Graduate Programs - How to Apply

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For Academic Year 2022–2023

Application for all majors will open on September 1, 2021


Overview

  1. The Graduate School’s admissions checklist is here. Check the Graduate School's admission requirements and the School of Music’s admission requirements for your intended degree program (see below).
  2. Gather all the materials you need for your application. Contact a faculty member in the graduate program of your choice to talk about the program and confirm audition or application details.
  3. Complete the online application at gradapply.osu.edu. In the application, choose "Graduate Level Applications" and select the correct degree program. Upload the required documents with your application. The form includes a checkbox where you can ask to be considered for financial assistance.

If you are interested in the Graduate Non-Degree Application, please read the information on the Non-Degree Option page first.

DEADLINES

Application and all supporting materials including letters of recommendation must be received by the dates below for full consideration.

For Fellowship consideration — November 30.

For Graduate Associateship consideration — submit application and all supporting materials by:

  • January 1 (Musicology and Music Theory)
  • March 1 (all other disciplines)

The last day to apply for admission for Autumn 2022 is April 1.


Required Documents — ALL Programs

(Also refer to the Program-Specific Instructions that follow, for additional document requirements.)

ALL APPLICANTS must submit the following documents by uploading them with the Graduate School application:

Transcripts — Submit with the application ONE scanned copy (front and back) of an official transcript from each university you have attended, even if you attended while in high school.

  • If you are admitted, you will be required by the Graduate Admissions Office to submit final, official transcripts.
  • If you currently attend or have previously attended Ohio State, you do not need to submit a transcript of your Ohio State coursework.

References — Three (3) letters of reference from persons acquainted with your academic work and professional performance relevant to your field of study. Letters of recommendation must be uploaded by your recommenders. Approximately 3–5 business days after you have submitted your application, the people you listed as references will receive an email with a link to upload a letter.

Statement of Purpose — A statement of 1 to 2 pages describing your research interests and/or artistic interests, and your reasons for wanting to undertake graduate study in your chosen field. This statement should describe relevant past experiences or achievements that make you a good candidate for graduate study and explain how graduate study relates to your professional goals and plans.

Résumé — A curriculum vitae or résumé (2 pages). Performance and conducting applicants should include a repertoire list in the résumé; see below for details.

The GRE is not required for any School of Music program during the 2021–2022 application cycle (admissions for Autumn 2022).


INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS whose native language is not English must also submit evidence of English proficiency when they apply. Ohio State accepts official TOEFL or IELTS scores — please see the requirements for proof of English proficiency. This requirement can be waived if a bachelor's degree or higher was earned (or will be earned by the end of spring semester 2022) in an English-speaking country. Request that your testing agency send your scores electronically to Ohio State.

Minimum scores required for admission:

  • TOEFL — 79 (internet-based). Institution code for Ohio State is #1592. NOTE: Ohio State does not accept TOEFL "My Best" scores.
  • IELTS — 7.0
  • DuoLingo (minimum score 105)
    • All DuoLingo test takers are required to take an English placement exam upon arrival to campus. TOEFL Home Edition and IELTS Indicator test takers are required to take an English placement exam upon arrival unless they qualify for a TOEFL or IELTS score exemption.

Students who do not have the acceptable scores will not be considered for admission.


Program-Specific Application Instructions

Upload all required text documents as PDFs into the appropriate tabs (Academic Data Tab — transcripts; Final Steps/Submit tab — Program Documents section: CV/Résumé, Portfolio, Statement of Purpose, Writing Sample, and References section). Program-specific materials should be submitted according to the instructions below. Programs requiring auditions will schedule the auditions only after applications and supporting documents are complete.

Any required document not submitted with the application should be submitted afterwards by email to Admissions Uploader. Do not submit materials twice.

MUSIC EDUCATION applicants for the Master of Arts (MA)

  • Provide a video demonstrating musicianship on your principal instrument or voice (not conducting). Repertoire is the choice of the applicant and may be accompanied or unaccompanied. Upload the video to YouTube or a comparable streaming service, viewable to all who have access to the link (privacy setting "Unlisted"), and send the link to area head Dr. Daryl Kinney at kinney.61@osu.edu.

MUSIC EDUCATION applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Upload your résumé or vita as a PDF into the “Program Documents” section of the application. It should summarize educational and professional background and verify at least three years of teaching experience. Piano pedagogy students must have at least three years of experience with private instruction and/or class piano.
  • Upload a representative scholarly writing sample as a PDF into the “Program Documents” section of the online application.
  • Submit a face-the-camera video of your teaching (not a performance video). Upload the video to YouTube or a comparable streaming service, and make it viewable to all who have access to the link (privacy setting "Unlisted"); send the link to area head Dr. Daryl Kinney at kinney.61@osu.edu.
  • Finalists will be invited for an interview with the faculty.
  • Applicants whose master's degree was not in music education may apply. However, if admitted, the student's initial course work will likely involve master's level courses.
  • Ohio State Master of Arts graduates, and applicants changing degree programs, must complete the items listed above, send a letter to Dr. Kinney asking for admission to the PhD program, and have three letters of reference sent that address their potential for doctoral-level work in music education.

MUSICOLOGY applicants (Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy)

  • Submit research papers demonstrating skill in writing, knowledge about music, and ability to construct a convincing and original argument. Combine them into one PDF and upload in the Program Documents section of the application.
  • Students with bachelor’s degrees who intend to complete the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) need not apply to the Master of Arts program. Select PhD if that is your intended degree.
  • Those who wish to visit in order to meet with members of the faculty should contact Dr. Arved Ashby (ashby.13@osu.edu).

MUSIC THEORY applicants (Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy)

  • Submit examples of theory or analysis papers. Combine them into one PDF and upload in the Program Documents section of the application.

COMPOSITION applicants (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts)

  • Combine musical scores into one PDF and upload it into the “Portfolio" box of the Final Steps/Submit tab.
  • Audio/video recordings are optional, but recommended. Upload them to YouTube, make viewable to all who have access to the links (privacy setting "Unlisted"), and send the link to Dr. Thomas Wells (wells.7@osu.edu).

CONDUCTING applicants (Master of Music)

  • Before applying, please consult a faculty member in the relevant program:
  • Upload a résumé that lists applicant’s background, conducting experience, conducting teachers, a list of repertoire studied on the major instrument or voice, a list of conducting repertoire studied, and a list of pieces performed (conducted) in public.
  • Upload a video audition including both rehearsal and performance (camera facing the front of the conductor), and an optional audio recording of the applicant performing on a major instrument or voice. Upload to YouTube, make viewable to all who have access to the links (privacy setting "Unlisted"), and send the links to the faculty member you consulted.
  • For selected applicants, the faculty members will schedule a personal interview, an on-campus conducting audition, and a keyboard proficiency test (not required for Wind Conducting).
  • Students may begin graduate conducting programs only during autumn semester.

CONDUCTING applicants (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Applicants for the DMA in conducting should have at least three years of full-time professional conducting/teaching experience prior to application.

  • Before applying, please consult a faculty member in the relevant program:
  • Upload with the application a résumé that lists applicant’s background, conducting experience, conducting teachers, a list of repertoire studied on the major instrument or voice, a list of conducting repertoire studies, and a list of pieces performed (conducted) in public.
  • Upload to YouTube a video audition, viewable to all who have access to the link (privacy setting "Unlisted"), and send the link to the faculty member you consulted. The video should be of high visual and audio quality and document the applicant’s rehearsal and performance work as follows:
  • An unedited rehearsal video recording of approximately 30 minutes’ duration from a single rehearsal; this recording should show a frontal view of the conductor and verbal directions should be clearly audible.
  • A performance video recording (camera facing the front of the conductor), including several contrasting selections. Although the performance video may consist of a number of selections recorded at various times, individual performances should be intact and technologically unaltered.
  • At least one of these videos must have been made within six months prior to application.
  • For selected applicants, the conducting faculty will schedule a personal interview, an on-campus conducting audition, and a keyboard proficiency test (not required for Wind Conducting).
  • Students may begin graduate conducting programs only during autumn semester.

BRASS Performance (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts) and Brass Pedagogy (Master of Arts) applicants

  • Upload with your application a repertoire list (included in your résumé); if possible provide programs and reviews of concerts performed. Combine all into one PDF and upload it into the "Portfoliio" box of the Final Steps/Submit tab.
  • Discuss the audition process with the relevant faculty member for your instrument to schedule an audition:
  • Upload to YouTube an unedited video audition, viewable to all who have access to the link (privacy setting "Unlisted), and send the link to the faculty member you consulted.

WOODWINDS Performance (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts) and Woodwind Pedagogy (Master of Arts) applicants

  • Upload with your application a repertoire list (included in your résumé).
  • Upload to YouTube an unedited video audition, viewable to all who have access to the link (privacy setting "Unlisted"), and send the link to the instructor for your instrument.
  • The audition must include the following (memorization is not required):
  • two (2) complete solo pieces (i.e. concerto, sonata, French conservatory piece) from contrasting style periods. Accompanist not required.
  • at least six (6) orchestral excerpts demonstrating knowledge of standard literature.

PERCUSSION Performance (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts)

  • Upload with your application a PDF containing a repertoire list, programs and reviews (if available) of concerts performed. Combine all into one PDF and upload it into the "Portfolio" box of the Final Steps/Submit tab.
  • Contact Dr. Susan Powell (powell.312@osu.edu) to discuss the admissions process. Most applicants will come to campus for an in-person audition. If circumstances prevent an audition in person, a recently recorded audition will be considered.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a level of performance ability in the following major areas of percussion performance — snare drum, mallet percussion, timpani. Include excerpts from the orchestral repertoire on xylophone, snare drum and timpani. Students are encouraged to demonstrate competencies in other applicable areas (multiple percussion, chamber performance, drum set, world percussion etc.).

STRINGS Performance (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts) and String Pedagogy (Master of Arts) applicants

  • All string applicants must submit a recorded, unedited video audition. The program should consist of about 30 minutes of repertoire that represents at least three style periods and demonstrates the applicant's instrumental range and command. Each work or movement may be recorded as a separate track. Upload audition recordings to YouTube or another streaming service, viewable to all who have access to the links (privacy setting "Unlisted"). Send the YouTube links by email, subject line "Graduate String Audition," to the instructor for your instrument:
  • If you have questions or want more advice concerning audition repertoire or the submission procedure, contact the relevant strings instructor.

VOICE Performance (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts) and Vocal Pedagogy (Master of Arts) applicants

  • All voice applicants must submit a recorded, unedited video audition. The program should consist of about 30 minutes of repertoire representing at least three style periods. Upload the audition recording to YouTube, viewable to all who have access to the link (privacy setting "Unlisted"). Put the links to your performances at the top of your résumé document before uploading it to Graduate Admissions.
  • Applicants who wish to be considered for a fellowship or teaching assistantship must submit a teaching demonstration video. The teaching demonstration should be a 15- to 20-minute segment of a private or group lesson with a student at any age and level. The teaching demonstration must be in English. Please upload to YouTube or another streaming service an unedited digital video recording with clear video quality; lable this as the teaching demonstration and put the link in the list at the top of your résumé document.
  • Applicants interested in the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Singing Health should say so in the Statement of Purpose and describe their interests, qualifications and career goals as part of that document.
  • If you have questions or want more advice concerning audition repertoire or the submission procedures, please contact a member of the voice area:

PIANO Performance (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts) and Piano Pedagogy (Master of Arts) applicants

  • Read the repertoire lists and contact a member of the piano faculty to discuss audition requirements.
  • Upload to YouTube or another streaming service an unedited video audition viewable to all who have access to the link (privacy setting "Unlisted"). Put the links to your performances at the top of your résumé document before uploading it to Graduate Admissions.
  • Applicants who wish to be considered for a fellowship or teaching assistantship must submit a teaching demonstration video. The teaching demonstration should be a 15- to 20-minute segment of a private or group lesson with a student at any age and level. The teaching demonstration must be in English. Please upload to YouTube or another streaming service an unedited digital video recording with clear audio quality; label this as the teaching demonstration and put the link in the list at the top of your résumé document.

Funding

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

If you are a member of an underrepresented group, you may be eligible for the Graduate and Professional Student Recruitment Initiative, sponsored by the Office of Diversity and inclusion. Applications are due in September.


After Submitting Your Application

Save your application ID number and your password. Using these credentials, you will be able to log in and monitor the status of your application at appstatus.osu.edu. A link to the application will be included in the "Thank you" email you will receive 24–48 hours after applying.

If you have forgotten your password, passwords may be changed or reset by following the instructions at my.osu.edu, or by contacting the IT Service Desk (614-688-HELP).


After You Are Admitted

All newly admitted graduate students are required to take the music history and music theory entrance assessments as part of the autumn orientation at the beginning of their program. See Graduate Entrance Assessment for details.


FAQs about Graduate School Applications