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Welcome to the Music Department

You may navigate this website and find out about any of the programs listed below by using the links in the gray box to the left of this message.

Thank you for your interest in the Music Department at The City College of New York (CCNY). We have an outstanding music faculty that includes Jazz stars such as Steve Wilson, Mike Holober, Dan Carillo, Ray Gallon, Scott Reeves, Suzanne Pittson, and Jason Rigby as well as prize-winning composers David Del Tredici, Jonathan Pieslak, and Stephen Jablonsky. Students may work towards a BA degree in music, a BFA in performance (classical or jazz), or a BFA in audio  technology (referred to as the Sonic Arts program). Students may also minor in education in conjunction with any music discipline which will lead to certification required for teaching in the New York State public school system K-12. Which ever program you choose we know you will be excited by the challenges provided by our world-class faculty and the talented students who will populate your classes and ensembles.

Every year the department graduates about 46 outstanding majors from our various music disciplines. We are one of the leading jazz studies providers in the New York metropolitan area, specializing in both instrumental and vocal performance. We are also extremely proud of our audio technology program (Sonic Arts) that is second to none. The students in all areas, including those in the various BA tracks, are exposed to the highest level of instruction in theory, musicianship, music history, and performance. The most recent addition to our course offerings is our groundbreaking Pop Studies Track in our BA program. Our diverse ensembles include big band, jazz combos, vocal jazz ensemble, orchestra, chorus, chamber music, Brazilian ensemble, rock ensemble, Klezmer band, and Latin band. Added to this, the cultural and musical environment of New York City is an education unto itself.

No audition is required to become a BA music major but performance on some instrument is highly recommended. Students wishing to major in either classical or jazz performance must audition during our on-campus auditions in October (for spring acceptance) or March (for fall acceptance) or by CD or DVD prior to those dates if coming to New York is not feasible. Further details on the audition process will be sent by a separate email and information is also available elsewhere on this website. To reserve a live audition time, please contact our administrative assistant at (212) 650-5411 or by email. The Sonic Arts Program requires no audition but does have its own application process.


We encourage undergraduate students to use this link to contact our Admissions Office.

Prospective students may also download forms at this site.

International students should also arrange to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test, for which a minimum standard must be met for acceptance to the college. Students are required to listen to lectures, write papers and take examinations in English and should have proficiency in the language or enroll in ESL (English-as-a-second-language) courses upon arrival. The TOEFL minimum is currently 61 in the new IBT format. As of 2009, minimum standards for American high school students are an 80+ average and a combined score of 900 on the SAT's. A math SAT score below 510 may require a student to take remedial math courses at CCNY. All transfer students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

All applications, TOEFL scores, high school and college transcripts (including translated copies, if necessary) and other relevant documents should be sent directly to University Application Processing Center, NOT the music department. Likewise, please direct any questions about your application to the Office of Admissions. The Music Department is not involved in the admissions process.

Students wishing to start in the fall should submit their application and transcripts by February 1. Those who plan to begin in the spring semester should apply by October 1. However, due to the difficulty in processing visas, we recommend that International Students apply at least six months prior to their intended semester.

Make sure that you send in ALL the required documents in the manner Admissions requires or your application will NOT be processed. If you have questions regarding your status, contact the Admissions Office at (212) 650-6977 or

Our student body is representative not only of the greater New York area, but many areas of the United States, Europe, the Middle East, South America, the Caribbean and Asia. Many of our graduates have gone on to distinguish themselves in the areas of music performance, recording, composition, teaching and research. At present we have over 300 music majors, many of whom are second degree or non-traditional students.

In addition to our professional faculty and extensive course offerings, tuition at CCNY is among the lowest in New York City. At present, the full-time undergraduate tuition is $2,865 per semester for New York State residents (12 - 18 credits) and $510 per credit for non-New York residents and international students.

A limited number of music scholarships will be awarded at selected BFA auditions. These scholarships are relatively modestl, one-semester awards and are very competitive. Students who incur significant travel expenses in order to do a live audition are encouraged to send a CD audition. Each subsequent semester students will have the opportunity to be awarded a one-semester scholarship, based on their performance skills and work in their classes.

In addition to music scholarships, the City College of New York offers several  types of loans and scholarship programs. Please follow this link for more information about academic scholarships.

For information about The Kaye Scholarships, the Macaulay Honors College, and the City College  Scholar Program go to the college home page and click on the QUICK LINKS at the top of the page.. The City College Scholars Program may be contacted at (212) 650-8114.

The campus is conveniently located near the A/D and 1/9 subway lines and students commute from all five boroughs. The music department is in historic Shepard Hall, at the corner of 138th Street and Convent Avenue, between Amsterdam Avenue and St. Nicholas Terrace. City College is also close to the George Washington Bridge and is an easy commute from New Jersey, as well as Connecticut and up-state New York. City College now offers on-campus dormitory housing at The Towers located at the south end of our campus. The Towers may also be accessed through the link on the CCNY website or by calling (212) 650-8977. To ensure a place in the Towers apply early.

We are delighted that you are interested in our music program and hope to see you in New York. If you have additional questions about our BFA jazz instrumental program, please contact Professor Scott Reeves. Jazz vocalists should contact Professor Suzanne Pittson. Undergraduate classical vocalists should contact Professor Ira Spaulding. Undergraduate classical performers should contact Professor Alison Deane.

If you have questions about our MA program in music, please contact Prof. Chadwick Jenkins.

NB: This website is updated frequently and serves as the most current source of information about the department. We hope you find it easy to use and informative. If you have any suggestions for its improvement please contact the webmaster.