Graduate FAQ


How can I know if Illinois is the right school for me?

• We recommend scheduling a campus visit, especially during the fall or spring semester. We also offer a School of Music Open House in September and March that allows prospective students to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at the School of Music.



How do I apply to the School of Music and sign up for an audition?

• Complete the University Application. You will be prompted to schedule your audition and submit the program specific requirementsFor areas with prescreening requirements, you will be required to submit your recordings prior to being invited for a live audition. 



What do I have to play for my audition?

• The requirements for audition vary by instrument.  Please see our Audition Requirements page.



What if I cannot attend either an on- or off-campus audition?

• While a live audition is always preferred, the School of Music accepts recorded auditions in certain circumstances. Recorded auditions should be submitted through the university application. Other media will not be considered. The recording should be uploaded no later than February 1st. Scholarship consideration cannot be guaranteed for applicants who do not audition in person or at a regional audition.



What are the deadlines for submitting my application materials?

• Please see our Important Dates page
• If you would like to apply late, please contact the Music Admissions Office.



 Where do I stay when I visit campus?

• You can find information on places to stay and things to do by clicking here.



Where do I park when I visit campus?

• The campus community has metered parking available. There are meters located on most streets and these tend to cost around $1.00 per hour (You will need to bring quarters or dowload the MobileMeter app). Click here to view the campus parking map.
• Meters are FREE on Sundays. Parking is FREE in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts after 5PM on Monday-Friday, and is FREE all day on Saturday and Sunday.



What performing opportunities are available to me at Illinois?

• We have a large number of ensembles that are open to all UI students by audition. Auditions are normally held during the first week of classes each semester. The Marching Illini auditions occur in the spring.
• There are also opportunities to perform with local community and professional ensembles such as the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, the Prairie Ensemble, and others in the region. Auditions are generally held each fall for open positions and substitute lists.



Does the School of Music offer courses in the summer?

 Summer offerings are limited to Graduate level courses and are only offered during Summer Session II. One exception is Summer Band, which is open to the University Community at large. An audition and formal registration are not required.
• Although summer offerings are designed to support our Summer Master of Music Education degree, there are offerings that Academic Year graduate students may be interested in taking. Tuition waivers that accompany teaching assistantships remain in effect for the summer sessions.


One of my recommenders is doing field research in a part of the world without internet access; can she mail her recommendation letter to you?

• Yes, in cases where the University Application electronic submission is not possible, we will accept a reference letter on paper. If you have doubts about whether a letter will reach us, it is acceptable to add a fourth recommender in your University Application.



Are there placement exams?

• Graduate applicants do not take placement tests as part of the audition, except in conducting programs.
• Placement exams in music history, theory, and aural skills are required for all admitted graduate students, except those in Musicology and Music Education, prior to their first semester.
• Exams are typically given during the week immediately preceding the first day of classes.
• Students who do not pass these tests are required to take review classes in theory, history, and/or aural skills (as necessary). Please note that these classes must be passed before a student can proceed to graduate-level courses for degree credit.
• Study guides are circulated in advance of the tests. More information may be found online here.



Do I need to take the GRE?

• We only request GRE scores for those applying for graduate study in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Music Education (PhD only). Although it is possible to be considered for admission without a GRE score, applicants in the above mentioned programs who are lacking a current GRE score will not receive full consideration for merit-based aid.



Do I have to submit a TOEFL score?

• The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required for International applicants whose native language is not English. The School of Music does not grant any exemptions to this rule. Start by reviewing the International Students page. 



What academic requirements must be met in order to be accepted into the School of Music?

• For graduate applicants, the University of Illinois requires an overall GPA of 3.0/4.0 for previous college coursework. In addition, international students must complete the TOEFL minimum requirements.
• Placement in music theory or aural skills are determined by testing after admission, but before the first day of classes. Four semesters of theory/aural skills plus two additional advanced theory courses are expected.
• Placement in music history is determined by transcript audit. One year survey of Western Music History and two additional semesters of period courses (e.g: 18th Century…) is expected.
• Foreign Language - see the Programs of Study for requirements by degree.
• Deficiencies in theory, aural skills, and foreign language are not considered for admissions purposes. Admitted students are notified of their deficiencies before their first semester of enrollment.



What scholarships are available?

• Assistantships and Fellowships from the University and the School of Music are available each year. The awards include an annual stipend that may range from $7400 – $14,800 per year. The recipients of such awards also receive a partial tuition waiver. Only those applicants whose application process (including audition, if applicable) is complete will be considered for an assistantship or fellowship. The deadline to receive priority consideration for University fellowships is February 1. The deadline to receive priority consideration for School of Music assistantships and fellowships is February 15. In addition to Assistantships and Fellowships, the School of Music also offers some stand-alone partial tuition waivers.
• For more information, visit the University Assistantship page.


Can I transfer my music credits from another college?

• In rare circumstances, a student who has completed graduate-level course work at an accredited institution within the past five years with grades of A or B may request, with department approval, that up to 3 units be applied as electives to a degree at the University of Illinois. Credit will not be transferred if it has been applied to another degree. A student must successfully complete at least two units of graduate work at the Urbana-Champaign campus before a request for transfer of credit can be made.