The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Music Admissions: Undergraduate

Audition Days  |  Admissions Process  |  Deadlines  |  New BA Requirements  |  Scholarships/Contact Info

Acceptance into the Music Program requires academic acceptance by the University in addition to a successful audition or supplemental materials. Music majors work toward either a Bachelor of Music degree (BM) or a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree (BA). Students may also minor in music.

High school seniors, college transfer students, and current UMass Amherst students are accepted into the music program (as music majors or minors) on the basis of auditions (or appropriate supplemental material). Incoming students (new freshman and transfers) must additionally meet the University Admission standards.

Music Audition Days

Info for the 2021-22 Admissions cycle coming soon!  (Audition days, February 2022)

Learn about Music Admission Director Nate Gowen's virtual office hours  (on Visit Us page)
Contact Nate via email or phone: (413) 545-6048

Click here for audition requirements by instrument.

Admissions Process and Audition Sign-ups - Three Steps!

Step #1: Apply to UMass Amherst (students already enrolled at UMass can skip this step)

  • Prospective students must apply to UMass prior to auditioning for the Music Program.
  • Incoming freshman and transfer students can learn about the UMass application process here.
  • Looking to begin in the spring? Click here for additional information about applying and auditioning for mid-year entry.

Step #2: Submit an Audition Request Form

  • To sign up for an audition, complete and submit an Audition Request Form (click to start!). In doing so, students will note their audition instrument, musical background, intended music degree track, and preferred audition method.
  • For incoming students, it is recommended (but not required) to have completely filed the application to UMass (including supporting documents) before signing up for an audition.
  • UPDATE for 2021 Entry: The priority deadline for all Audition Request Forms is February 1, 2021. Please note that any remote auditions that require videos must be submitted with the Audition Request Form.
  • Please check the audition requirements for your instrument before submitting the Audition Request Form. Some studios require video submissions and you will need to submit a video link in the form.
  • NEW for 2020-2021: The Music Theory and Music History areas of emphasis in the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree do not require an audition for entry. Click here to skip to admission requirements for these programs.
  • Student admissibility to UMass may not be determined by the date of the audition. All decisions regarding admissibility to the University are through the central Admissions office.

Step #3: Audition!

  • For Fall 2021 admission, students have the option of submitting an audition remotely (whether by video recording or live stream) or make a Special Arrangement audition in person (provided both parties are comfortable meeting live).
  • All materials related to auditioning (including Zoom interviews) must be complete by February 28th. Please note that video submissions should be submitted with the Audition Request Form by the priority deadline of February 1st. Form and video submissions after February 1st could jeopardize a student's ability to complete any required follow-up with the music faculty.

SUMMARY OF DEADLINES, 2020-21 Undergraduate Admissions Cycle
(2021-22 dates coming soon)

October 1, 2020 - Application deadline for spring 2021 entry (freshman and transfer students).

November 5, 2020 - Early Action deadline for University applications for fall 2021 entry.

January 15, 2021 - Regular Decision deadline for University applications for fall 2021 entry.

NEW: February 1, 2021 - Priority deadline for all Audition Request Forms. Please note that videos required for remote auditions should be submitted with the Audition Request Form.

February 28, 2021 - Final day for incoming freshman music major auditions by Special Arrangement, including video and recorded auditions.

March 1, 2021 - Priority application deadline for transfer students. Learn more about the Transfer admissions process here. MassTransfer info here (from Mass. community college).

April 15, 2021 - Deadline for transfer student applications & credentials for fall 2021 entry.

May 1, 2021 - Candidate reply date for incoming freshman.

May 1, 2021 - Final day for transfer and music minor auditions by Special Arrangement, including video and recorded auditions, for fall 2021 entry.

June 1, 2021 - Candidate reply date for transfer students.


Admission for Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Music Theory or Music History

Admission Deadline: Submit written materials to before February 28th.

Auditions are not required for admission to the BA in Music Theory or Music History, but auditions are mandatory for all students wishing to be considered for music scholarships. Those seeking an audition for scholarship must submit an Audition Request Form by February 1 and complete the audition no later than February 28.

BA Music Theory
Fall entry only

Admission is based on:

  • Theory Diagnostic (Contact for a link to the exam)
  • Personal Statement: Write a brief personal statement (aprrox. 500 words) that describes your previous musical experiences and explains why you are interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis on Music Theory.

Optional: performance audition, for scholarship consideration only

BA Music History
Fall or Spring entry

Admission is based on:

  • Writing Sample: 7 pages or longer, preferably on a musical subject.

Optional: performance audition, for scholarship consideration only



All incoming freshman music major students who are accepted into the Music Program are considered for special Department scholarships upon recommendation by the studio faculty and selection by a committee. These scholarships are separate from, and in addition to, University funding. Only students who audition by the February 28, 2021 deadline are eligible for recommendation and consideration.

There is no separate application for music scholarships. Music minors and transfer students are not normally considered for Department scholarships.

For questions about the Music Audition process or the Music Program in general, or to arrange a Department visit (Fall 2020, via online platform only), please contact the Music Admissions Office, Nathaniel Gowen, Director:, (413) 545-6048.
Learn about Nate's virtual office hours during the 2020-21 Admissions cycle


The University of Massachusetts Amherst prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, or veteran status, in any aspect of the admission or treatment of students or in employment.