Admissions


In response to the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, graduate programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh are pausing admissions for Fall 2021. This one-year intermission will enable us to devote our resources and attention to our continuing students. Graduate training and research are central to the mission of the Dietrich School and the Department of Music. While we do not pause admissions lightly, in these uncertain times we are committed to optimally supporting our current students’ success and wellbeing.

If you seek to begin your graduate studies in the fall of 2021, we thank you for your understanding and wish you all the best in your endeavors. If you consider applying to our program for Fall 2022, or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Graduate Admissions, Amy Williams.


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.

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 historical 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. 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). The University of Pittsburgh TOEFL code is 2927.

For more information on music department admissions, contact the department's Director of Graduate Admissions, Associate 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: music.grad.info@pitt.edu. 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) »

Download the Graduate Study Handbook