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Graduate Admissions

Online Application | Frequently Asked Questions | Graduate Financial Aid

Registration will be available beginning August 1st

Admissions 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.

Auditions are required for prospective performer's diploma, artist diploma, and master's students majoring in Instrumental* or Vocal Performance*, Piano Pedagogy and Performance, or Organ Sacred Music. Other candidates, see below for further instructions.

Each performance area has its own requirements for the audition. View the audition repertoire requirements for various instruments and other graduate concentrations.

Pre-Diagnostic Music History and Music Theory Examinations: 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.

2015-2016 Dallas Music Audition Dates

Dallas Music Audition Dates may be requested online. Candidates will select a designated window of time on the desired audition date. The week prior to that audition date, notification will be sent by email listing a specific audition time within that designated window selected by the candidate.

  • December 5, 2015
  • January 23, 2016
  • January 30, 2016
  • February 6, 2016
  • February 20, 2016

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.

Note: 2015-16 Online Audition Registration will go live on August 1, 2015.

  • Winds, Brass, or Percussion
  • Strings
  • Piano or Organ
  • Voice*

*All voice candidates who wish to audition live in Dallas on January 23, 30, February 6 or 20 must FIRST submit a pre-screening video no later than December 1st to be considered for an invitation to audition on campus. Register and submit link(s) to your recorded pre-screening video(s) at Repertoire for the pre-screening submission is the same as the live audition repertoire. All submissions will be evaluated by faculty beginning December 1: 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.

Candidates who would like to complete a live audition in Dallas for the Meadows School of the Arts but have conflicts with the standing audition dates should email to request a private audition.

Changes or Cancellations: Candidates who may need to reschedule or cancel a standing audition appointment should contact the Division of Music office at 214-768-3680. Candidates are unable to revise or cancel auditions online.

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 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 to let us know you’re planning to attend the Pre-Audition Day. 

Recorded Auditions

While we strongly prefer that Performance candidates audition in person, we accept auditions through a video recording. Conducting applicants MUST audition through a recording. Recorded auditions must meet the following requirements:

  1. Submit link(s) to your video audition(s) through our online registration form.
  2. Audition repertoire must comply with the stated requirements.
  3. Submissions are due by January 15 for scholarship consideration.
  4. Music faculty may choose an interview or follow-up visit with candidates before reaching an admission decision.

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.

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. Tuition and fees will be charged in the spring term. 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 (, admitted students will have the opportunity to take brief sample diagnostic exams for study purposes before the required exams are given.

Music History Examination
The Music History Graduate Diagnostic Exam – which is open-book – is based on the 9th edition of A History of Western Music, by Donald Grout, Claude Palisca, and Peter Burkholder (W.W. Norton, 2014), ISBN 9780393918298. It consists of three, one-hour sections of 100 multiple-choice questions each. We suggest the entering graduate student acquire a copy of the book to prepare for the exam and to use during the exam itself (only the textbook is required, not the accompanying CDs or score anthologies). While older editions of this text and other music history textbooks will contain much of the same information, our exam uses questions provided by the publisher (Norton) for this specific edition of the book, so we cannot vouch for the usefulness of earlier editions or other texts. The book is available for purchase from Norton directly as well as from Amazon (and other retailers). More information will be provided in a communication from the Music History Department in the summer prior to enrollment.

Music Theory Examination
The Music Theory Graduate Diagnostic Exam is web-based, taken through Blackboard. The exam consists of four sections: Aural Skills (identification of scales, intervals, and chord types; melodic and harmonic dictation); Diatonic and Chromatic Harmony, Musical Forms, and Contemporary Compositional Techniques. A comprehensive study guide is available online.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Students are not charged tuition for review courses taken in the fall term; however, they are charged tuition for review courses taken in the spring term. The cost of the courses is NOT covered by scholarship grants or tuition waiver. It is to the student's financial advantage to prepare seriously for the diagnostic examinations.


Please read carefully before beginning your application:

February 1st Deadline and $75 Application Fee
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. Applications for admission without scholarship or assistantship consideration for the spring term should be submitted before November 1 and are considered on a space available basis. 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.

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. International transcripts and transcripts that are not in English must be accompanied by official translations and evaluations.

Three letters of recommendation are required. 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 letters to be delivered electronically to the recommenders listed. Applicants will need a valid email address for each recommender and upon submission, notification will be emailed to them directly with instructions on submitting a web-recommendation form on behalf of the applicant. We will also accept drafted letters by mail.

Auditions/Supplementary Materials
Supplementary materials are required for each of the major areas within the Division of Music.

Music Performance, Piano Performance & Pedagogy, Performer’s Diploma:
An audition (either live or recorded) is required of those applying for the Master of Music in Performance, Performer’s Diploma or the Piano Performance & Pedagogy programs. Additionally, a pre-screening audition is required for voice candidates wanting to attend a campus audition. Instructions are listed above.
Audition Repertoire
Dallas Music Audition Dates
Recorded Auditions

Music Education
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

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.

Music Composition
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

Theory Pedagogy
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

Conducting majors – Choral & Instrumental
Submit a 20 minute recording of an ensemble rehearsal. Choral Conducting applicants should also submit a 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.

Master of Sacred Music
Applicants for the Master of Sacred Music program should apply directly to the Perkins School of Theology, Sacred Music Program, PO Box 750133, SMU, Dallas, Texas 75275-0133 (telephone: 214.768.2502).

Financial Aid
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 (telephone 214.768.3314).

Additional Documents Required for International Applicants

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)

Submission and Contact Information
All materials and/or questions regarding the application process should be directed to the following:

Graduate Admissions
SMU | Meadows School of the Arts
PO BOX 750356
Dallas TX 75275

Or SMU physical address:

Graduate Admissions
SMU | Meadows School of the Arts
6101 Bishop Blvd
Dallas TX 75205

Joe S. Hoselton

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Communication Studies

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts



Welcome to the Division of Music

About the Division of Music

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies


Graduate Studies Audition Requirements

Artist Diploma

M.M. in Composition

M.M. in Conducting - Choral

M.M. in Conducting - Instrumental

M.M. in Music Education

M.M. in Music History

M.M. in Theory Pedagogy

Performer's Diploma

M.M. in Performance - Harpsichord

M.M. in Performance - Orchestral Instrument

M.M. in Performance - Organ

M.M. in Performance - Piano

M.M. in Performance - Voice

M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy





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Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence

SMU Meadows Licensed Music Rights

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