Graduate Application Procedures

for Autumn 2018 and beyond

Before starting your application process, please read this page and refer back to it when you are working on your application. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. You may save it and return to it as many times as you need to, as long as the status is "Saved" (and not "Submitted").


Consideration for admission into Graduate Studies in Music requires the following:

  1. Electronic submission of your application, AND
  2. Submission of ALL materials specific to your major uploaded WITH your application (or into Dropbox when directed to)

Please note that the School of Music does not accept hard copies or emails of any materials, nor do we accept CDs or DVDs. Please do not mail or email any of your materials to the School of Music.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE concerning submission of required materials: autobiographical statements, resumes, transcripts, and research papers (if applicable to your major), SHOULD be uploaded with your application to ensure the most expedient processing of your application and supporting materials.

  • Any required document not submitted with the application can be submitted afterwards through the Admissions Uploader ( Please note that submitting documents using the Uploader will delay the review of your application and materials. If you have already submitted documents with your application, do NOT submit duplicates through the Uploader as this will cause even further delays in the review process.

1. Electronic Submission of Graduate Admissions Application

  • Review the information found at The Ohio State University Graduate Admissions website.
  • Complete and submit the online application AND upload the required materials (see below) with your application (
  • NOTE - once you click SUBMIT, you cannot upload any additional materials, so make certain you have uploaded ALL required materials before clicking SUBMIT. You may refer back to a SAVED (not Submitted) application. Saved applications can be found at the bottom of the "Apply to The Ohio State University" web page (where you first began your application).

IMPORTANT! READ THOROUGHLY for correct completion of electronic application:

  • Scroll to the bottom and for "Academic Program/Plan," type in Music; for Campus, choose Columbus; for Career, choose Graduate; and for Degree, choose either Master's or Doctorate. Click "Search."
  • This will give you 2 results under "Academic Area" - either MM and MA (for Master's) or DMA and PhD (for Doctorate). Make certain that you choose the correct degree (refer to Music's Graduate Degrees and Programs).

Later in the application (in the Program Data section, you will be asked to choose a "Specialization" (major area of study). If you have not chosen the correct Academic Area, you will not see the Specialization (major) that you wish to pursue. For example, if you choose the Academic Plan of MM, but wish to pursue a master's degree in Music Education, you will not find that Specialization as an option, because a Master's in Music Education is only offered as an MA degree.

  • Once you've chosen the correct Academic Area, continue on by choosing the Start Term.
  • As you go through the application, be certain to answer ALL questions. Whenever possible, use the pull-down menus, calendar icons, and look-up codes (magnifying glass icons) to assure that you give the correct information and in the correct format.
  • Be certain to click "Save Application" at the bottom of each page, then click the next tab at the top to go on to the next section.

A. TRANSCRIPTS: Submit ONE original, official transcript from each university attended, even if you attended while in high school. Transcripts can be submitted in one of two (2) ways:

a. Upload transcripts in the "Academic Data" section, following the instructions given in the application. This is the fastest method for processing of your transcript. NOTE: After you input the school's information, an "Add Attachment" button will appear and you may click that to upload your transcript.

If your university includes some type of security on the transcript that causes it to expire after a certain amount of time, please download it and then scan the pdf and upload it to the application.

b. Email transcripts to Graduate Admissions at

  • We are aware that some transcripts may be incomplete if you are currently enrolled; these are still required at the time of application.
  • If admitted, you will then be required by the Graduate Admissions Office to submit final, official transcripts to their office.
  • If you currently attend or have previously attended Ohio State, you do not need to submit a transcript of your Ohio State course work as one will be provided for you.

B. GRE TEST SCORES: Music Education, Musicology, and Music Theory majors (master's and doctoral) are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. You will request these from your testing agency to be sent electronically to Ohio State.

a. Master of Arts in Pedagogy majors wishing Fellowship consideration must submit GRE scores as well.

b. Pedagogy majors who do not wish Fellowship consideration are not required to submit GRE scores.

C. ENGLISH PROFICIENCY: This requirement applies only to an applicant from a country where the first language is not English, unless a bachelor's degree or higher was earned (or will be earned by the end of spring semester 2018) in an English-speaking country. You will request these from your testing agency to be sent electronically to Ohio State.

a. TOEFL: A minimum score of 550 (paper) or 79 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The institution code for Ohio State is #1592. A department code is not necessary.

b. IELTS: A minimum score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Please note: We do not offer conditional admission. Students who do not have the acceptable scores will not be considered for admission.

D. REFERENCES: Three (3) letters of reference from persons acquainted with the applicant's academic program or professional performance. Please note: Music accepts only online letters of recommendation processed through the application.

a. Complete the requested information in the References section of the application for the 3 people who will be submitting letters of recommendation for you.

b. Once you have submitted your application, in approximately 3-5 business days, the references will be notified of your request for a recommendation.

c. You will have the ability to monitor the status of your incoming references (there will be a link in the "Thank you" email that you receive 24–48 hours after applying).

E. PERSONAL STATEMENT: An autobiographical statement describing the applicant's educational and professional goals and objectives, no longer than 1-2 pages. This should be uploaded into the Program Documents section of the application.

F. RÉSUMÉ: A curriculum vitae or résumé, no longer than two (2) pages (performance and conducting applicants should include your repertoire in your résumé if required by your major). This should also be uploaded into the Program Documents section of the application.

2. Submission of Materials Specific to Your Major

Upload all required documents WITH your application. They should be uploaded into the "Program Documents" section.

Upload all audio/video materials such as auditions, pre-screen auditions (conducting, piano and voice only), or other required audio/video materials  into and email the links to the appropriate faculty members listed below.

A. Performance majors (MM, Master of Music and DMA, Doctor of Musical Arts) -and- Pedagogy majors (MA, Master of Arts)

a. Must present an audition before the appropriate performance faculty. Refer to the Graduate Auditions page for information on audition requirements (including whether or not a pre-screening audition is needed), live audition dates, and procedures for scheduling a live audition.

b. For majors other than voice and piano (voice and piano: see next step below), please check with the instructor of your instrument to see if recorded auditions are accepted. If recorded auditions are accepted, upload into Dropbox and then email the link to the instructor of your instrument.

c. For Voice and Piano: Upload the pre-screen audition into Dropbox and then email the link to the appropriate faculty member (voice:; piano: Follow the deadlines for submission as noted on the Graduate Auditions web page listed above. You MUST meet the deadlines set forth by voice and piano in order to be considered for a live audition.

i. Please note that if you are invited to audition live, you must be willing to travel to Columbus, Ohio and present a live audition in front of the faculty in order to be considered for admission. There are no exceptions to this policy.

B. Composition majors (MM and DMA)

a. Must upload musical scores into "Audition/Musical Score" box of the Program Documents section of application.

b. Electronic examples are optional, but recommended. Please upload these into Dropbox and then email the link to Dr. Thomas Wells (

c. Multiple scores should be combined into a single Word or pdf document ( does this free of charge).

C. Conducting majors (MM and DMA)*

a. Must upload a repertoire list as part of résumé (Step 1.F. above).

b. A pre-screen video audition must be uploaded into Dropbox and the link emailed to the appropriate faculty member listed below.

c. Must also schedule with the advising professor a personal interview, a conducting interview, and a keyboard proficiency test.

c. Students may matriculate in the graduate conducting programs only during autumn semester.

*NOTE: Applicants interested in the DMA or MM in Conducting should contact a faculty member. Please see Graduate Auditions Information for details.

  • Choral emphasis: Dr. Robert Ward (
  • Orchestral emphasis: Dr. Russel C. Mikkelson—Please note: the DMA program in Orchestral Conducting is FULL for the 201819 academic year.
  • Wind emphasis: Dr. Russel C. Mikkelson ( 

D. Musicology majors (MA and PhD)

a. Must submit papers demonstrating skill in writing, knowledge about music, and ability to construct a convincing and original argument. These should be uploaded in the Program Documents section of the application.

b. Those who wish to visit in order to meet with members of the faculty should contact Dr. Arved Ashby (

E. Music Theory majors (MA and PhD)

a. Must submit examples of theory or analysis papers. These should be uploaded in the Program Documents section of the application.

F. Music Education majors (MA)

a. Must upload a video into Dropbox and then email the link to Dr. Robert Gillespie (

b. The video should demonstrate musicianship on your principal instrument or voice (not conducting).

c. Repertoire is the choice of the applicant and may be accompanied or unaccompanied.

G. Music Education majors (PhD)

a. Please see Music Education PhD Admissions Requirements for specifics on the admissions process for this degree/major and the materials that are required.


Information and deadlines for funding can be found at Applying for Graduate Funding.

After Submitting Your Application

You can monitor the status of your application at, however please note that during application season (usually from October through February), you will not see much change in your application status or activity on your application.

For those applicants who do not know their current password (needed, along with the ID number you were assigned upon applying, to check your application status), passwords may be changed or reset by following the instructions at, or by contacting the IT Service Desk (614-688-HELP).


Complete instructions are listed on the Graduate Auditions Information page.

After You Are Admitted

All newly admitted graduate students are required to take the music history and music theory diagnostic exams at the beginning of their program. See Diagnostic Exams for details.