Frequently Asked Questions

Updates in progress July 2023

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about our degrees and programs, prescreening requirements, application, auditions, and more. If your questions are not answered here, please contact the School of Music’s Admissions Office.

Live Auditions

If I am invited to audition, is it essential that I attend a live audition?
Yes. The live audition is a fundamental part of the School of Music application process.

I have not yet received a passing TOEFL/IELTS score, but I was invited to audition. Should I attend my live audition?
Yale School of Music accepts TOEFL and IELTS scores from tests taken by March 1 of that application cycle. If you will be able to take the TOEFL or IELTS again before March 1 and feel confident that you will attain a passing score, you should attend your live audition.

I have been invited to audition and I have only submitted unofficial transcripts so far. Should I request that official transcripts be sent to Yale School of Music?
Yes, please have official transcripts from any institutions of higher learning you have attended sent to us before coming to the live audition. See above for information on where to send official transcripts.


Will you be accepting applications for Fall 2024 admission?
Yes, we will be accepting applications. Please refer to our How to Apply page for requirements and guidelines.

Have any dates or deadlines changed for the Fall 2024 application?
No, our dates and deadlines have remained the same. Applications open on September 15 and the deadline to apply is December 1.

Degrees and Programs

I have a high school diploma. To which degree programs at YSM am I eligible to apply?
Students with a high school diploma are eligible to apply for the certificate in performance and the artist diploma programs. Please note that the School of Music does not offer a bachelor of music degree. The Yale School of Music is a graduate professional school within Yale University. High school seniors are eligible to apply to the B.A./M.M. program, a joint degree program offered by Yale College and the School of Music.

I have a bachelor’s degree. To which degree programs at the School of Music am I eligible to apply?
Students with a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply for the master of music and the artist diploma programs.

I have a master of music degree. To which degree programs at the School of Music am I eligible to apply?
Students with a master of music in the same major as the one for which they are applying are eligible to apply for the master of musical arts and the doctor of musical arts degree programs. They are also eligible to apply for the artist diploma program.

I have a doctor of musical arts. To which degree programs at the School of Music am I eligible to apply?
There are no programs at the School of Music to which someone with a D.M.A. is eligible to apply.

Does the School of Music offer a double major?
No. An applicant may choose to apply to more than one program at the School of Music. However, students can ultimately only pursue a degree in one area.

I am already a student at Yale College but am interested in the B.A./M.M. program. Is it still possible for me to apply?
Yes, Yale College students interested in the B.A./M.M. program should speak with their private lesson instructor and academic advisor at the beginning of their third year. The application timeline for the B.A./M.M. program is the same as for all other School of Music degree programs, with an initial deadline of December 1 and auditions by invitation in February.

I would like to major in voice, composition, or conducting. Am I eligible to apply for the B.A./M.M. program?
No, the B.A./M.M. program is intended for instrumentalists.

I am interested in the B.A./M.M. program but want to pursue a bachelor of science at Yale College. Is that possible?
Yes, B.A./M.M. students can pursue a bachelor of arts and/or a bachelor of science for their undergraduate degree at Yale.

For the B.A./M.M. program, can I major in something unrelated to music for my bachelor’s degree?
Yes, B.A./M.M. students can select any major for their undergraduate degree.

Is there an additional fee for participating in the B.A./M.M. program?
No, there is no additional cost to participating in the B.A./M.M. program. Program participants pay the cost to attend Yale College for four years. Yale College is generous with financial aid for students with demonstrated need, and applications for financial aid are submitted with the undergraduate application. The Yale School of Music is tuition-free, making the fifth year of the B.A./M.M. program tuition-free. YSM also offers a stipend to its students.

How competitive is admission to the B.A./M.M.?
There is no set number of students to be admitted to the B.A./M.M. program each year. However, applicants should be aware that they are essentially auditioning for a graduate music school and are expected to be on par with those applying for our graduate-level degree programs.

Prescreening Requirements and Resources


Should I play pieces from memory in my prescreening recordings?
It is not required that applicants play pieces from memory in their prescreening recordings (unless otherwise noted on the prescreening repertoire list).

Should the prescreening recording be filmed in one continuous take?
Each movement, excerpt, or piece should be filmed in one continuous take. However, many applicants upload each component of the prescreening requirements as a separate video.

Should I play with a pianist, when applicable, in my prescreening recordings?
Piano is required, when applicable, unless otherwise noted on the prescreening repertoire list.

How do the prescreening requirements vary based on which degree program I am applying for?
The prescreening requirements do not vary unless otherwise noted on the list of prescreening repertoire. Note: the prescreening requirements are the same for students applying for the B.A./M.M. program.

Recording Resources

Can I use a smartphone to record my prescreening video?
Yes, video can be captured with a smartphone, however audio should be recorded with a higher quality device than a smartphone. External stereo microphones paired with smartphones are recommended.

What recording equipment do you recommend?
Please view our suggested equipment list for a detailed description of recommended equipment

Can I edit my recordings?
No post processing or editing is allowed for prescreening videos. Fading in, out, and normalizing volume are accepted and encouraged, but any manipulation of the sound or performance is not permitted.

Can I use pre-recorded piano?
Pre-recorded piano is acceptable if necessary. To accomplish this, you may record yourself playing along with headphones and overlay the piano track after the fact, or you may have a speaker in the room with you and record both your performance and the pre-recorded accompaniment.

What file format should I be using?
Video files should be in either .mp4 or .mov (48k audio/1080p video)

Should I have a text in the beginning of my video or slate each video with my name and piece?
It’s not necessary to slate your videos or have any text on screen, but please name your video files to include the piece title and date it was recorded ex. FlorencePrice_ImpromptuNo1_Oct5_2021.mp4.

Should I have separate files for each piece, or one long file with everything?
It is recommended that each piece and excerpt be separated into individual files and uploaded separately.

Can I upload my files to YouTube instead of the application?
Yes, you may include a link to a video instead of uploading it directly to our form. It is recommended you check your privacy settings on each video and make sure they are not listed as "Private".

Application Requirements

Do you require any standardized tests such as the GRE?
Standardized tests are not required for any applicant, in any area of focus. The TOEFL or IELTS is required for applicants whose first language is not English.

English is not my first language, but I have been living in the United States for six years or more. Do I have to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?
You may request a TOEFL/IELTS waiver if you have studied at English-speaking institutions full-time for six or more years. Please note that waiver requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed for applicants who have studied six or more years at English-speaking institutions. Submitted transcripts must show strong academic performance and significant coursework in areas other than music performance. For more about waiver requests, see the How to Apply page.

Can I submit IELTS scores or scores from another English proficiency test instead of the TOEFL?
We accept IELTS Academic test scores as of September 2022, in addition to continuing to accept TOEFL.  For more information about minimum score requirement and how to submit scores, please see the How to Apply page. We do not accept Duo Lingo.

Do you accept MyBest scores or TOEFL Essentials Test?
No. We do not accept MyBest scores or Essentials Test.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
There is no minimum GPA requirement to apply. We review all academic transcripts holistically to ensure that admitted applicants are able to successfully complete graduate level coursework.

I am a high school senior interested in the B.A./M.M. program. Can I apply to Yale College Single Choice Early Action?
Yes. In order to apply to the B.A./M.M. program as a high school senior, a student must submit separate applications to Yale College and the Yale School of Music. These application processes are completely independent of each other. Therefore, students should feel free to apply to Yale College either Regular Decision or Single Choice Early Action. There is only one School of Music application deadline (December 1). Note that School of Music decisions for B.A./M.M. program applicants will not be released until early April.

Can I apply to more than one degree at the School of Music?
Yes, applicants can apply for up to two degree programs for the same instrument or area. There is no additional cost. Applicants will only be accepted to one degree program.

Can I apply for more than one instrument or area?
Yes, applicants can apply for more than one instrument or area. However, should an applicant be accepted for more than one instrument or area, the applicant will have to choose one.

Are all application materials due by December 1?
Yes, all application materials (including recommendation letters and TOEFL or IELTS scores where applicable) are due by December 1. Test scores, which are delivered to us directly from ETS or IELTS, should be on their way to us by December 1.

Can my recommenders send in recommendation letters before I submit my application?
Yes. As soon as you enter your recommenders’ contact information into your application, they will receive an email with a link through which they can upload their letters. We recommend applicants open an application early and input their recommenders’ information so they have plenty of time to submit letters by December 1.

Where should I have official transcripts sent?

Electronic Transcript Delivery (Official electronic transcripts highly encouraged over mail)
Request official electronic transcripts through a secure service such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, eScript-Safe to be sent to the Yale School of Music at
Do not send transcripts to any other department at Yale such as "Yale University", "Yale College", or "Yale Graduate School". They will not be received by the School of Music.

Mailing address
Office of Admissions
Yale School of Music
PO Box 208246
New Haven, CT 06520-8246

FedEx, UPS, or DHL
Office of Admissions
Yale School of Music
98 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

I am a pianist or violinist. When do I note my professor preference?
You will submit a teacher preference form as part of your online application.

Composition Applicants

Do I have to submit a GRE score?
No. As of March 1, 2021, applicants to the composition department are no longer required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test. With this update, the GRE is no longer required of any applicant in any area of focus.

Department of Music

Is the Department of Music the same as the School of Music?
Although both the Department of Music and the School of Music offer courses and programs of interest to any musician, they are not the same. The Yale School of Music is one of Yale University’s 12 graduate-professional schools with degree programs in instrumental (including piano) performance, voice performance, composition, and conducting. Degrees offered by the School of Music include the master of music, master of musical arts, doctor of musical arts, artist diploma, and certificate in performance. The Department of Music offers an undergraduate music major (B.A.) and graduate programs (M.A., Ph.D.) in music theory and musicology.

Can I take classes in the Department of Music if I am a student at the School of Music?
Yes. The Department of Music offers many courses relevant to School of Music students.