs (optional at this stage)

* At least one of the recommendations should come from a person who can speak to the applicant's academic background and achievement.

** The Graduate Theory Placement Test must be taken during a visit to campus. Call the Music Department Office at (860) 486-3728 to schedule the test, which is described below. In accordance with COVID-19 mitigation procedures, the Graduate Theory Placement Test requirement is temporarily amended. Until further notice, the test will be required for admitted students only, prior to the first semester of study.

*** The writing sample should demonstrate the applicant's ability to do research appropriate to the degree as well as an ability to communicate effectively in written English. Appropriate writing samples include a thesis or representative term papers from previous college-level courses.

The Graduate Music Theory Placement Test

The Graduate Music Theory Placement Test is used to determine whether a student should take Music 4371 (Theory Review) before enrolling in Music 5302 (Analytic Techniques), which is required for all master's students in music and recommended for most doctoral students. The test is also used as a diagnostic tool to indicate whether a student is prepared to do graduate level work in this department. As with any test of its kind, students are not expected to get all the "right" answers, but rather to demonstrate a good working knowledge of certain skills and concepts. The examination includes the following:

1. One example of melodic dictation.
2. Music fundamentals (key signatures, intervals, etc.)
3. Part writing, voice leading, and harmonic analysis (chord symbols and figured bass).
4. Analytical questions to test the student's ability to work with a musical score.

For fundamentals and tonal harmony:

Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony by L. Poundie Burnstein and Joseph N. Straus (Norton, 2016)

Graduate Review of Tonal Theory by Steven G. Laitz and Christopher Bartlette (Oxford, 2009)

For musical form:

Analyzing Classical Form: An Approach for the Classroom by William E. Caplin (Oxford, 2013)


Procedure for Evaluation of Applicants

The Graduate School reviews the application form and transcripts and, if they meet the minimum requirements for consideration, forwards them to the Music Department. When all the remaining materials are received (with the exception of the Graduate Theory Placement Test), the file is examined by the Director of Graduate Studies and a faculty admissions committee in the area of concentration. At this point, the application may be refused, or the committee may decide to proceed by asking the applicant for an audition or interview. A video or audio recording is sometimes requested first. An on-campus audition or interview is required for all degree programs. In the case of the Performer’s Certificate, a recording may in some cases be sufficient for admission. 

In accordance with COVID-19 mitigation procedures, the requirement of an on-campus audition or interview is temporarily suspended. Links to high-quality video recordings will take the place of on-campus auditions and interviews will take place by means of online video technology. Links to video auditions may be sent directly to one’s prospective applied music professor. For questions, please contact

For audition requirements, please see

With the approval of the admissions committee, it may be possible to arrange an audition before the admissions file is complete. This is usually done as a convenience for students who live outside Connecticut, but who may be visiting at a particular time. In any case, remember that you cannot be admitted until all application requirements have been met, and you cannot be offered any type of financial aid until you have been admitted by the Music Department and the Graduate School.

The Department of Music works within the framework of the admissions deadlines established by the Graduate School (, with the following additional stipulations: 1) admissions for programs in the Department of Music are for the fall and spring semesters only; 2) auditions and interviews take place between the dates in August to May, when full-time faculty are working under the terms of the annual nine-month contracts. In many areas, only a small number of students can be admitted, and financial support in all areas is limited. Financial awards are generally made for admission in the fall semester only. Therefore we strongly recommend that you submit all application materials no later than February 15 to receive full consideration for financial support. The University of Connecticut is a signatory to the April 15 Resolution (

Types of Admissions

Students who are admitted on regular status are those who meet the standards expected for graduate study. However, students on regular status may also be required to take background courses in specific areas of deficiency as determined by the admissions committee or placement testing. Occasionally, master's applicants who do not fully meet the standards for regular status may be admitted as provisional students. If the initial twelve credits of course work are of good quality, the Major Advisor may request that a provisional student be granted regular status by sending a letter to the Graduate School. Neither doctoral students nor international students may be admitted on provisional status, and provisional students are not eligible for graduate assistantships and most other types of financial aid.

International students who do not meet minimum standards of English language proficiency may be considered for language-conditional status. Whereas very few language-conditional students are accepted into graduate music degree programs, students in the Performer's Certificate program may qualify. Minimum requirements are a computer-based TOEFL score of 213 (or a written score of 550, or internet-based score of 79-80) for degree applicants, and 113 (or 450 written or 38 internet-based) for the Performer's Certificate. Language-conditional students must meet this standard before completing their program of study.

With permission of the Music Department and the instructor, a student may register under non-degree status through the Center for Continuing Studies. Non-degree status is available for students who wish to take specific courses at UConn and then transfer the credits to another institution. It is sometimes offered also to applicants who do not complete the admissions process before the beginning of classes, and to those who have been refused admission to a degree program, but who wish to reapply at a later time. Note that no more than six credits of non-degree work can be applied later to a degree program, and successful completion of non-degree courses does not ensure an applicant's ultimate admission into a degree or certificate program.