The Eastman Community Music School’s Diploma Program represents a comprehensive musical training, encompassing a well-balanced blend of private instruction, performance, and academic coursework. The program allows for individualized flexibility while maintaining a rigorous standard of excellence. Students are required to fulfill requirements in seven areas, including:

  • Private Lessons
  • Examinations or Juries
  • Performances
  • Music Theory
  • Music History
  • Keyboard Proficiency (PDF)
  • Ensemble Participation

Start your registration for the ECMS Diploma!

Please see the Diploma Brochure (PDF) for information on the specific requirements in each area.

ECMS Diploma Class of 2019

Why Earn an ECMS Diploma?

The Diploma was envisioned as a precursor to the Eastman School of Music’s Bachelor of Music degree and has been granted to students since the 1930’s. ECMS Diploma students are dedicated, accomplished musicians. While the ECMS Diploma does not yield high school or college credit, it proudly bears the name of Eastman: a moniker universally recognized for musical excellence. Many students who pursue the ECMS Diploma do so in preparation for their college education, whether they pursue music or another discipline. The commitment and excellence that the diploma program represents strengthen students’ college applications. ECMS provides its students with University of Rochester transcripts, detailing studies completed and grades earned at the school. 

How to Enroll as a Diploma Candidate

Students who are interested in pursuing an ECMS Diploma can click here to register as a candidate. It is important to understand that declaring oneself a Diploma candidate does not ensure you will receive a diploma. As with any diploma program, all course requirements must be satisfactorily completed.   After reviewing the requirements in the Diploma Brochure (PDF), please talk with your studio teacher for guidance in choosing Diploma coursework. Students may also freely seek further counsel from ECMS Department Chairpersons, as well as the Associate Dean.

Enhancing your Diploma – What are the choices?

The ECMS Diploma takes at minimum, two years to complete. There are several options for enhancing your Diploma, some of which require additional years of study, and some of which are based on your level of achievement. Please see the Diploma Brochure (PDF) for complete information.

  • Advanced Diplomas may be earned after at least three years of study, as well as fulfilling additional course and ensemble requirements.
  • Pre-Collegiate Diplomas may be earned after at least four years of study, as well as fulfilling additional course and ensemble requirements.
  • Instrument-specific Diplomas recognize high achievement in performance of a particular instrument or voice.
  • Diplomas with Honors may be awarded after the student has achieved a level 6 jury, passed an Honors Jury Exam and given a solo Honors recital (or given a public Theory lecture). Click here for more information on Honors.


Additional distinctions are presented at the annual Commencement and Awards Ceremony, in the form of special certificates. Click here for information pertaining to special awards.