Application, Dates, & Deadlines

In order to be admitted to Manhattan School of Music (MSM), applicants must submit an online application and audition in-person for MSM faculty. Selected programs require prescreening materials before an invitation will be extended for an in-person audition. Please note: The conservatory is not for beginning students on any instrument.

Manhattan School of Music admits students of any race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, color, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.


The application for Fall 2017 is not available at this time. Please check back on September 1, 2016. Your online application will be due by December 1st and will include the following materials:

Online Application

The online application is accessible through DecisionDesk. If you have any technical problems, you can contact or click “Help” in the lower right hand corner of your Decision Desk application to get online support.

If you are a current or former MSM student, please click here for details about your application process.

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Prescreening Videos

To find out if your instrument is prescreened and to see the requirements for your instrument, please click here. Singers and instrumentalists will need to upload videos; composers will need to convert their audio files to video files and submit them along with PDFs of the accompanying scores. Prescreening is uploaded directly to your application which must be submitted by December 1st.

Current MSM students and Precollege students (excluding OP Flute or DMA Piano applicants) who are applying directly to another MSM program are exempt from submitting prescreening videos.

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We ask that you upload unofficial transcripts to the online application for the initial phase of the admission process. You may also mail a copy of your transcripts to our office. Official transcripts are only required after admission decisions are issued. If you are offered admission, you will be required to provide sealed official and final transcripts with proof of degree or diploma that lists your degree and date of graduation. International students and students who have studied abroad must provide an official translation of all non-English documents. Your documents must be sent directly from your previous school(s) to MSM by August 1st.

Bachelor of Music:

Please submit transcripts from your current high school as well as any other high schools you have attended. We do not require the SAT/ACT. AP/IB scores are also not required, but if you have them, we’ll be happy to add them to your file. If you are a homeschooled student or a transfer student, please click here to learn about our transcript requirements.

Master of Music, Professional Studies Certificate, Doctor of Musical Arts, Artist Diploma:

Please list all high schools and colleges that you have attended; however, you only need to submit transcripts from your current college as well as any other colleges you have attended. We do not require the GRE or any other tests for graduate or post-graduate studies.

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We ask that all applicants have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 or its equivalent. 

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In our online application, please provide us with your résumé/CV to your intended area of study. Your résumé should include: academic study (institutions, date and degrees awarded), applied/private study (e.g. subjects, with whom, dates, where), performance experience, awards, distinctions, festivals, and summer programs.

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While your audition and music credentials give us an understanding of you as a musician, we'd like to get to know you a little more outside of your musical life. You should have fun with your answer, be creative, and show us the real you! The essay should be about 500 – 750 words and it must be uploaded directly into your online application. Please do not mail us a copy of your essay. The essay prompt will be available September 1, 2016. 

Doctoral students will also need to upload a short, academic writing sample, no more than 4 pages, directly into your online application. You may upload a 4 page excerpt from a longer paper you have written, but there is no need to upload your 90 page thesis. The writing sample should showcase your ability to write for an advanced academic setting.

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Recommendation Letters

All applicants are required to submit letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters must be received by January 15th. You will be asked to supply your recommender’s name and email address while you are filling out your online application. Once you submit your application, your recommender will receive an email asking him or her to write a letter on your behalf that will load directly to your application. Your recommender may also mail us their recommendation. 

Bachelor of Music:          

                One letter from the current teacher of your primary instrument

                One letter from your guidance counselor or an academic teacher

Master of Music, Professional Studies Certificate, Artist Diploma:

                One letter from the current teacher of your primary instrument

                One letter from another musical reference

Doctor of Musical Arts:

                One letter from the current teacher of your primary instrument

                Two other letters from musical, academic, or professional references 

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TOEFL (International Applicants only)

All applicants whose first language is not English must submit an internet-based (iBT) TOEFL score. An applicant's nationality or citizenship has no bearing on whether he or she is required to provide us your TOEFL scores. Tests more than 2 years old will not be accepted. TOEFL scores must be received by January 15th. Our TOEFL ETS code is 2396.

In addition to your TOEFL score, you will also have to take an in-house English Assessment given by our ESL Director during audition week. We will use the combination of your TOEFL score and the English Assessment score to determine your English level. Please note: The English Assessment does not replace the required TOEFL score.

Please visit our International Applicants page to learn more about our accepted minimum scores and TOEFL exemptions.

If you are a current MSM student and you are directly applying to another MSM degree, you are exempt from the TOEFL requirement unless you are applying for a doctoral program.

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Application Fee

When you are ready to submit your application, you will be asked to pay a $125 non-refundable application fee. Current MSM students and Precollege students pay a reduced fee of $50. Late applicants must be approved by the Admissions Office and there will be an additional $25 late fee.

We accept SAT Board or NACAC fee waivers for graduating high school seniors. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, talk to your school guidance counselor. He or she will have the forms you can fill out. They can fax the forms to (212) 749-3025, or they can mail them directly to the Admissions Office.

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MSM Admissions Portal

About one week after you have submitted your application, you will receive an email from us asking you to join the MSM Admissions Portal. The Admissions Portal will be the place you go to check the status of your application, track any required documents, update your teacher preference, and receive future communication from us. It is extremely important that you register for the Admissions Portal once you receive your invitation. The Admissions Portal is where we notify you of your prescreening result, your audition date and time, and your audition results – and we know you don’t want to miss those! 

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Dates and Deadlines

December 1

Deadline for Application
Deadline for Prescreening Videos (if applicable) 


Deadline for Barnard/MSM Cross Registration Application

January 15

Deadline for Transcripts
Deadline for Recommendation Letters
Deadline for TOEFL (if applicable) 

February 1

Individual invitations to an audition in NYC will be emailed

February 15

Deadline to submit recorded auditions
Find out about eligibility


Audition Week at MSM

March 1

Deadline for Financial Aid documents

April 1

Admissions decisions will be available

May Audition application available 

April 15

Deadline for accepted graduate students to respond to admissions offer

May 1

Deadline for accepted undergraduate students to respond to admissions offer

Deadline for May Audition application


May Auditions at MSM
Final Deadline for Application 
Final Deadline for prescreening recordings