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Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

1. Where should I send my materials?

2. How will I know the date and time of my audition/portfolio review?
3. Is an on-campus audition preferred?
4. When will I know my admission decision?
5. Am I able to audition on two instruments or for two programs?
6. Do I need a collaborative pianist at my audition?
7. I am a composer – do I need to audition on my primary instrument?
8. What Music Education study opportunities are available?
9. May I apply to enroll starting in the spring semester?
10. How does a deferral work once I have been admitted?

Undergraduate Questions

1. Do I need to audition for the minor?
2. I am applying to BXA, what if I only get into one of the two schools of study I applied to?
3. How important are grades and test scores in the admission process for the School of Music?
4. Am I able to take lessons if I am in the technology track for M&T or BXA?
5. Are there Study Abroad opportunities?

Graduate Questions

1. Do I need to take the GRE?
2. What graduate assistantships are available, and how do I apply for one?
3. Why aren’t my loans packaged in my financial aid decision?

International Questions

1. What TOEFL score do I need to be accepted?
2. If I am applying as an undergraduate, do I need to take the SAT?
3. How do I get my I-20?
4. Do international students qualify for financial aid?

Fast Facts


General Questions

1. Where should I send my materials?

There is no need to send any materials through the mail except official transcripts and test scores for graduate students. All application materials can be submitted online and media can be uploaded.

Graduate transcripts should be mailed to:

Office of Recruitment and Enrollment, CFA 108
Carnegie Mellon School of Music
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Official GRE scores should be sent to Institution Code 2074 Department “Arts – Performance and Studio – Music” 2404

Undergraduate transcripts and test scores should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

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2. How will I know the date and time of my audition/portfolio review?

You will receive an email confirmation of your audition/portfolio review date and time in early January. Be sure to check your spam folder or remove filters.

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3. Is an on-campus audition preferred?

A live on campus audition is always best. However, we know this is not always possible for students and families.  Full consideration is given to all applicants who audition at regional locations or by recording. Be sure to review the Audition/Portfolio Requirements for your area of study since some programs are not eligible for regional auditions.

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4. When will I know my admission decision?

Undergraduate applicants receive an initial artistic decision from the School of Music in mid-March. The final admission decision comes from the Office of Undergraduate Admission around April 1. This final decision is available online through the “Where Am I in the Process?” webpage and is mailed. Financial Aid decisions are available through the Office of Undergraduate Admission after admission decisions are processed.

Graduate applicants will view their admission decision online through the application system.  Admission decisions will be released in mid-March and will include merit scholarship. Federal loans are processed after a graduate student enrolls at Carnegie Mellon.

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5. Am I able to audition on two instruments or for two programs?

You can, but we typically see the most successful auditions from students who audition on what they consider to be their primary instrument. If you choose to audition or interview for two programs within the School of Music, you will need to complete the Online School of Music Application twice. Please contact the Office of Recruitment & Enrollment if you plan to apply to two programs.

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6. Do I need a collaborative pianist at my audition?

Vocalists will be provided with a staff collaborative pianist during on campus auditions. Vocalists who audition at regional sites should plan to bring their own pianist. Instrumental auditions are unaccompanied both on campus and at regional sites.

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7. I am a composer – do I need to audition on my primary instrument?

No. Your portfolio review/interview is your audition for the Composition studio.

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8. What Music Education study opportunities are available?

A K-12 Music Education Certification is available for undergraduate performance or composition majors. The Certification is also offered as a three-semester post graduate program (Music Education Certification). The School of Music also offers a Master of Music in Music Education.

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9. May I apply to enroll starting in the spring semester?

Advanced Music Studies Certificate candidates may apply to begin in the spring semester with faculty approval.  Master of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates very rarely begin in the spring semester.  Please contact the Office of Recruitment & Enrollment to inquire about spring options.

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10.How does a deferral work once I have been admitted?

Admitted students can defer their admission one year as part of the enrollment process.  During this one-year deferral, you cannot be enrolled at any other degree-granting institution. Graduate students must send a formal letter requesting deferral to the Office of Recruitment and Enrollment by April 15. Undergraduates should contact the “Office of Undergraduate Admission” about the deferral process.

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Undergraduate Questions

1. Do I need to audition for the minor?

No. The School of Music minors do not require an audition. Once you are enrolled as a Carnegie Mellon student, you can apply for the minor through the Director of Student Services in the School of Music. If you are interested in minoring, you do not need to include the School of Music as part of your application process. This process is only for prospective music majors. “Music Minors”

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2. I am applying to BXA, what if I only get into one of the two schools of study I applied to?

You still have the opportunity to enroll at Carnegie Mellon. Feel free to reach out the BXA Program Office to explore the internal application process once you are a Carnegie Mellon student.

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3. How important are grades and test scores in the admission process for the School of Music?

The audition or portfolio review is a large factor of your admission decision. This artistic decision happens first.  Students who are admitted to the School of Music are recommended for admission to the University. At this point, a student can still be admitted, denied or put on the wait-list for the School of Music by the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

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4. Am I able to take lessons if I am in the technology track for M&T or BXA?

If you are in the Music/Performance or Composition track/concentration, you will take four semesters of studio lessons as part of your curriculum. Technology track/concentration students are able take lessons through the Extension Division for non-majors since studio lessons are not a part of the curriculum.

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5. Are there Study Abroad opportunities?

Yes. Music students are able to study abroad but need to work closely with their advisor if they plan to be away during the academic year.  Typically students use the summer as a time to study abroad. The Study Abroad website is a great resource. The BXA program also has a student exchange program.

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Graduate Questions

1. Do I need to take the GRE?

Only students applying for the MS in Music & Technology need to take the GRE.

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2. What graduate assistantships are available, and how do I apply for one?

The School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University offers competitive fellowships and assistantships based on merit and institutional need.
Administrative, Ensemble Staff, Teaching and Studio Assistantships are available.

A Graduate Assistantship, available only for Master of Music candidates, reduces tuition by $10,000 per year and requires the student work 10 hours per week for their assigned supervisor.

Graduate applicants will apply for assistantships through the online School of Music application. 

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3. Why aren’t my loans packaged in my financial aid decision?

All admitted domestic graduate students at Carnegie Mellon are eligible for federal loans through The Hub. Your FAFSA is processed after you have chosen to enroll at Carnegie Mellon. The Hub takes the Cost of Attendance and subtracts scholarship or assistantship tuition remission in order to determine loan eligibility. Review the Graduate Financial Aid Guide for more information.

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International Questions

1. What TOEFL score do I need to be accepted?

Undergraduate applicants are required to submit a TOEFL score of 102 or better on the internet-based TOEFL (as of Fall 2010) or an IELTS score of 7.5 and above. Please arrange to have these scores sent no later than January 1st.

Master of Music Candidates must meet the following minimum TOEFL requirements. 

Minimum iBT score: 84

Subset Requirements:

  • 22 in Reading
  • 22 in Listening
  • 18 in Speaking
  • 22 in Writing

Artist Diploma and Advanced Music Studies Certificate Candidates must meet the following minimum TOEFL requirements.

Minimum iBT score: 64

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2. If I am applying as an undergraduate, do I need to take the SAT?

Yes. To be considered for admission as a freshman, you must take the following tests: SAT Reasoning Test or ACT with Writing, two SAT Subject Tests and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Please note that Carnegie Mellon does not accept GCE "O" level examinations for placement.

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3. How do I get my I-20?

Once you have confirmed your enrollment at Carnegie Mellon, we will begin the process of issuing your I-20. Please visit the International Students pages for more information.

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4. Do international students qualify for financial aid?

Undergraduate International students do not qualify for need based financial aid through the Office of Undergraduate Admission. However, a number of special merit scholarships are available to outstanding students as continuing students (once enrolled).

Graduate international students are eligible for fellowship and assistantships based on the audition/portfolio review. However, graduate international student are not eligible for federal loans.

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Fast Facts

 

 

CARNEGIE MELLON
UNIVERSITY                      

CARNEGIE MELLON 
SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Established

1900

1912

Total Faculty

1,436

95

Undergraduate

6,309

123

Graduate

6,443

142

Faculty-Student
Ratio                        

10:1

3:1

 

Pittsburgh is home to a dynamic arts and cultural community including:

  • Attack Theatre
  • August Wilson Center for African American Culture
  • Chatham Baroque
  • Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
  • NAT 28
  • Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society
  • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
  • Pittsburgh Opera
  • Pittsburgh Public Theatre
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The downtown Cultural District encompasses seven world-class theaters and a dozen art galleries. Named by National Geographic Traveler as one of the best places in the world to experience in 2012, Pittsburgh has “a wealth of fine art and architecture, and a quirky sense of humor.”

 

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