Admissions

Instructions for Application for Undergraduate Admission

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First-Year and Transfer applicants

If you are applying for the Bachelor of Music degree, this is the only application you need to complete. Eastman has a separate application from the University of Rochester’s College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, and does not use the Common Application. If you are applying for a dual degree (BM plus a BA or BS), you will also need to submit an application to the College at the University of Rochester.

If you encounter questions or problems with your application, please contact the Eastman Office of Admissions at admissions@esm.rochester.edu 

Quick application checklist:

Applicants are responsible for submitting complete applications. Applications that are incomplete cannot be processed. Application fees are non-refundable, and application materials will not be returned. The Eastman School of Music reserves the right to rescind admission to any applicant whose file documentation is found to be insufficient and/or incomplete.

Click the links above for complete information about each requirement.

Transfer Applicants

Applicants who have earned college level credit while matriculated (enrolled as a degree candidate) at an accredited university, college, or community college are considered to be transfer applicants. Applicants who are taking college-level courses as a high school student (either toward dual enrollment requirements or for enrichment) are not considered to be transfer applicants (and these courses are generally not considered for transfer credit). 

Transfer applicants are strongly encouraged to review Eastman’s transfer student policies, and to contact Admissions with any questions: admissions@esm.rochester.edu


Application Deadlines

  • October 1: Spring 2023 Application Deadline ($100 application fee). Applicants interested in being considered for the Spring 2023 semester should apply by this date. Applications for Spring 2023 enrollment are only being considered for the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Harp, Guitar, Saxophone, and Organ.
  • December 1:  Final Application deadline for Fall 2023  ($100 application fee). Please see audition repertoire page for the deadline to submit your pre-screening or audition recordings.  There is no early action or early decision option.

We strongly encourage early submission of your application and materials. Our processing times increases significantly as the deadline approaches.  

   Application Fee

The non-refundable application fee is payable by credit card at the end of the online application. Applications will not be processed without the application fee or an approved application fee waiver as described below.

Please note: While the Eastman School of Music is a school of the University of Rochester, the Eastman application process is separate. All applicants applying to degree programs at Eastman must pay the application fee to Eastman regardless of whether the applicant has paid an application fee to another school of the University of Rochester.

   Application Fee Waivers

  • U.S. Military application fee waiver:

Applicants who are veterans of the U.S. military or are actively serving are eligible for an application fee waiver. This waiver will be automatically applied for applicants who identify themselves as veterans or active military within the online application.

  • SAT or College Board application fee waiver:

The School wishes to make application possible for all interested prospective students.  Those applicants who are unable to pay the application fee may request a fee waiver on the basis of financial hardship.  This request must be made using an official form, such as an SAT or College Board waiver. Transfer applicants must submit a letter detailing the financial need from their college’s Financial Aid Office.  This letter should verify why payment of the application fee would constitute a hardship for the student and his/her family.  Note that we cannot accept a request to waive the fee from a relative or applicant directly.  The fee waiver request should be sent via email to: admissions@esm.rochester.edu and must be received by November 30 to allow adequate time for processing before the application deadline, and the request must include the name and email address of the applicant. Late applications are not eligible for a fee waiver.

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Recording Upload

For the Fall 2023 admissions cycle, applicants will have the option to audition either on-campus or remotely. For those applying to Spring 2023 admissions cycle, all applicants should submit their final audition requirements via recording within their application by October 1st.

Please review the repertoire requirements for your instrument for information about audition repertoire requirements, prescreening requirements, and specific deadlines. Whenever a recording submission is required, applicants should refer to the following guidelines:

Recording Guidelines

  • Recordings must have been made within the past 12 months and must meet the repertoire requirements set by each department.
  • Record each selection on a separate unedited track unless otherwise specified for your instrument in the repertoire requirements. With the exception of flute auditions, it is not necessary to record everything in a single file.
  • Video format is required for final auditions.
  • Accepted file formats (maximum size 2 GB per file)
    • Video formats: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .wmv
  • Recordings can be uploaded within the “Portfolio” section of the online application. After the application has been submitted, you can upload recordings at the bottom of the “Applicant Status” page until the recording deadline specified for your instrument. 
  • Be sure to review your entire recording for quality before submitting!

Scores & Documents

Applicants to majors in Composition, Jazz Studies, Theory must submit the following preliminary materials for review by the faculty. These applicants must also upload a recording for their primary instrument (or voice) as noted above.

  • Composition applicants must upload PDF copies of three or four scores within their application for review by the composition faculty. Each score must be clearly marked with the applicant’s name. If you are submitting a large-ensemble score (full orchestra, etc.) then in addition to PDF upload it is also recommended that you mail a hard-copy of the larger score(s) to: Office of Admissions | Eastman School of Music | 26 Gibbs St | Rochester, NY 14604. 

    Composition applicants are also encouraged, but not required, to upload recordings of your composed works if any such recordings are available. MIDI recordings are acceptable.

  • Applicants for the Jazz Writing concentration must upload three or four scores of compositions and/or arrangements that display writing for large and small jazz group formats. Recordings of these works should also submitted.  Recordings from reading sessions and rehearsals are acceptable.  If live performers are not available, recordings of computer sequences of works may be submitted. Candidates with a background in classical composition are encouraged to submit one or two examples of original non-jazz works.
  • Theory applicants must submit the following:
    • Written paper with their application by the application deadline. This paper is reviewed for the purpose of evaluating the applicant’s writing and research skills; a musical subject is preferred, but not strictly required. Save this research paper on your computer and upload it within the application on the “Other Documents” page.
    • Representative exercises in part-writing, counterpoint, musical analysis, and/or model composition as part of their application. Please scan these exercises and upload them in PDF format within the online application.

The above materials will be evaluated in the admissions review process. Selected applicants will be scheduled for an online interview with faculty. Interviews for theory applicants will include testing of the applicant’s aural skills, keyboard proficiency, and analytical skills.

 

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Transcripts

Applicants are required to submit academic transcripts from each secondary school and college/university attended. You may submit your transcript using one of the following methods:

  1. Upload a PDF or scanned copy of your transcripts, either unofficial or official, with the online application. This method is strongly preferred. Please upload the transcript on the “Academic” page of the application, on the same section where you enter the name of your school. Include any transcript key or guide that your school provides. Transcript must be clear and legible, and documentation for each institution should be saved in separate single file. After uploading your transcript please preview the file to ensure readability.
  2. Send transcripts electronically to the Eastman Office of Admissions. Email address: admissions@esm.rochester.edu. We also accept transcripts via systems including Naviance, Parchment, Scoir, and Slate.org.  
  3. Postal Mail: If neither of the submission options above are possible, transcripts can also be sent by postal mail. Mailing address: Office of Admissions | Eastman School of Music | 26 Gibbs St | Rochester, NY 14604. 

Please note that all undergraduate programs in the School require a successful academic review and all application materials will be considered in the final admissions decision.  The Eastman School of Music reserves the right to verify the accuracy of all transcripts, and to require submission of official documentation at any point in the admissions review process. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of final official transcripts.

Completion of high school is required for enrollment at Eastman. Admitted applicants will be required to demonstrate successful completion of high school before the start of their studies at Eastman with an official final hard copy of their high school transcript including date of graduation. The Eastman School of Music reserves the right to rescind admission to any applicant whose file documentation is deemed insufficient or incomplete.

International students must demonstrate that their high school/secondary education is equivalent to a US high school, and must submit copies of official school transcripts with certified English translations (if applicable). In addition, we strongly recommend that you have your transcripts evaluated by an organization specializing in foreign credential evaluation, such as World Education Services (www.wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (www.ece.org). In many cases we will require this evaluation before you can be admitted, so it is in your best interest to seek out an evaluation at the time that you apply.

Students in the British educational system should submit a transcript showing coursework for grades 9-12 and an official copy of the certificate for having passed secondary school exams.

Home-schooled applicants should upload a detailed description of the curriculum studied, including texts, coursework, methods of examination, and experiential learning, in addition to any transcripts of secondary or college-level coursework. Graduation requirements typically set forth by the state in which homeschooled students reside meet the academic requirements to be considered for admission. 

Transfer applicants (students currently or previously matriculated in a degree program at an accredited college) must submit both high school and college transcripts.

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Test Scores

Eastman no longer considers SAT or ACT test scores as part of the admissions review process, and applicants are not expected to submit scores from these tests. 

If English is not your first language, please see the English Proficiency Requirements for complete information about English proficiency test requirements and options.

Eastman’s school codes are different from the University of Rochester codes. Our College Board code is 2224


Personal Statement

Applicants should upload an essay about yourself within the application. There is no specific prompt for this personal statement, but it should give the Admissions Committee an opportunity to learn more about you as an individual and gain a sense of who you are beyond your application, resume, transcript, and audition. It should be a minimum of one page and maximum of five pages in length, double-spaced, in 12-point font. The essay must be your own original writing, and must be written in English, not translated from another language.

Music Education applicants must also submit an essay describing your long-term goals and the personal qualities that make you a promising music educator. Describe your reasons for pursuing a degree in music education, including your sources of inspiration. At the top of the first page of this document, list your name, e-mail contact information, and instrument or voice. Save this essay on your computer and upload it within the application on the “Other Documents” page. See the supplemental Music Education instructions for more information.

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Résumé

See our Resume Guidelines for tips on preparing your resume. This document should be uploaded within the application.


Recommendations

Two letters of recommendation are required from the following sources:

  • A primary instructor on your instrument or voice, such as a private instructor, music teacher, conductor or coach. This recommendation should focus on your musical development, as well as your capabilities in areas including dedication, preparedness, collaboration and leadership.
  • A high school academic teacher who can speak to your abilities in areas such as writing, critical thinking, class participation, and time management. Transfer applicants may use a college-level professor or a high school teacher for this recommendation.  Home-schooled applicants should choose a recommender who is not their parent. 

An optional third letter of recommendation may be submitted by applicants who (a) are applying on more than one program or instrument, or (b) who wish to have an additional recommender provide context on personal or academic circumstances that have impacted their academic or musical progress (such as a gap year, uncharacteristically low grades in a semester or year etc.)

Recommenders are notified via email with instructions to submit their recommendation online. The applicant will receive an electronic notification when each recommendation has been submitted. If a recommender does not receive the email prompt to complete their recommendation, we advise that they start by checking their “spam” folder or equivalent.  If they continue to have difficulty, they can contact the Office of Admission at: admissions@esm.rochester.edu.

Please note that the application can be submitted before recommendations have been submitted.

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Online Interactions:

Online Interview/Faculty Interaction: Some applicants who choose to audition remotely will be scheduled for an online interview and/or faculty interaction. These will occur in late January and February, and will vary in format by program and instrument. 

Transfer Applicants will be prompted to schedule an online advising appointment with the dean of admissions during the month of February.

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Decisions:

  • Admission decision and financial aid: The Eastman application process includes a thorough review of each applicant’s file. The Admissions Committee makes decisions after all applications in each department have been evaluated. Undergraduate admissions notifications will be sent via email between March 15 and April 15. There is no early admission program at Eastman. Undergraduate applicants normally receive notification of financial aid and scholarships concurrent with their notification of admission.
  • May 1 response date: We provide notification of our decision as soon as possible after the review process is complete. In return, we ask for the courtesy of a response by May 1. The Eastman School of Music maintains a wait list in most departments. A prompt response from accepted applicants allows us to proceed with final decisions for candidates on our wait list.

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Forms & Special Instructions:

Special Instructions:

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Statement on Equity & Inclusion

The Eastman School of Music is committed to:

  • diversity, equity, and inclusion and strives for continuous improvement;
  • fostering a community of musicians and scholars of diverse backgrounds and origins by creating an educational experience that is musically, socially, and intellectually diverse;
  • assuring that every person in our community is unquestionably welcome, safe, respected, and appreciated; and
  • creating and encouraging an inclusive community that enriches the lives of our students, our faculty, our immediate community, and the world of music at large.

Please also see www.esm.rochester.edu/equity/ and www.rochester.edu/diversity. The University complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws in the administration of its policies, programs, and activities. Questions on compliance should be directed to the school or department and/or to the University’s Equal Opportunity Coordinator, University of Rochester, PO Box 270039, Rochester, New York 14627-0039. Phone 585.275.9125.


Admission Rescission Policy

The Eastman School of Music reserves the right to rescind an offer of admission at any time under certain circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • failure to complete diploma or degree currently in progress where it is a prerequisite to enrollment;
  • if there has been a misrepresentation in or a violation of any of the terms of the application process; or 
  • if the School learns that an applicant has engaged in behavior prior to the first day of class that indicates a serious lack of judgment, integrity, or alignment with University values, and/or violates School or University policies.

The School further reserves the right to require admitted students to provide additional information and/or authorization for the release of information about any such matter, and to place a hold on registration during the investigation into any such matter.