Pursuing a professional music degree in the United States involves not only performance study, but completion of academic requirements, including classes in music history, theory, and in non-music subjects. The primary language of instruction at Eastman is English, and English language proficiency is a key pre-requisite to student success. Therefore, all international applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting the following, in addition to all other general admissions requirements, by the application deadline.
Eastman’s student body includes approximately 25% international students, who come from 30 different countries including China, S. Korea, Hong Kong, Canada and from Europe and South America. International applicants are considered for admission and scholarship on the same basis as U.S. citizens.
- An official English proficiency test score from among the following test options: TOEFL iBT, TOEFL iBT Home edition, Duolingo, IELTS, or Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency. We are not accepting the IELTS ‘Indicator’ test for the Fall 2023 application cycle. Please note: Your score should be no more than two years old, and must be sent directly to Eastman by the test agency. Eastman’s school code for TOEFL is 2224.
- Minimum Score Guidelines
(TOEFL iBT At Home Edition accepted; MyBest score accepted)
|Duolingo English Test||IELTS||
B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency
|Bachelor of Music (BM)||83 iBT||115||6.5||176|
|Master’s degree (MA or MM)||88 iBT||120||6.5||176|
|Doctoral degree (DMA or PhD)||100 iBT, with no sub-score below 22, and a minimum writing score of 28||130||7||185|
|Advanced Diploma in Performance||64iBT||95||6||169|
Are there any exceptions?
Non-native speakers of English who can demonstrate that they moved permanently to a country where the primary language is English before starting high school and have lived there continuously since are exempt from the test score requirement, but must still upload a Non-Native English Essay and transcripts. Graduate applicants in this situation must also submit high school transcripts.
- A Non-native English Essay must be submitted within the Eastman application by all applicants whose native language is not English. Do not use a translation from your native language or the services of a translator. This one page essay should tell us about your experience with the English language, including any formal study in English, any time spent in an English-speaking environment, and your comfort level speaking and writing English.
- Official transcripts from all schools attended must be submitted. Transcripts not in English must be sent with certified translations. You may either upload aPDF or scanned copy of your transcripts, with the online application (preferred), or have your school send your transcript electronically to the Eastman Office of Admissions. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
In some cases where it is unclear, International students will be asked to demonstrate that their high school/secondary education is equivalent to a US high school education. Documents will be reviewed in the month of January and you will be notified if a third party evaluation is needed. If you are notified that an evaluation is required your transcripts should be 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). For either service we would be requesting a course-by-course evaluation.
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.
For full consideration of Eastman funds, international students must complete the CSS PROFILE for International students. Eastman’s CSS Code is 2224.
International students are considered for merit-based financial aid using the same criteria for all undergraduate applicants or graduate applicants. International applicants who have a U.S. citizen or eligible permanent resident as a co-applicant may apply for a private loan to help bridge the gap between the students’ cost of attendance and their families resources and financial aid package. Applicants who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents are not eligible for federal financial aid
As part of their preparation to study at Eastman, international students who are not permanent residents of the United States must obtain a student visa. Those students admitted to the U.S. on student visas must enroll as full-time students and register for a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester (or nine credit hours if the student has an assistantship). Special Students (non-matriculated students) also must be full-time in order to qualify for a student visa. Advisement regarding course load is provided by the Office of Academic Affairs. The paperwork necessary to obtain an I-20 (certificate of eligibility for a student visa) from the University of Rochester is coordinated by the Eastman Admissions Office.
Visas may not be requested or obtained until the student has been accepted to the School, has paid the enrollment deposit, and has provided requested documentation required to process visa paperwork.
Getting a visa takes time—in some countries as much as several months. It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with all paperwork, and to obtain the visa in enough time to arrive in Rochester for orientation. Incomplete or incorrect submission of forms to Eastman may jeopardize the applicant’s study in the U.S.
International students are required to attend Eastman Orientation before beginning their degree studies at Eastman. Specific sessions are provided for international students to aid in their adjustment to study in the United States. Virtual orientation events occur throughout the summer, however international students are required to arrive on-campus in August, typically two weeks before the first Monday in September.