Apply & Audition for Graduate Study

Page Last Updated: 2021-01-05 10:35 PM EST

The Admissions Process

In order to be considered for admission to the Department of Music graduate program, an applicant must

     (1) apply to the University; and

     (2) audition and interview with the Department of Music.

These requirements are explained in detail below.
 

PLEASE NOTE: 

When applying for graduate study in the Department of Music, applicants should comply with all requirements on the Department of Music website regarding graduate admission. Do not apply to the Howard University Graduate School or reference its requirements, policies or deadlines.
 

Deadlines for Submission of Written Application Materials

The deadlines for receipt of all written application materials are:

     November 1, 2020 – for admission in Spring 2021
     November 1, 2020 – for Early Action for admission in Fall 2021
     February 15, 2021 – for Regular Decision for admission in Fall 2021

All applications must be submitted online via the GradCAS website.  See below.


Deadlines for Submission of Recorded Audition Materials

     November 1, 2020 – for admission in Spring 2021
     November 1, 2020 – for Early Action for admission in Fall 2021
     March 20, 2021 – for Regular Decision for admission in Fall 2021

See below for specific instructions.
 

Prerequisites for Admission to the Graduate Program

All applicants to the graduate program in music must have earned either a BA, BS or BM degree in music granted by an accredited college or university. Applicants to the Music Education Master’s program must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited music program with a completed major equivalent to certification by a state agency to teach music (K-12).

The applicant must have a cumulative GPA of no lower than 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale and a GPA of no lower than 3.0 in all major field courses for admission consideration.

All applications for graduate study must be approved by the Department of Music's Executive Committee. Any additional prerequisites will be determined after evaluation of the applicant's transcripts and entrance examinations. The Department of Music reserves the right to require any additional tests, performances, and/or interviews deemed necessary to fully evaluate an applicant or to determine his/her Graduate Classification.
 

The Application Process in Detail

In order to be considered for admission to the Department of Music graduate program, an applicant must

     (1) apply to the University; and

     (2) audition and interview with the Department of Music.

These requirements are explained in detail below.
 

1.  Apply to the University

     a.  Application Deadlines

The deadlines for receipt of all written application materials are:

     November 15, 2020 – for admission in Spring 2021
     November 15, 2020 – for Early Action for admission in Fall 2021
     February 15, 2021 – for Regular Decision for admission in Fall 2021

     b.  GradCAS Application

Howard University utilizes the services of the Graduate Centralized Application Service (GradCAS™) to assemble application materials. Interested applicants are encouraged to set up their GradCAS account and begin the application process early.

The following admissions materials must be submitted via the GradCAS website by applicable deadlines:

      GradCAS Application for Graduate Study;
      a non-refundable $99 application fee, to be paid online through the GradCAS website;
      Statement of Academic Interest & Professional Goals;
      Autobiographical Sketch;
      Resume;
      Three letters of recommendation (minimum); and
      Official transcripts from each university or college attended.

     c.  Special Requirements

          i. Music Education.  Music Education candidates also require

             a phone interview with a faculty member in the music education area;
            • two (2) letters of recommendation only; one from the student’s student teaching cooperating teacher and one from the student’s music education professor;
             a copy of the PRAXIS Music Content Exam score; and
             one year of teaching is preferred but not required.

          ii. Performance. For those wishing to major or minor in Performance, one of the three letters of recommendation must come from the most recent instructor in voice / instrument. Performance major applicants must also submit a complete list of compositions in their repertory.
 

     Don't wait.  BEGIN YOUR GradCAS APPLICATION NOW!


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2.  Audition & Interview with the Department of Music

With the exception of recent Howard University music alumni (see next paragraph), all graduate applicants are required to pass an entrance audition and interview before being admitted to the program. The audition is of primary importance for admission to music graduate study.

Howard University Department of Music undergraduate alumni applying to the graduate program within two years after graduation may submit a copy of the program of their undergraduate senior recital to the appropriate performance area coordinator (see below) for consideration in lieu of the entrance audition.

Note: Admission auditions are not ensemble auditions. Ensemble auditions, held by ensemble directors near the beginning of each semester, are for enrolled students. See Ensembles for director contact information and specific ensemble audition instructions.

     a.  Changes to This Year's Admission Audition Procedure: Recorded Auditions Only

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Music is requiring applicants to submit pre-recorded video auditions and conducting Zoom or telephone follow-up interviews for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 admission. No in-person auditions will be held.

     b.  Deadlines for Receipt of Recorded Audition Materials

The deadlines for receipt of all recorded audition materials are:

     November 15, 2020 – for admission in Spring 2021
     November 15, 2020 – for Early Action for admission in Fall 2021
     March 20, 2021 – for Regular Decision for admission in Fall 2021

     c.  How to Record and Submit Your Admission Audition

All applicants must submit a recorded audio and video audition via a private YouTube channel. No tapes, DVDs or audio-only recordings will be accepted.

There are several devices that may be used to produce a digital recording, including smartphones, iPads, tablets and computers. Please strive to make your recording of the highest possible quality, paying attention to camera and microphone placement, room acoustics and volume settings if applicable.

Many forms of instruction are available to guide you in creating your own private YouTube channel and uploading your recording.

Audition requirements for each performance area and contact information for each performance area coordinator can be found below. After reading the audition requirements for your instrument and performance area, you must contact the corresponding area coordinator prior to recording and submitting your audition video(s).

Once cleared by your performance area coordinator, record your audition. Then,

     (1) upload your audition video to a private YouTube channel; and
     (2) by the applicable deadline, email the link and a completed audition form to your area coordinator.

Following receipt of your video audition, your performance area coordinator will contact you to set up a Zoom or phone interview.

If you have any questions about the audition process, please contact the appropriate Performance Area Coordinator in a timely manner prior to published submission deadlines. Do not wait to complete your written application or for notice of acceptance by the University to begin preparing for your recorded audition.


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Graduate Audition Requirements

Please prepare to meet all audition requirements for your instrument and intended performance area.

The Department of Music reserves the right to require any additional tests, performances, and/or interviews deemed necessary to fully evaluate any incoming student or to award Graduate Classification. All applications for the Graduate program must be approved by the Department of Music Executive Committee.

Please download a computer-fillable audition form, complete the appropriate sections, and email the form and the link to your recorded audition materials to your performance area coordinator by the applicable audition deadline.

All graduate audition materials are to be performed from memory, and should satisfy the audition requirements provided below.


Classical Instrument, including Saxophone and Guitar: Advanced technical skill on the chosen instrument.

String Studies: See String Studies Audition RequirementsUpdated: 2020-10-08 12:43 PM EST (temporary link)

Classical Piano: All major and minor scales and arpeggii; solo works (no concerti) from the following eras or composers: Bach, prelude and fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier, or a complete suite or other work including a movement in fugal texture; Beethoven, a complete sonata (excluding Op. 49); a 19th-century Romantic work; a 20th century work; an extended composition of the applicant's choice, e.g., a Chopin Ballade or Brahms' Rhapsody.

Classical Voice: Two ​art songs in English; one early Italian ​art song; two German Lieder; two French Mélodie; one aria from an opera or an oratorio; and one 20th ​or 21st century art song, ​preferably by an African-American composer. Updated: 2020-10-06 10:57 PM EST

Instrumental Jazz Studies: Advanced technical skill on the chosen instrument; good improvisation skills as they relate to standard jazz literature.

Vocal Jazz Studies: Please be prepared to present a mini-recital 25-30 minutes in length (this will probably result in 5-6 selections). Original arrangements or original tunes encouraged. Demonstration of piano skills a plus. Selections should be in contrasting jazz styles and tempos (e.g. med. swing, fast swing, blues, ballad, bossa nova, samba, jazz waltz, etc.). Improvisation (scat singing) required for at least two tunes. Bring sheet music or lead sheets in the keys in which you sing. You may bring your own accompanist or one will be provided. An interview will follow the audition.


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