Frequently asked questions about applying to Manhattan School of Music.
While MSM’s December 1 priority application has passed, we continue to accept applications as space allows. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for availability information. There is a late fee for submitting the application past the deadline. Please note that, for prescreened majors, applicants who submit after the deadline may experience delays in the prescreen review and their ability to schedule the live audition.
You must include prescreening (if applicable), information about your academic history, personal background information, resume, repertoire studied summary, essays, and the names and emails of your recommenders in the application. Supplemental materials (letters and unofficial transcripts) are submitted electronically through your Status Portal and are due January 15. More information about these requirements can be found here.
Late applications are accepted on a case-by-case basis depending upon the program and various circumstances. Please email the Office of Admission for approval. Note that late applications may be assessed a $25 late fee.
The application fee is $125.00 USD. Current MSM and Precollege students, MSM alumni, and applicants to the Barnard/MSM Lesson Exchange Program pay a reduced fee of $50. All application fees are non-refundable.
There is no application fee for exchange applicants applying from one of MSM’s partner institutions abroad.
SAT, ACT, or GRE scores are not required. Applicants to the undergraduate degree program who are home-schooled are required to provide MSM with comprehensive transcripts and a high school diploma (or its equivalent; e.g. GED, TASC, HiSET).
You may apply to more than one major/division. You will need to submit an application fee for each application. Should you be accepted into more than one program, you would need to select one in which to enroll. Students may not be enrolled in more than one major.
No, you do not need to hold a Bachelor’s degree in music or a related field to audition for graduate programs. However, you will need to have received a Bachelor’s degree prior to attending MSM.
Candidates for Undergraduate programs require a high school diploma or its equivalent.
As a homeschooled applicant, you will be required to provide MSM with comprehensive transcripts for four years of a high school curriculum, as well as a high school diploma or its equivalent (e.g. TASC, GED or HiSET). SAT or ACT scores are not required. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us and we will be happy to help you navigate our admission process and determine your eligibility.
Classification of transfer students’ level of study upon admission is based solely on audition performance; the number of semesters at MSM will depend on the results of the placement exams required of all new students and approved transfer of any eligible credits. Students may need to complete more semesters than expected in order to meet all degree requirements. For example, if you have only completed one year of study in a Bachelor’s degree program, you will only be admitted to the freshmen or sophomore level. If are accepted as a junior transfer, your estimated time to degree completion may be two years or longer.
Only transfer credits from other nationally accredited institutions may be accepted into a degree program and are subject to an evaluation of official documents by the Office of the Registrar. Prior coursework is not automatically transferred; students must request to have credits transferred to MSM by submitting both transcript and course descriptions by July 1 for review of any applicable courses being requested. Review of final transcript and transfer credits will occur before the student’s first day of classes, with the result and determination of transfer credits communicated before the student begins their program of study.
MSM will consider the transfer of undergraduate course credit with the grade of C or above in core Humanities, Humanities electives, and other suitable electives as determined by the Office of the Registrar. Credit for core courses – Aural Skills, Keyboard Skills, Required Piano, Music Theory, and Music History – is granted on the basis of placement exams administered before the student’s first semester. A maximum of sixty transfer or examination credits may be applied towards an undergraduate degree.
Graduate students may transfer a maximum of nine graduate credits earned at another accredited institution with a grade of B or above.
No transfer credit will be granted for major lessons and ensembles. Students receive proficiency credit for lessons based upon their audition for admission which determines classification of their level of study.
On-campus auditions for Musical Theatre will take place January 15-17 & 29-30.
Audition week for Classical, Jazz, Orchestral, and Contemporary Performance applicants will take place February 25 & 27 – March 4. More specific audition dates for each instrument will be listed as soon as information is available, usually in late December. Auditions are held on campus in one of our many halls.
May Auditions for Fall 2021 will be held in mid-May, though not all programs are open for this late round of auditions. Please contact the Admissions Office by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 917-493-4436, for more information.
Please visit the Prescreening & Audition Information page to find out if you are eligible for a recorded audition.
Applicants can locate repertoire requirements by visiting the Prescreening & Audition Information page.
All Doctoral Program, Classical Composition, and Jazz Composition applicants are required to take entrance exams during auditions. Please review the Audition Information page for your program to learn more about these exams. All other placement and qualifying exams are given in the fall, prior to registration.
Applicants are given the option to choose up to five preferences for a major teacher through the online application. Many applicants make this decision through a combination of advice from current teachers, knowledge of faculty reputation, and/or having an opportunity to take a sample lesson. Applicants may choose to leave this decision to the judgment of the dean of academics/dean of faculty who make every attempt to pair each student with an appropriate faculty.
After the application is submitted, applicants will have options to edit their list of teacher preferences through their Status Portal. Teacher preference lists are viewed by Admissions staff only.
Many of our faculty members have their contact information available in the Faculty Directory. If you cannot find the faculty’s contact information listed, you may email the Office of Admissions to obtain the faculty member’s email address. You will be able to contact the faculty directly to schedule your sample lesson. The Office of Admissions does not facilitate or have any information regarding faculty members’ availability or schedule and does not set up sample lessons for prospective applicants.
Consultations or sample lessons are not required for application and audition at MSM. They do not influence faculty committees in deciding whether any individual student is admitted. Scheduling and fees, if any, are arranged privately between the faculty member and the applicant.
Yes. Andersen Residence Hall is a 19-story hall that is adjacent to the academic building and contains student residential rooms, practice rooms, Wi-Fi, mailboxes, a lounge and outdoor patio, laundry, vending and an exercise room. It can house up to 450 students. The hall is staffed with a full-time professional residence life director and student resident assistants are located on every floor. Security coverage at the residence hall operates twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
First- and second-year undergraduate students are required to live on campus, with freshmen sharing double rooms and sophomores having the option of living in a single room, as space allows. Upper-class students and graduate students may also apply for housing in the residence hall.
Floor designations may be as follows:
Graduate students only
Undergraduate students only
Students over age 21 only
The Office of Student Engagement provides information regarding alternative housing options.
Learn more about housing rates here.
Manhattan School of Music offers two meal plans, one for Andersen Hall residents and one for commuters.
Learn more about rates here.
This charge will be included on each tuition bill. Unspent dollars can be carried over from the Fall to the Spring, but any money left over in the Spring must be used up or else it is forfeited. Unused Meal Plan dollars are not credited back to the student. It is possible to add more funds to the Meal Plan account in increments of $50.
Tuition at Manhattan School of Music for the 2021 – 2022 academic year is $49,850. To learn more about tuition and fees, please visit our page here.
MSM College does not offer any part-time or evening programs; we only offer full-time degree programs for our enrolled students. MSM Summer, Fall, and Precollege have part-time and evening programs for students aged 5-18. You can learn more about these programs through the links below.
We do not have degree programs in audio recording or electronic music. You can view our full list of degree programs here.
Manhattan School of Music and Teachers College Columbia University offer a dual degree at the master’s level. This accelerated program – designed to be completed in three years – gives the student a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music and a Master of Arts in Education with New York State K-12 Music Teacher Certification from Teachers College, Columbia University. More info here.
No. Enrollment at Manhattan School of Music, in any given academic year, is for entrance in the fall semester only.
No. Due to the intensive academic load required of each individual major, MSM does not offer the option of a double major. However, students may elect to take part-time lessons in a secondary discipline, depending on availability. The cost of these lessons is not included in the regular tuition fee.
Eligibility for a deferral varies by major and degree program. Please contact the Office of Admissions for specific information regarding eligibility. If a deferment is granted, the terms of deferment are as follows:
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