COVID-19 and the Eastman Admissions Process

COVID-19 continues to have a profound effect on our lives, schools, and the ways that we make music. The Eastman School of Music Office of Admissions is keenly aware of the challenges that this poses for applicants and prospective students. We understand that students’ family circumstances, education, and musical opportunities are all being deeply impacted, among countless other changes. We would like to reassure prospective students and families that we are eager to help as much as possible, and that our process will continue to be sensitive to these challenges. Here are our answers to common questions and concerns that may be helpful. 

How can I learn more about Eastman?

We are not currently able to offer on-campus tours, but we are offering live online information sessions each week. These sessions are hosted by an admissions counselor and current student, and include plenty of time for Q&A.  Sign up for an online session here:  We will be participating in a several online college fair events in Fall 2020 as listed under Upcoming Events. You can also feel free to contact Admissions at with any questions.

We look forward to welcoming visitors back to our campus when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, concerts are also being live-streamed from Eastman’s campus, with details available here:  


Can I schedule a lesson with a faculty member?

Yes! We highly recommend that prospective students reach out to faculty members via email, either to request a prospective student lesson or just to introduce yourself and make a connection.  Most faculty members are offering prospective student lessons or meetings via Zoom. You can find email addresses for faculty members here:


What changes should I expect in the admissions process due to COVID-19?

The biggest change for the 2020-21 admissions season is that, in order to protect the safety of our students and applicants, Eastman will not be able to host on-campus auditions. Instead, applicants will audition by video upload, or for some instruments via Zoom. Applicants should be sure to check their audition repertoire requirements for details and deadlines for their specific instrument and major.

Undergraduate audition requirements
Graduate audition requirements

We will also be scheduling additional appointments and opportunities for applicants to connect with faculty, staff and current students.


How are standardized test scores being impacted?

SAT and ACT scores are optional for Eastman applicants. If you are not able to take the SAT or ACT, or if you choose not to submit your scores, this will not have a negative impact on your application status.

GRE exam scores are still required for MA and PhD degree applicants.  If taking this exam at a testing center is not feasible for you, please consider the “at home” option:  If you are having specific difficulties accessing the GRE please contact the Office of Admissions to discuss.

English Proficiency: For non-native speakers of English, Eastman will be requiring the Duolingo English test rather than TOEFL for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. The Duolingo English test can be taken online from home.  See more details here:


My Spring 2020 courses were graded Pass/Fail. Will this impact my chances of being admitted?

No. This was a common practice at many schools for the Spring 2020 term as a result of COVID-19, and will not be held against you.  If you feel that your grades have been impacted by COVID-19 or require additional explanation, you can upload a short document providing additional context within the “Additional Documents” section at the end of your application.