The following degrees are offered in String Performance:

Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science (B.A./B.M./B.S.)

Click here for Undergraduate degree options (Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science)

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process.

Please click here for Strings audition procedures for 2020-21 application cycle.

Audition repertoire

  •  Your audition should include two or three contrasting movements, or compositions, such as a slow and fast movement, representing the candidate’s technical and musical ability. The candidate is strongly encouraged to include in these choices a movement of a standard concerto, and (with the exception of bassists) a movement of solo unaccompanied Bach.


  • Two movements or compositions in contrasting character or style, such as a fast and slow movement of a Sor Etude, Nos. 11-20 (Segovia edition)
  • A movement of a Bach Suite (or the equivalent)
Prospective music education students whose main instrument is piano or guitar must audition on a second instrument (Voice or Band/Orchestral instrument) at this time as well.

    • Perform an audition, up to 10 minutes, on your major instrument for the area faculty. Your audition should include:
      • Two solos (applicant’s choice) in contrasting styles demonstrating technical and interpretive abilities. Harp applicants are encouraged to perform solos from memory.
      • An orchestral excerpt or cadenza from the standard repertoire.

Master of Music (M.M)


Please see the Graduate Admissions page for detailed information on application requirements and the audition process.

Degree Requirements

See your worksheet below for details. This is the document your advisor will use to keep track of your degree progress.

For detailed information on exams, recitals, etc., please visit the Graduate Student Resources page. Be sure to check out the School of Music Graduate Student Handbook.

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Please see the Graduate Admissions page for detailed information on application requirements and the audition process.

Degree Requirements

Doctoral Minor – Required for all Doctoral programs

The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the D.M.A or Ph.D degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.

Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. conducting student who minors in ethnomusicology or a Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).

Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.


The String Area includes internationally active performers who are acclaimed soloists, renowned chamber and orchestral musicians and leading pedagogues.  String graduates are regularly accepted on scholarship at top conservatory graduate programs. Many have won positions in major orchestras, are members of internationally known string quartets, have professorships in major universities, and are laureates from top international competitions.

All students receive weekly lessons and master classes with their major professor, with frequent guest artist master classes also available. Recent guests include Pinchas Zuckerman, Rachel Barton, Nobuko Imai, Samuel Rhodes, Mark Kosower, Leon Fleisher, and Charles Neidich. In October 2017, David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra visited for a residency, including several master classes and concert with UW Madison Strings. Read a review of the concert.

String students are typically very creative and curious, and often pursue double majors. This is strongly supported by the faculty.

Long known for its emphasis on chamber music, the string area offers coached ensembles who perform each semester, including the Perlman Piano Trio and the Hunt Quartet.

The Pro Arte Quartet also calls UW-Madison home. The quartet have been artists-in-residence at UW-Madison since 1940 and long recognized as one of the world’s leading chamber ensembles.