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Undergraduate Admissions
If you are applying for a master's degree or a doctoral program, please go to the Graduate Music Admissions site.

Reasons to apply
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is world-renowned as one of the top 10 public universities in the country, and the intimate School of Music is ranked in the top 10% of comprehensive music programs.
  • Faculty have a unique combination of friendliness and world-class talent.
  • Madison is consistently ranked one of America's best college towns.
  • Outside of music, enjoy the excellent academic programs the university has to offer: 70 academic programs at UW-Madison are ranked in the nation's top 10.
  • Choose from more than 700 student organizations, 1,500 performing arts events, and the excitement of Big Ten Athletics.
  • Ranked as a better value than all other Big 10 schools (Kiplinger's Personal Finance, 2010).
How to apply
Admission to the School of Music is contingent upon admission to the University, so make sure you apply to general admissions before submitting your School of Music application. Also, keep in mind that the general admissions procedure and the School of Music application/audition process are separate but concurrent processes. The School of Music evaluates prospective music majors on the basis of their application and audition. You will receive word about your admission to the School of Music several weeks after your audition.

1. Apply online to the University of Wisconsin-Madison
The UW-Madison Application is available starting in September. Apply early and make sure all requested material is received by their deadline.

2. Apply online to the School of Music.
The School of Music Application is available from September through January. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applicants are only considered for scholarships if auditioning by the February audition date.  A complete application must include the items listed below, all of which must be received by the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office by the application deadline associated with your chosen audition date.
  • A School of Music application.  The application will include a short personal essay, and we also request a music resume. Please email your music resume directly to admissions@music.wisc.edu, using PDF or MS Word format. (You can also send any questions about the application to this email address).
  • An official copy of your transcript(s). This is in addition to the copy you provide when applying to UW-Madison general admissions. Transcripts can be sent electronically as long as they’re official. Many schools send official transcripts electronically via docufide and we can accept those. Official transcripts can also be mailed, and should be sent directly from the institution to our undergraduate admissions coordinator (mailing address listed on the right side of this page.)
  • Two recommendation letters. The letters should come from two different sources who can recommend you based on your musical abilities, such as private teachers or ensemble conductors. Your recommender may complete our online form, or download the PDF, print, complete, and send via a scanned email attachment OR via regular mail.
  • Copies of Audition Music (applicable only to vocal auditionees that will use the accompanist provided by the UW-Madison School of Music).  The School of Music can provide an accompanist for voice auditions, or you may bring your own.  If you plan to use our accompanist, please send a copy of your audition music (include page numbers and your printed name on each page).  Music must be received by the Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator at least 2 weeks prior to the audition date in order to allow the accompanist sufficient time to prepare.
  • Supplementary materials (applicable to composition majors only).
Once your application is received, you will receive an email confirmation within 1-2 weeks. Status updates to your file are sent as we receive new materials, generally on a weekly basis. When all required materials are received, you will receive another email to verify completion. Once your audition has been scheduled, you will receive another email with audition day details.

3. Complete an audition.

The School of Music will notify you of your specific audition time at least one week preceding the date you have chosen on your application. Auditions vary in duration from 10 to 30 minutes, performed for the faculty in your chosen area of study.  Click on a specialization below for more specific audition information:

4. Take a music theory exam.

On your selected audition day, the Music Theory Area will give a diagnostic theory exam (see more information and a sample test in PDF) to determine your preparedness for first-year theory course work.


5. Piano placement

Piano Proficiency Auditions Take place on our regular audition days, or by appointment. Not applicable to piano majors. If you have had previous piano instruction, and if you did not audition for piano placement on an audition day, please sign up when you arrive on campus in the fall, either in-person or via e-mail to Prof. Jessica Johnson (jgjohnson@wisc.edu), for a 10-minute audition.  An audition sign-up sheet will be posted the week before at Room 5418 with specific times.  If you have not had previous piano instruction, Ms. Atwood will help you enroll in the beginning piano course at SOAR.

Some level of piano proficiency is expected in every music degree program.  Students who did not take a piano placement exam on one of our scheduled audition days should sign up for a placement exam.  Students who can may play a piece of their choice.  Music does not need to be memorized.  More information may be found on our website at http://music.wisc.edu/admissions/pianoplacement.  We recommend that students practice piano over the summer in preparation for piano placement in the fall.  Students who have never taken piano lessons are encouraged to begin lessons over the summer if at all possible.

Beginning and Intermediate Piano Placement Auditions will be held for instrumentalists and vocalists.


6. Enjoy the process!
The process leading up to becoming a music major can seem daunting, especially for families who are unfamiliar with auditioning.  Faculty and staff will be on hand to talk with you and your parents and answer any questions you may have.

The National Association of Schools of Music is the national accrediting agency for music schools and music-related disciplines.  Their website is helpful in providing prospective music majors and their parents questions to consider when applying to universities and conservatories.

If you have any questions about majoring in music, please contact our Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator.

We look forward to seeing you at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!

Audition Information for 2014 Admission

Audition Dates

Application Deadline

Nov. 22, 2014

Oct. 31

Jan. 31, 2015

Dec. 31*

Feb. 28, 2015

Jan. 31


 * Please note: This year's Composition portfolio deadline

 Tips and Important Information for Applicants


All School of Music application material must be sent to the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions address, not to the general University Admissions Office.  To ensure arrival of all application materials by the deadline, make sure to request transcripts and recommendation letters as early as possible.  Auditions will be scheduled and admissions decisions made only when your application file is complete.

Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator if you would like to submit a recorded audition, since not all areas permit them.  If you audition by submitting a recording, be aware that the audition process is only final upon an audition in person for the faculty of the relevant area. In-person auditions are highly preferred for scholarship consideration.


    Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator
    Dan Cross
    Email: admissions@music.wisc.edu
    Phone: (608) 263-5986
    Fax: (608) 262-8876
    Mailing address:
    UW-Madison School of Music
    Undergraduate Admissions
    455 N. Park Street
    5561 Mosse Humanities
    Madison, WI 53706-1483

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