Transfer Students

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Essential information for students wishing to transfer to MSM.

Manhattan School of Music welcomes undergraduate Bachelor of Music transfer applications from students who have already begun their collegiate journey elsewhere, but feel that MSM and NYC are a better fit for their educational, musical, and personal goals.

Transfers applicants adhere to the same application and audition process and timeline. However, in addition to receiving an artistic and overall application review, transfer applicants undergo an additional academic review to determine which previously earned credits are eligible to count towards an MSM degree.

Level determination

Transfer applicants are evaluated for both an artistic transfer level and an academic transfer level.

  1. Transfer students’ initial artistic transfer level is made by MSM faculty based on the musical level at which they perform during their audition.
  2. The next step is to determine an academic transfer level based on a thorough review of academic transcripts by our Registrar, along with the required incoming student placement exams.  Please be aware that the number of semesters needed to complete your degree at MSM will depend on the results of the academic review.

The role of auditions

  • 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.

Details about transfer credits

  • 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.

Credits as they relate to courses and grading

  • 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, including proficiency credits, may be applied toward an undergraduate degree.
  • 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 the classification of their level of study.

Credits and courses not accepted

  • MSM does not accept for transfer, credit, or placement: AP credits, college courses taken in high school which count toward the high school diploma, nor courses which have been used to fulfill requirements of a previous degree program.
  • Transfer credit is not given for courses from institutions where the language of instruction is other than English. Students who have studied in a non-English institution may still complete placement exams as described above.


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