Admission to Graduate Programs in Music

Admissions Process

1. Apply for admission to the WSU Graduate School through the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline for the semester you wish to begin graduate study (see below). In addition to submitting the required transcripts and writing sample, you will be asked to choose which of our graduate programs you would like to pursue. We offer the following degrees and concentrations:

  • Master of Arts in Music
  • Master of Music in Composition/Theory
  • Master of Music in Conducting
  • Master of Music in Music Industry Studies
  • Master of Music in Instrumental Performance
  • Master of Music in Jazz Performance
  • Master of Music in Vocal Performance

⇒ Click here to apply to the Graduate School at Wayne State University 

2. Apply for admission to the Department of Music through the Acceptd website by the deadline for the semester you wish to begin graduate study (see below). Your application to the Department of Music, which is separate from your application to the WSU Graduate School, ensures consideration for scholarships if completed by the deadline listed below. As part of the application to the Department of Music, you will choose between in-person and virtual options for your audition and/or interview. Additionally, please upload a copy of your writing sample under "supplemental materials." Once you submit your application to the Department of Music, you will not be able to go back to add, remove, or change any parts of it.

 Click here to apply to the Department of Music

3. Complete your audition and/or participate in an interview. Auditions may consist of pre-recorded videos (a "virtual" audition) or a live performance. Audition and interview requirements vary by program. Click here for detailed audition and interview requirements for specific programs.

  • If you choose a virtual audition, you will submit your videos with your application to the Department of Music on the Acceptd website. Please make sure your videos are already prepared and ready for upload when you complete the application.
  • If you choose an in-person audition, you will receive follow-up information and scheduling details from the Department of Music approximately one week prior to your on-campus audition date.
  • For your interview, we will contact you directly to schedule (virtual or in-person). During the interview, you will talk with faculty about your background and goals, review your application materials, and (if applicable) offer a live audition.

Dates and Deadlines for 2024 Admissions

  • For full consideration, applicants must submit applications for admission to the WSU Graduate School and the Department of Music by April 17, 2024. Applications submitted after this date will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants who wish to be considered for talent scholarships must submit their applications to the WSU Graduate School and the Department of Music by the deadlines listed for the February 16, 2024, audition/interview date.

The admissions process is based on the "Audition Day" you select, which is the date you offer your in-person audition and/or interview, or by which you submit your virtual audition and/or complete your virtual interview. During your Audition Day, you may also attend an informational meeting with the faculty to discuss the curriculum, performance opportunities, and more. Below, please find the deadlines for your applications to the WSU Graduate School and the Department of Music for each of our upcoming Audition Days.

Audition Day WSU Graduate School
application deadline
Department of Music
application deadline
November 3, 2023
for Winter 2024
or Fall 2024 admission
October 6, 2023 October 20, 2023
January 12, 2024
for Fall 2024 admission
December 8, 2023 December 15, 2023
February 2, 2024
for Fall 2024 admission
January 5, 2024 January 19, 2024
February 16, 2024*
for Fall 2024 admission
January 19, 2024 February 2, 2024
May 1, 2024
for Fall 2024 admission
April 3, 2024 April 17, 2024

* To be considered for a talent award scholarship, prospective students must participate in an audition/interview on or before February 16, 2024.

Following your audition and/or interviews and submission of your complete applications to the WSU Graduate School and the Department of Music, you can expect to be notified of an admissions decision in two or three weeks. Scholarship notifications are typically made in late March.

Admissions Requirements for Graduate Programs in Music

  1. A Grade Point Average of 3.0 (on a scale where 2.0 equals the grade of C) and the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree (i.e. bachelor's degree) from an accredited institution are required for regular admission. (In exceptional circumstances, conditional admission may be granted for a student whose GPA is less than 3.0 or whose undergraduate degree was awarded by a non-accredited institution. Please contact the department to inquire.) The applicant's baccalaureate degree must be in the same field in which he or she wishes to pursue graduate study, or its equivalent, as indicated by a review of transcripts, private study, examinations, experience, and audition/interview. Prerequisites, including undergraduate courses, may be required of a student who is deficient in a certain area or who does not hold an undergraduate degree in the proposed area of graduate study. The applicant's degree and GPA must appear on an official transcript from the baccalaureate institution, which is submitted as part of the application for admission to the WSU Graduate School.

  2. A writing sample must be submitted for review and evaluation by the Department of Music faculty. The paper should demonstrate the applicant's best skills in scholarly research and writing. While the length and topic are flexible, an academic essay of two or three pages in length on a topic in music history or music theory is recommended. Writing samples are evaluated based on (a) clarity of argument and conclusion, (b) presentation of convincing evidence, (c) demonstration of knowledge of applicable music history and/or theory, including the use of scholarly sources, and (d) the writing quality.

  3. An audition and/or interview is required. Click here for detailed audition and interview requirements for each of our programs.

  4. Applicants from outside the United States may have additional requirements for admission, including but not limited to a demonstration of English language proficiency. Click here for information from the WSU Graduate School for international applicants.

Standardized test scores (such as the GRE), letters of recommendation, personal essays, etc. are not required for admission to graduate programs in music. However, if the applicant wishes, they may be submitted as part of the application for admission to the WSU Graduate School and/or the Department of Music. Additional information about the admissions process for graduate study is available from the Office of Graduate Admissions at the WSU Graduate School. Click here for the Office of Graduate Admissions page.

Funding Your Graduate Degree
Support for graduate studies is available from both institutional and non-institutional sources. The Department of Music offers a limited number of talent-based scholarships to graduate students as well as the Gretchen Valade Graduate Assistantship in Jazz. Students may also be offered Activity Award Scholarships on a semester-by-semester basis. More information about Department of Music scholarships is available under the "Scholarships" tab and on the Graduate Programs page. Additional information about financial support for graduate study is also available from the WSU Graduate School and the Office of Student Financial Aid.

For additional information or to ask a question about our graduate programs, please contact Professor Joshua S. Duchan, the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Music. You may also wish to consult the Wayne State University Graduate Bulletin or the Department of Music's General Information about Graduate Programs.

last updated: 8/7/23