Graduate Admissions FAQ

Application Deadline for Fall 2017 Admission

Recommended: December 18, 2016
Final: January 4, 2017
Applications are accepted for fall only. 

Please refer to the bottom of page for additional information regarding Application Requirements that are specific to Music, including the submission of Composition/Theory application materials

How do I apply to the Department of Music's graduate program?

Applicants should apply directly to the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS). The Department of Music does not accept application materials. The online application allows you to submit most of your application materials electronically. All applicants must use the online application. 

What are the application requirements for the Department of Music?

For a detailed description of our guidelines, please visit our Graduate Program web page. For deadlines and other requirements, please refer to the "Requirements and Deadlines" portion of the GSAS Application Resource Center.

Does the Department of Music require that applicants take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

Yes. All applicants to GSAS must take the GRE. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers. 

How do I know if my application materials have been received?

Once you have submitted your online application, you can check the status of your application online. Your materials are not forwarded to our department until mid-January, so we will not know the status of your application until that time.

What areas of study are available in the GSAS Department of Music?

Historical Musicology, Composition & Theory, and Ethnomusicology. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in the Performing Arts Professions, Music Business, Music Technology, Music Education, or Music Therapy, please contact NYU's Steinhardt School of Education at 212-998-5424.

Does the Department of Music accept applicants for both the Fall and Spring terms?

No. We only accept applications for the Fall term.

How many students are accepted into the Ph.D. program each year?

5-7 students are accepted each year.

Does the Department of Music have a masters program?

No. The department only admits students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. degree. A student may, however, earn the M.A. degree in the process of completing the requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

If I already have an M.A., will my credits transfer?

Ph.D. Students who transfer to the department with a master's degree from another university may transfer some of their previous course credits with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. These students are, however, required to take the General Examination. 

Does the Department of Music require an interview as a part of the application process?

No, however we encourage applicants to visit the department prior to applying. To set up an appointment to meet with a specific professor, please contact him or her by e-mail. Contact information is available on our faculty web page.

Do graduate students receive financial aid?

All students admitted to our Ph.D. program are awarded the Graduate School's MacCracken Fellowship.


Writing Sample (Music Theory/Composition): Two or three music samples that demonstrate recent work are required. For notated music samples, a recording should be included. Submitted samples may include electroacoustic or multimedia works, in which case there is typically no score. A short writing sample of 5-15 pages double-spaced pages, on any musical topic, is also required.

Writing Sample (Ethnomusicology, Historical Musicology): One or two written papers that demonstrate analytical and writing abilities are required. These will play a major role in the admission decision. 

May I submit recordings/scores electronically when applying for Composition/Theory?

We have recently made electronic submissions of scores and recordings possible. 

Instructions for Submitting Recorded Material and Musical Scores:

It is preferred that you submit recordings and musical scores by using a URL to point to an online collection of your materials. Please refer to the instructions at If you are unable to make electronic versions of the material available, please contact Music Department directly at the email address shown above.

* You will find your Embark ID in your online application. If you go to Step 2, page 1, you will see a "Preview" button toward the top of the page. When you preview your application, your Embark ID is printed on the line above your name.