Applications are now closed for studies beginning in the Fall of 2023. Please check back in October for information about the next application cycle.
All graduate students are expected to complete the PhD. Students can earn a Master’s degree during their studies, but they cannot apply for a stand-alone Master’s degree. For more information about transfer credits and degree requirements, please see the Graduate Handbook (link at the bottom of this page).
All graduate students are fully funded with a fellowship or assistantship for five years. Please go to the Financial Aid page for more details about funding.
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 samples of work. Applicants must include the names and contact information for three references with the online application.
In an effort to reduce financial barriers to attending graduate school, the Kenneth P. Dietrich Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers application fee waivers. Please note that fee waivers are approved on a case-by-case basis and not all fee waiver requests will be granted. All requests received will be reviewed and responded to within 48 hours during normal business hours: Monday - Friday 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. EST. To be considered for a fee waiver, please complete the following fee waiver survey for review: https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cD38CmmjcOT3Tvw.
The application materials include the following:
1. Application form and $75 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. GREs are no longer required by the Department of Music .
7. Samples of work.
Applicants in composition/theory should submit three scores and recordings of recent compositions, together with one paper on an analytical or theoretical topic (recommended length=15-20 pages). Recordings should be uploaded to a website, such as SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube or a personal website. Please include a document with the website addresses as live links and make sure that no password is required to access. If you are not able to do this, you may mail a CD. The paper, scores and website addresses of recordings must be combined into a single pdf to be uploaded. File sizes are limited so applicants should use Adobe Acrobat Pro or another file compression program to condense the file.
Applicants in jazz studies are asked to submit evidence of their work in each of two categories: (1) Writing/Scholarship, preferably a research paper on a jazz-related topic, and, (2) Musicianship, which may include performance recordings and/or compositions. Recordings should be uploaded to a website, such as SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal website. Please include a document with the website addresses as live links and make sure that no password is required to access. If you are not able to do this, you may mail a CD. The paper, scores and website addresses of recordings should be combined into a single pdf to be uploaded. File sizes are limited so applicants should use Adobe Acrobat Pro or another file compression program to condense the file.
Applicants in ethnomusicology should submit one writing sample on a topic in music (and/or sound), culture, and society that utilizes ethnographic, historical, music-analytical, and/or social-theoretical approaches (recommended length=15-20 pages).
Applicants in musicology should submit two to three papers on an analytical, historical, or theoretical topic. It is desirable to have separate papers on different topics, rather than one multi-chapter document. Recommended length=15-20 pages each. In order to submit multiple papers through the online portal, they must be merged into a single pdf document.
8. English language proficiency test scores. International applicants whose country’s official language is not English must submit certified scores of one of the following exams:
TOEFL: score of 90, with a score of at least 22 in each of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing
IELTS: score of 7.0, with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections
Duolingo English Test: score of 110
The University of Pittsburgh TOEFL code is 2927
International applicants do not need to submit scores if they have graduated with a degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or have graduated from an institution where the language of instruction is English in a country where English is the or one of the official national languages.
For more information on music department admissions, contact the department's Director of Graduate Admissions, Professor Amy Williams. More general information can be found on the University Graduate Admissions and the Graduate Studies home pages. Questions about uploading files should be addressed to: Ian Bennett. You may also send mail correspondence 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
International students are urged to consult the website of the Office of International Services.
International Graduate Student Financial Information 2019–2020 (PDF) »