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School of Music

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Undergraduate Admission to the School of Music

First-year students should enter the school directly. Students may transfer to the school from other institutions or from other KU schools if they have at least a 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and are eligible to return to the college or university last attended in addition to completing a successful audition.. Other students can be admitted only with the permission of the dean. Send applications to the Office of Admissions. Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students who wish to major in music must audition. All music students academically approved for admission to the School of Music are admitted contingent upon demonstration by audition of satisfactory level proficiency in their areas of applied music. Music audition information and application forms are available online.

Transfer Students

Students may transfer to the school from other institutions or from other KU schools if they have at least a 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), are eligible to return to the college or university last attended, and complete a successful audition. Only grades of C or higher are accepted in transfer credit toward degrees offered by the School of Music. Students who wish to transfer performance credit from another institution toward any music degree at KU must validate this credit by audition. Music audition information and application forms are available online.

Music Theory Placement

The music theory placement examination is required of all undergraduate transfer students who have not completed a 4-semester theory sequence with an accredited NASM school. It is administered as announced on the School of Music website each semester.

Graduate Admission to the School of Music

Application procedures and program requirements constantly change. Please visit the school's website for current information.

Graduate programs in the School of Music are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate degrees, as specified by the admitting areas, whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Regular admission requires a bachelor's degree and a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale), from KU or from another regionally accredited institution or foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor's degree requirements.

Programs of study leading to the Master of Music (M.M.), Master of Music Education (M.M.E.), Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are offered through the School of Music. Specific admission procedures and degree requirements for the M.M. and M.M.E. programs are described under division headings. Specific admission procedures and degree requirements for the D.M.A., Ph.D. (musicology/theory), and Ph.D. (music education/music therapy) are listed in the appropriate sections.

Program Areas

Graduate study in the School of Music is organized into program areas within 2 units:

  • Music includes programs in composition, conducting, musicology, music theory, and most areas of performance.
  • Music Education and Music Therapy includes programs in music education or music therapy.

At least a 3.0 grade-point average, overall and in the major area, is required for all course work counted toward any graduate degree in the School of Music. If the overall grade-point average falls below 3.0, the student is placed on probation for one semester; if the cumulative average is not 3.0 or higher after the next semester; the student is dismissed from the program. Students must also achieve at least a grade of B in thesis, lecture-recital, document or dissertation, and on each recital for satisfactory completion of degree requirements.

Diagnostic Examinations

All entering graduate students (except music education, music therapy, and opera performance majors) must take written diagnostic examinations in musicology and music theory. These are given in the week before the start of classes to determine whether any need exists for remedial work, so that an appropriate academic program can be designed for each student. Students who show the need for remedial work must complete certain course work carrying undergraduate credit or must show mastery of the material by examination. Graduate students entering programs in piano must take additional tests in piano literature and functional piano skills, given before the start of classes.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.