University of Pittsburgh

Graduate Admissions

The deadline for receipt of all elements of the application is January 5.


Prospective students should apply online by filling out the online application form, paying the application fee and attaching pdf files of the statement of purpose, transcripts, resumé/CV and work samples. Applicants must include letters of recommendation with the online application. Please send all additional application materials (music scores, CDs, test scores) to:


University of Pittsburgh
School of Arts and Sciences
Department of Music
Amy Williams, Director of Graduate Admissions
110 Music Building
4337 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


The elements of the application are:

  1. Application form and $50 application fee.
  2. Statement of purpose, an essay of about two pages that describes the applicant's academic background and professional goals.
  3. Undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all higher education institutions attended. These should be scanned and included with online application. Students will be required to forward official transcripts/translations at the time of matriculation (upon enrollment) to the Graduate School to clear transcript contingencies.
  4. CV or Resumé.
  5. Three letters of recommendation, preferably by persons who have taught the applicant in subjects related to the four research subdisciplines, rather than in performance lessons.
  6. Official scores of the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Please note that international applicants from a country whose official language is not English are exempt from taking the GRE. All others are required to take the test (including international students who hold or will hold a degree from an English-language institution). Applicants are encouraged to take the test by November 1, if possible, so that scores can reach the department by January 5. For information, go to www.gre.org. The University of Pittsburgh GRE code is 2927.
  7. Samples of work. Applicants in historical musicology and ethnomusicology should submit two papers on an analytical, historical, or theoretical topic. Applicants in composition and theory should submit three scores and a CD of recent compositions, together with one paper on an analytical or theoretical topic. Applicants in jazz studies should submit a recording that demonstrates their ability to improvise on an original jazz composition and a jazz standard. They should also send a full score of an original work for a large jazz ensemble/orchestra and a full score of an original or standard composition for a small jazz ensemble (up to 9 players). Finally, they should submit a research paper on a style or period in the history of jazz. Please note: papers can be submitted online. However, in order to submit two papers, both must be merged into a single pdf document first and then submitted.
  8. TOEFL or IELTS Exam scores. International applicants whose country's official language is not English must submit certified scores of one of these exams. A minimum TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing) is required. The required minimum IELTS score is 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections).

For information on music department admissions, contact the department's Director of Graduate Admissions, Professor Deane Root. More general information can be found on the University Graduate Admissions and the Graduate Studies home pages.

International students are urged to consult the website of the Office of International Services.

International Graduate Student Financial Information 2017–2018 (PDF)

Download the Graduate Study Handbook.

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