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Graduate Advising


Graduate Advising

Graduate students meet with the Director of Graduate Studies, Prof. Chad Jenkins, Shepard 78B; 212-650-7666 at registration each semester to review their progress and to plan their programs.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Graduate Program in Music Studies at CCNY

For ALL students:

1. When is the due date for the application?

For admission in the Fall semester, the application must be received by the March 1st prior to when you plan to attend. For admission in the Spring, the application must be received by October 1st. These deadlines are FIRM. The application MUST BE COMPLETE or the Admissions Office will not even send it to the Music Department and we will be unable to evaluate it. The application and instructions can be found on the Admissions Application page.

2. What must be submitted in the application?

As per the instructions on the Admissions Office page (linked in question 1):
a) ALL students must submit complete official transcripts from ALL previous institutions of higher education; ALL students MUST have an undergraduate degree; while that degree need not be in music, we expect all applicants to have a MINIMUM of 24 university credits in music studies;
b) ALL students must submit TWO sealed letters of recommendation accompanied by the evaluation sheets provided with the application;
c) ALL students must submit a “personal statement” describing the student’s goals, musical background, and reasons for wanting to attend CCNY;
d) INTERNATIONAL students must submit a TOEFL score; the minimum score MUST be 575 for the standard test  or 90-91 for the internet-based test.
e) COMPOSITION students must submit a portfolio of compositions for evaluation;
f) MUSICOLOGY (history and theory) students must submit AT LEAST ONE writing sample for evaluation;

3. How much does it all cost?

See the Tuition Fee Information Page.

4. Are there scholarships or funding available through the Music Department?

There are very limited possibilities for financial awards through the Department. There are no applications for the few awards we have. We make those decisions based on the applications and auditions. On the plus side, the tuition here is comparatively quite low.

Any other questions regarding admissions ought to be directed to the Graduate Admissions office. Email them directly at

5. Are there any entrance or placement exams?

There are NO entrance exams. You are evaluated based on your applications and your auditions. There IS, however, a placement exam in music theory and history to determine readiness for the core graduate curriculum. This exam will be conducted the DAY of the AUDITION for performance students and the DAY of REGISTRATION for composition and musicology students. It will involve three components:
a) A list of definitions based on music history (e.g. Gesamtkunstwerk, monody, Territory Bands);
b) A voice-leading exercise in which you will be provided with a melody and part of a bass line and you will have to complete the passage (the remainder of the bass and the inner voices) and provide a harmonic analysis;
c) An analysis of a brief passage of music in which you will be expected to discuss harmonic structure, phrase structure, and melodic organization.

This examination is designed for PLACEMENT ONLY. You will not be denied entrance into the program if you do not score well on the examination. However, you may have to take remedial courses in theory or music history in order to bring you up the required level to take graduate courses.

For PERFORMANCE students:

1. What types of performers does the Department accept?

We currently accept jazz instrumentalists (any instrument) and classical instrumentalists and singers. We DO NOT have a program for jazz singers. We also DO NOT have an orchestra.

2. Do I send a CD of my playing along with my application?

No, this is not necessary UNLESS you know that you will be unable to come to the live audition. There is NO PRE-SCREENING of applicants. There is one audition. That is all.

3. When are the auditions?

The auditions generally take place sometime within one to three weeks following the application deadline (we have to wait until the applications have been processed). Unfortunately, given the complications surrounding scheduling, we will not know the exact date of the audition until a couple of months prior to the application deadline. We apologize for this necessary inconvenience. You will be contacted with an audition date via email once we have received your application. We will also post the date on our website each semester as soon as it has been set.

4. What if I cannot make the live audition?

If you know in advance of your application that you will be unable to make the live audition, simply submit an audition CD with your application that follows ALL of the guidelines provided. If you discover AFTER applying to the program that you will be unable to make the live audition, mail an audition CD to the following address:
        Dr. Chadwick Jenkins
        City College of New York
        Shepard Hall, Rm. 72
        160 Convent Avenue
        New York, NY 10031

5. What are the guidelines for the audition?

The guidelines for jazz students can be found here:

Classical students should prepare at least two compositions of differing characters that demonstrate technical and musical ability. When preparing a multi-movement work, we prefer that you are ready to play ALL movements even though you probably will not have time to play them all in full.

6. What distinguishes an MA (Masters of Arts) from an MM (Masters of Music)?

An MA for performance students is designed to be an ideal balance between the performative and the academic. Students should be aware before entering the program that they will be required to take academic courses in BOTH jazz and classical music theory and history. You will, of course, take lessons and perform in ensembles but you will ALSO attend lectures, read academic writings on music, and write term papers.

For COMPOSITION students:

1. What should I include in my portfolio?

Include at least two scores notated in a professional manner. These scores will preferably reflect your range of ability. Preferably these scores will be for differing instrumental forces.