Composition Department


Admissions Process & Advice


MM, MCM and DM applicants should NOT use the University Graduate School portal for letters of recommendation; these are most easily sent by your references via email, fax or mail directly to, (812) 856-6086 FAX, or 
Office of Music Admissions and Financial Aid
East Studio Building JS 100
1201 East Third St
Bloomington, IN 47405

SCREENING PROCESS for composition applicants 

Supplemental application materials (scores, recordings, list of works) must be uploaded by December 1 by all applicants who would like priority consideration for financial assistance and who are planning to enter the School of Music in the following fall semester. After a review of submitted scores and recordings by the composition faculty, a limited number of applicants will be invited to interview on the Bloomington campus during audition weekends. Those invited to interview should be prepared for a brief ear-training examination (identification of intervals, triads, etc.) and should bring hard copies of their scores for use at the interview. Undergraduate applicants wishing to pursue Performance Study Option 1 must do a classical audition on an instrument or voice; please follow the audition instructions under your chosen instrument. For a performance area requiring prescreening, upload pre-screening performance recordings as well, under the same account where you submit your composition portfolio.

International applicants who are invited to interview are welcome to travel to Bloomington, but we can also offer the possibility of conducting the interview over Skype.

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) 
Bachelor of Science in Music and an Outside Field (B.S.O.F.)
Master of Music (M.M.) 
Doctor of Music (D.M.)

Both undergraduate and graduate applicants should submit samples of their work representing a variety of forms and media.  Also required is a list of the applicant's completed compositions, including date of composition, instrumentation, duration, and any performances.  Scores and list of works should be in PDF format (no Finale, Sibelius, or Word files). Recordings of performances are recommended for B.M., B.S.O.F. and M.M. applicants.  D.M. applicants are required to submit recorded performances demonstrating the range of their abilities, and a score for large ensemble (orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber orchestra or sinfonietta). Preferred filename format for scores and recordings:  <title>_<genre>_<year>. More detailed application/audition information. 

Master of Computer Music Composition (M.M.)

Applicants must submit a portfolio of electronic, multimedia and/or acoustic compositions (scores/recordings/videos) and a complete list of compositions with dates. Scores are not required for solely electronic or video works. For multichannel works, a stereo mix must be uploaded with application materials. If desired, a link from a host, such as Dropbox or GoogleDrive can be provided on the list of works for downloading the individual mono channel stems for multichannel works, which must be clearly labeled (i.e. L, R, Ls, Rs).  Similarly, video works should be hosted via Youtube, Vimeo, etc., and a link to the work provided in the list of compositions.  Do not upload video or multichannel works with application materials.   More detailed application/audition information.  

Master of Music Scoring for Visual Media (M.M.)
Certificates in Music Scoring for Visual Media (undergraduate and graduate)

Applicants must submit samples of their work. Also required is a complete chronological (PDF) list of compositions for film, game, web or other mixed media as well as any concert works. The list should contain active links to any work posted and available online. More detailed application/audition information. Suggested personal computing resources.

Students applying after December 1 may not receive the audition/interview date of their choice and may be at a disadvantage for School of Music scholarship consideration. Exception for fall 2019 Music Scoring applicants: please apply by February 1, 2019.

APPLYING FOR ASSISTANTSHIPS in composition or music theory (graduate applicants only)

Deadline for applying for composition associate instructorships and graduate assistantships: February 15 

Information and Application Guidelines for associate instructorships and graduate assistantships in the composition department. Applications must be sent by email attachment to the composition chair. Applicants to the Jacobs School of Music should wait to apply for these positions until after you hear from us in late December or early January, once we have completed our screening process for graduate applications. 

Deadline for applying for music theory associate instructorships: early January (Check with the Theory Dept. for exact date) 

Note: We strongly encourage new (and current) graduate students to apply for associate instructorships in the Theory Department. To do so, simply express your interest in such a position during your composition interview.  For selected students, interviews with the Theory faculty will be held at a later date (via Skype most likely).