Online Application | Frequently Asked Questions | Graduate Financial Aid
Admission to the Division of Music in the Meadows School of the Arts for the Master of Music, Performer's Diploma and the Artist Diploma is considered following completion of the Meadows online application and submission of all supplemental items listed below. Candidates need only apply to the Meadows School of the Arts. Admission is considered for fall term each year. (Note: Applicants for the Master of Sacred Music program should apply directly to the Perkins School of Theology, Sacred Music Program.)
Students seeking admission to the graduate programs of the Division of Music must have earned a Bachelor of Music degree (or the equivalent) from an accredited institution. See the Graduate Catalog for the Meadows School of the Arts for more information.
Interested in observing a music class or ensemble rehearsal, or scheduling a sample lesson with a faculty member? Find out how, and schedule your visit online, on our Meadows Visit Form.
Admission checklist for Music applicants
Complete your application to the Meadows School of the Arts by February 1st.
Applications that are not completed by this deadline will FORFEIT all scholarship considerations.
To assure full consideration for the fall term, application should be completed online and ALL supporting materials pertaining to the application for admission should be delivered to the Meadows Graduate Office BEFORE February 1st. Materials received from applicants who do not enroll will be retained by the Meadows Graduate Office for one year. All documents become the property of Southern Methodist University and cannot be returned. A $75.00 non-refundable application fee is required. Click the following headings for more details.
Request in writing one official transcript from the Registrar of each college or university previously attended, including summer terms. These may be sent directly to the Meadows Graduate Office. If the transcripts are sent to you, do not open the sealed envelopes, and mail them to the Meadows Graduate Office. A supplementary transcript covering work in progress at the time of the application must be furnished upon completion of that work.
All foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a professional evaluation and an official transcript, including an English translation if it is not in English, and course descriptions or syllabi. It is the student’s responsibility to procure this evaluation and to assume financial responsibility for it. An exception to this requirement is an exchange agreement between SMU and a foreign institution which is modeled after the U.S. education system.
Because of the importance of this information, SMU only accepts evaluations from the following agencies of proven reliability:
The above services’ evaluations should include an explanation that the institution is recognized by the ministry of education in the home country and is generally considered to offer at least the equivalent of U.S. higher education credit. In addition, it should include an explanation of the credits, the grading system and course levels, as well as a course-by-course evaluation.
The expertise and reliability of a professional evaluation report is recognized worldwide and is likely to be accepted by other academic institutions, employers and state licensing boards. However, the report is not binding to SMU and it will be considered a recommendation for SMU’s independent decision for admission. Information and applications from the agencies are available online.
Three letters of recommendation are required for the Master of Music programs. Two letters of recommendation are required for the Performer’s Diploma program and preliminarily for the Artist Diploma. Letters of recommendation should be requested from professors who know the personal and academic qualifications of the applicant. When completing an online application, applicants will have the opportunity to arrange for web-recommendation forms to be delivered electronically to the references listed. Applicants will need a valid email address for each reference and upon submission, notification will be emailed to them directly with submission instructions. We will also accept letters by mail or email.
All students auditioning for Master of Music degrees are required to complete brief tests in music history and music theory. The content of these tests is based on typical undergraduate core courses in these areas. These brief tests will be administered on the day of the audition or scheduled through the Division of Music for those submitting recorded auditions. Candidates will need to bring headphones or ear buds with them for the Pre-Diagnostic Examinations.
- Review the Audition Dates or Recorded Auditions information
2015 – 16 Audition Dates
- December 5, 2015
- January 23, 2016
- January 30, 2016
- February 6, 2016
- February 20, 2016
Review information about our Pre-Audition Day
All SMU On-Campus Music Auditions are offered on Saturdays. We welcome all candidates to begin their visit to SMU on the Fridays preceding auditions, during the optional Pre-Audition Day, to become better acquainted with our facilities, students, and faculty before their audition experience.
View the December Pre-Audition Day Schedule
View the January/February Pre-Audition Day Schedule
You may view through your smart phone device, print or pick up a hard copy from the music office on the day of your visit. Faculty will be expecting guests to drop into their classes and rehearsals that day but please RSVP to email@example.com to let us know you’re planning to attend the Pre-Audition Day.
To register online for your audition, click on your area of study below to get to the appropriate audition scheduling page. Once there, use the calendar to select your desired audition date.
View and prepare the required graduate audition repertoire
All voice candidates wishing to participate in the live Dallas auditions on January 23, January 30, February 6 or February 20 must first submit a pre-screening video here by December 1. All submissions will be evaluated by faculty beginning December 1. Email notification from the Division of Music will follow with instructions on registering for a live audition for candidates who are approved for a live audition in Dallas. Notifications are typically sent in early to mid-December. Those wanting to audition live in Dallas on December 5 do not have to submit a pre-screening form and instead should register online here.
While we strongly prefer that a prospective applicant audition in person, we accept auditions through a video recording.
- Submit YouTube/Vimeo link(s) to your video recordings online through our Recorded Audition Submission Form by January 15.
- Audition repertoire must comply with the stated requirements.
- Submissions are due by January 15 for scholarship consideration.
- Music faculty may choose an interview or follow-up visit with candidates before reaching an admission decision.
Changes or Cancellations: Candidates who may need to reschedule or cancel a standing audition appointment should contact the Division of Music office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates are unable to make revisions online.
Submit examples of research papers or articles showing scholastic capabilities, a CV or résumé, and a 20-minute recording demonstrating teaching skills in a normal classroom setting or rehearsal. Submit links to your video(s) through our online registration form. In addition, candidates must schedule an on-campus or phone interview with the Music Education faculty by emailing email@example.com.
Music History and Literature
Include examples of research papers or articles showing their scholastic capabilities. Applicants will be expected to take written diagnostic exams in music history and in music theory as part of their application process.
Samples of original compositions (scores and digital recordings) are required of all applicants to the Music Composition program. Submit link(s) to your composition work(s) through our online registration form. In addition, all candidates must schedule an interview with the Music Composition faculty by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samples of term papers or analyses must be submitted by all candidates for admission to the Theory Pedagogy program. In addition, candidates must schedule an interview with the Music Theory faculty by emailing email@example.com.
Conducting majors – Choral & Instrumental
Submit a 20 minute recording of an ensemble rehearsal. Choral Conducting applicants should also submit a demonstration of singing ability as well as a sample research paper. Submit link(s) to your audition videos through our online registration form. Finalists in the Conducting programs will be invited to campus for a live audition.
A score of a least 80 (minimum of 20 in each section) on the TOEFL iBT (or 213 or 550 on older versions of the test) is required of all international applicants whose first language is not English. Before an applicant can be considered for admission into a graduate program, the applicant must request the TOEFL score to be sent from the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey directly to "SMU Meadows School of the Arts", School Code 7640, and the appropriate Department Code in the Humanities category: 19 Music. Applicants who have graduated from a U.S. or English-speaking university are exempt from this requirement.
I-20 and F-1 Visa
All international students admitted to a graduate program are required to provide:
- photocopy of passport page that shows official spelling of student’s name (submitted at time of application)
- proof of financial support, usually in the form of a certified letter from a bank (submitted following an offer of admission)
Scholarships and graduate assistantships for qualified, admitted students are available from the graduate division. Candidates for graduate awards are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is not required from international students on the F-1 visa. For additional information, contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Meadows School of the Arts, PO Box 750356, Dallas, Texas 75275-0356 (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Graduate Diagnostic Examinations
Graduate candidates who have successfully completed the admissions process and have been admitted into the Master of Music or Master of Sacred Music programs are required to take DIAGNOSTIC EXAMS in MUSIC HISTORY and MUSIC THEORY prior to enrollment. Students are expected to demonstrate skills and knowledge in music history, aural skills and theoretical materials equivalent to those of graduating seniors who have met general requirements in these areas at SMU. It is to the student's financial advantage to prepare seriously for the diagnostic examinations.
Students who fail the diagnostic examinations will be required to enroll for Graduate Theory Review (MUTH 6000) and/or Graduate History Review (MUHI 6000). The successful exams or the above-named courses are prerequisite for all graduate theory and history courses. STUDENTS CANNOT BE ADVISED INTO GRADUATE COURSES AT MATRICULATION IF THEY MISS THE EXAMS. Additionally, any required Graduate Review coursework must be successfully completed by the end of the first term. Students who do not complete Graduate Review coursework in the fall term will be placed on academic probation in the spring term and required to enroll again into the applicable review courses for credit. Additionally, tuition and fees will be charged in the spring term and the cost of the review courses are NOT covered by scholarship, grants or tuition waiver. Failure to complete requirements according to the probation conditions will result in suspension from the program at the end of the spring term.
Through SMU's online Blackboard course management portal (http://courses.smu.edu), admitted students will have the opportunity to take brief sample diagnostic exams for study purposes before the required exams are given.
New Master's Students:
Submission and Contact Information
All materials and/or questions regarding the application process should be directed to the following:
SMU | Meadows School of the Arts
PO BOX 750356
Dallas TX 75275
Or SMU physical address:
SMU | Meadows School of the Arts
6101 Bishop Blvd
Dallas TX 75205
Joe S. Hoselton
Director of Graduate Admissions
Associate Director of Music Recruitment