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.
Prospective Student Visit
Each Friday before a scheduled audition the Division of Music offers a Pre-Audition Day schedule of classes for prospective students to attend. You may find more information about the Pre-Audition Day below under Schedule Auditions.
If you are unable to attend a Pre-Audition Day, click here to see the instructions below to schedule your music class visit and/or sample lesson.
Observing Music Class/Ensemble Rehearsal: (due to COVID-19, class observations have been limited and observation may be virtual)
- Make sure to avoid campus breaks by checking the SMU Academic Calendar before you schedule your visit.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, at least two weeks prior to your requested visit date, with the class(es)/rehearsal(s) that you are interested to attend, indicating clearly your name, major interest, and the day of your intended visit. Our staff will notify the faculty member teaching the class to check for availability, and you will receive an email confirming your class/rehearsal attendance with additional information.
Scheduling a Sample Lesson:
- Make sure to avoid campus breaks by checking the SMU Academic Calendar before you schedule your visit.
- Search by instrument to find the faculty member in your discipline on our Music Faculty List.
- Contact the faculty member directly, cc'ing email@example.com, at least two weeks prior to your visit date, to request and schedule your sample lesson. Note that sample lessons are subject to faculty availability.
Complete your application to the Meadows School of the Arts BEFORE February 1st*.
To assure full consideration for the fall term, an 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*. Optimal consideration for scholarships and assistantships will be given to applications completed fully with all supporting materials received by February 1st. 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.
*All Media for Recorded Auditions for those not attending a live audition must be submitted by February 1st. Pre-Screening Submissions must be submitted with application prior to November 1st or December 1st respectively for eligibility to audition on campus (see Voice Pre-Screening details below). Music Education candidates have an extended application deadline of March 1st.
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 Graduate Application Processing, PO BOX 518, Dallas, TX 75275-0518. Do not open the sealed envelopes if the transcripts are sent to you, instead, mail them to Graduate Application Processing. A supplementary transcript covering work in progress at the time of the application must be furnished upon completion of that work.
Transcripts from International Institutions
All official foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a professional evaluation which 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. The evaluation should demonstrate degree equivalency and GPA conversion to U.S. higher education institutions. Additionally, an English translation should be provided if transcript cannot be provided in English by the institution of record. Course descriptions or syllabi may be requested by the faculty or a professional course-by-course evaluation. It is the student’s responsibility to procure this evaluation and to assume financial responsibility for any costs incurred. An exception to this requirement is an exchange agreement between SMU and a foreign institution which is modeled after the U.S. education system. Click here to review a list of acceptable agencies to use for evaluations as well as additional information and resources for International Applicants.
Three letters of recommendation are required for the Master of Music and the Artist Diploma programs. Two letters of recommendation are required for the Performer's Diploma program. 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.
Graduate Pre-Diagnostic Music History and Music Theory Examinations
All applicants for a Master of Music degree 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. Instructions for completing the Pre-Diagnostic Examinations will be emailed to you directly from the Division of Music following submission of your application, or registration of an audition for performance candidates.
Auditions are only required for prospective Performer’s Diploma candidates and Master of Music candidates pursuing Instrumental Performance, Vocal Performance or Piano Performance and Pedagogy. Master of Sacred Music candidates in the applied concentrations of keyboards or organ are also required to audition.
Artist Diploma candidates audition through an alternative process, which is outlined here.
Review the Audition Dates or Recorded Auditions information
2022 – 23 Audition Dates (some studios may have limited availability on the following dates)
- Saturday, November 12, 2022 (No Piano or Voice)
- Saturday, December 3, 2022 (Piano and Voice only)
- Saturday, January 28, 2023
- Saturday, February 4, 2023
- Saturday, February 18, 2023
- Organ will conduct auditions on Saturday, February 11, 2023 & Saturday, February 25, 2023
To register online for your audition, first submit your Meadows Graduate Application. Once submitted, the application status page will provide a checklist of remaining materials along with a link to the audition calendar. Once there, applicants will be able select the desired audition date.
View and prepare the required graduate audition repertoire
All voice candidates wishing to participate in the Dallas auditions must first submit a pre-screening video with their Graduate Application. To be eligible for the December audition date, submissions must be received by November 1st. To be eligible for the January or February audition dates, submissions must be received by December 1st. All submissions will be evaluated by faculty following the respective due date. Results of the pre-screening submission will be sent by email. Notifications are typically sent one to two weeks following respective due date.
To submit your Pre-Screening video(s), first upload your media to YouTube, Vimeo, or other file sharing website. Complete the Meadows Graduate Application and upload link(s) to your video recordings or small media files on the Meadows Portfolio Page. Audition repertoire must comply with the stated requirements.
A Recorded Audition Submission may be submitted with application in place of the Pre-Screening submission and waives consideration for a live audition. See information below for instructions on submitting a Recorded Audition.
Review information about our Pre-Audition Day (information will be sent with audition confirmation)
All SMU On-Campus/Virtual Music Auditions are offered on Saturdays. This year, due to COVID-19, Pre-Audition Day activities will be scheduled virtually. Information will be sent to you as those events are scheduled.
Private Teacher Request
Complete the Private Teacher Request Form by February 20 (not required for students in areas with only one faculty member and an application will need to have been initiated)
While we strongly prefer that a prospective applicant audition in person, we will consider auditions submitted through a video recording.
- To submit your Recorded Audition video(s), first upload your media to YouTube, Vimeo, or other file sharing website. Complete the Meadows Graduate Application and upload link(s) to your video recordings or small media files by February 1st on the Meadows Portfolio page.
- Audition repertoire must comply with the stated requirements.
- Submissions are due by February 1st 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 Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates are unable to make revisions online.
Supplemental materials for Conducting, Music Composition, Music Education, Musicology, Piano Pedagogy, and Theory Pedagogy majors are required.
Conducting majors – Choral & Instrumental - application deadline: February 1st
Submit link to your 20 minute video of an ensemble rehearsal with your Meadows Online Application. Choral Conducting applicants should also submit a demonstration of singing ability and upload a sample research paper as well through the Meadows Online Application. Finalists in the Conducting programs will be invited to campus for a live audition.
Musicology - application deadline: February 1st
Upload examples of research papers or articles showing their scholastic capabilities in your Meadows Online Application.
Music Composition - application deadline: February 1st
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) and upload PDF samples through our Meadows Online Application. In addition, all candidates must schedule an interview with the Music Composition faculty by emailing email@example.com.
Music Education - application and media deadline: March 1st
Upload examples of research papers or articles showing scholastic capabilities, a CV or résumé, and paste the YouTube or Vimeo link to your 15-minute video demonstrating teaching skills in a normal classroom setting or rehearsal all through the Meadows Online Application. In addition, candidates must schedule an on-campus or phone interview with the Music Education faculty by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Piano Pedagogy - application deadline: February 1st
30-45 minutes of video demonstrating one full private lesson to a child and one full group lesson (if you have this experience), an on-campus or phone interview with the Piano Pedagogy faculty (email email@example.com), CV or resume of teaching experience, and a full lesson plan and post-lesson self-assessment are required for consideration.
Theory Pedagogy - application deadline: February 1st
Samples of term papers or analyses must be uploaded with their application by all candidates for admission to the Theory Pedagogy program. In addition, candidates must schedule an interview with the Music Theory faculty by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Documents Required for International Applicants
Submission of a TOEFL is required for all international music applicants whose first language is not English. The iBT TOEFL is preferred but we will also accept IELTS and the Computer Based TOEFL. 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 "Southern Methodist University", DI Code 6660, and the appropriate Department Code in the Humanities category: 19 Music. Applicants who have graduated with a 4-year degree from a U.S. or English-speaking university may be exempt from this requirement.
The following minimums must be met for consideration:
Master of Music Applicants:
- TOEFL iBT: A minimum overall score of at least 80 with a minimum score of at least 20 in each of the four sections
- IELTS: A minimum overall score of at least 6.5 with a minimum score of at least 5.5 in each of the four sections
- Computer Based TOEFL: A minimum overall score of 213
Performer's Diploma Applicants or candidates being considered for the Artist Diploma:
- TOEFL iBT: A minimum overall score of at least 64 with a minimum score of at least 20 on the speaking and listening sections and a minimum score of at least 12 on the reading and writing sections
- IELTS: A minimum overall score of at least 6.0 with a minimum score of at least a 5.5 in each of the four sections
- Computer Based TOEFL: A minimum overall score of 193
Performer’s Diploma and Artist Diploma candidates that do not attain the minimum score outlined above still have the option to attend SMU, but they must complete a 6 week summer Intensive English Program offered by SMU before they begin their music studies. The cost of the program will not be covered by any scholarships that may be awarded by the Meadows School of the Arts. Applicants for the Masters of Music program are not eligible for this option should they not attain the minimum score outlined above.
I-20 and F-1 Visa
All international students admitted to a graduate program will be notified of additional documents necessary to request an I-20 which may include:
- photocopy of passport page that shows official spelling of student’s name
- proof of financial support, usually in the form of a certified letter from a bank
- tranfer-in documentation if currently studying in the US
*Auditions are only required for performance applicants. Voice, Conducting, and Artist Diploma applicants will first submit a pre-screen audition recording with their application. Musicology, Music Composition, Music Education, and Theory Pedagogy applicants are not required to schedule an audition and should refer to the Supplemental Materials section above for additional application requirements.
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 email@example.com).
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.
New Master's Students:
Submission and Contact Information
All application materials should be directed to the following:
Graduate Application Processing
PO BOX 518
Dallas, TX 75275-0518
You may also email application related documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding the application or admission process may be directed to:
Meadows Admission Office