Applications for fall 2021 are now closed. Applications for spring 2022/fall 2022 will open in September 2021.
Before you apply, review the application steps below. Auditions will be scheduled and admissions decisions will be made only when your application file is complete. You are applying to both UW-Madison and the School of Music. Admission to the School of Music is contingent upon admission to the university. You will need to 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, but UW-Madison Admissions has its own requirements and deadlines.
If you have questions about the application and audition process, please contact undergraduate admissions coordinator Jared Jellison at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 608.263.5986.
1. Apply online to UW-Madison
The UW-Madison application is available starting in September (you can also apply to the university via the Common App, if you would prefer). Apply early and make sure all requested materials are received by their deadline. The School of Music is accepting applications from September 2 until January 31.
Please note that you do not have to wait until you have been formally admitted to UW-Madison to apply to the School of Music. A campus ID number will be sent to you via email 1-2 days after submitting the online UW-Madison application. Once you have received this number, you can move on to step 2.
2. Apply to the School of Music
You will submit the following materials, explained in detail in the Undergraduate Application Instructions, which you should read carefully before applying.
1. School of Music application
Download form (email to email@example.com)
The application is now closed. The application for Spring 2022/Fall 2022 will open in September.
2. Two recommendation letters
Download form This form should accompany each letter of recommendation.
3. A music resume in .pdf or .doc format (email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. Copies of your audition repertoire (for Voice applicants only, see area page)
5. Supplementary materials (for Composition applicants only, see area page)
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 monthly 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
You will indicate your desired audition date in your School of Music application (see above).
The School of Music will notify you of your specific audition/interview time at least one week preceding the date you have chosen on your application. Until that time, please plan to be available all day.
*Please note, instrument areas will not review an applicant’s recorded audition until after they have submitted their music application, music resume, and two letters of recommendation to href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Composition applicants, click here. The composition portfolio submission process will remain the same as in previous years, although materials will have to be submitted online (via Dropbox) rather than through the mail.
4. Take a music theory exam
The music theory entrance exam will be offered remotely on August 3, 2021. Please contact Jared Jellison at email@example.com if you wish to take this exam.
The Music Theory Area will give a diagnostic theory exam to determine your preparedness for first-year theory course work. Click here for more information and a sample test.
- Please note that your performance on the music theory exam has no bearing on whether or not you are admitted to the School of Music. This test is used for placement purposes upon enrollment.
5. Audition for piano proficiency
Due to the restrictions placed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic, piano placement exams for incoming freshmen will not be held on audition days. Instead, we will offer piano placement exams for new freshman shortly before the start of the Fall 2021 semester.
Note: Not applicable to piano majors.
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. 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.
Please note that your performance on the piano proficiency exam has no bearing on whether or not you are admitted to the School of Music. This test is used for placement purposes upon enrollment.
Undergraduate Auditions for entry in Fall 2021
This information will be updated in summer 2021. We are preparing for a full return to pre-pandemic modes of instruction, admissions, and in-person auditions.
Undergraduate admissions FAQs
What is a music resume?
A music resume is a document created in the format of your choosing that lists all of your pertinent musical accomplishments. You can arrange this information however you like; it can be as simple as a list.
Do I have to submit a letter along with the recommendation form, or will just the recommendation form suffice?
We will take whatever you give us. Simply submitting the recommendation form will suffice for the recommendation letter requirement. Ideally all recommendation forms are accompanied by a separate letter of recommendation, but simply submitting the recommendation form will be sufficient.
How do I qualify for music scholarships?
All applicants who have auditioned in-person on a regular audition date, who have been admitted to the university by general admissions, and for whom we have a complete School of Music application file will be considered for a scholarship.* No additional application is needed. Most scholarships are offered for a full four-year period and may range on a yearly basis from $500-$10,000. Music scholarships are only offered to prospective music majors. Students completing music alongside an additional major still qualify for music scholarships. For more information on music scholarships, please click here.
Does UW-Madison offer academic scholarships? What about financial aid?
All academic scholarships are handled outside the School of Music. To view all the academic scholarships, please click here. For information on financial aid, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org / 608-262-3060. Please note that since academic scholarships and financial aid are handled outside the School of Music, the School of Music will not be able to assist you when applying for those programs.
Can I study more than one instrument at UW-Madison?
You are free to audition on multiple instruments however admission to more than one instrument studio is not common. Music students are encouraged to focus on one instrument in their college studies. (An exception to this is made for Music Education students whose primary instrument is piano and guitar.) Students can continue their studies on a secondary instrument via the Community Music Lessons program. Please click here to learn more about this program.
The Music Education Area website states, ‘Prospective music education students whose main instrument is piano or guitar must audition on a second instrument (voice or a band/orchestral instrument).’ What does this mean?
Piano and guitar are not currently considered primary teaching instruments in the State of Wisconsin. Thus Music Education students who want to study piano or guitar as their primary instrument need to audition on a second instrument. These students will be subject to the same audition standards as all other students and they will need to pass their audition on the secondary instrument. These students will need to complete a certain numbers of semesters of study on the second instrument in addition to their piano/guitar studies. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator at email@example.com for more information.
Can I request an application fee waiver for the UW-Madison general application?
According to the Office of Admission’s freshman application page:
Application fee waivers are available for applicants with financial hardship. Students who apply using the UW System Application can print this form and submit it to their school official for verification of hardship and signature. Send the completed form to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Students who apply using the Common Application may request a fee waiver while filling out their application. Your counselor must validate and approve your request for a fee waiver, and then our office will review it and a decision will be made regarding waiver of the fee. If the College Board or the ACT grant you a fee waiver, we will accept it.
For assistance in requesting an application fee waiver, please contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 608.262.3961.
Undergraduate double majors
Student-centered programs are a hallmark of a School of Music education. And increasingly, multiple or double majors are ways that students combine and build upon their interests in music and anything else a large, research university has to offer.
Currently almost a third of our majors combine their music major with another major—and sometimes even two other majors. The combinations are as individual as the students themselves. We encourage this kind of expansive thinking, and our undergraduate adviser works closely with students to make their interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary training a reality.
Multiple Majors for a B.A. or B.S. Degree
Our unique position within the College of Letters & Science (L&S) makes it easier for a student to achieve a double major. Because of the many schools and departments within L&S, students have a wide array of choices and options within the degree programs. With multiple majors, a student can pursue individual interests and follow a course of study leading to many options for graduate work and career opportunities. To view a complete list of the departments, majors, and programs in L&S, click here.
A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree with two majors can be a four-year program totaling 120 degree credits. Courses in each major would usually consist of 40 credits, while breadth requirements and electives outside the majors comprise the remaining credits.
In music, the BA/BS and the Bachelor of Music differ in the number of total credits required. The BM, a professional degree in music, consists of 130 credits of which 90 are music courses. The BA/BS liberal arts degree with a major in music consists of 120 credits of which 40 or more credits are music. It does not include some of the more advanced music courses or the music elective credits available in the BM curriculum. However, many of our BS/BA music majors have continued in graduate music studies after completing their undergraduate degree.
With the appropriate second major, a student may do the requirements necessary for Pre-Med and Pre-Law. Any student wishing to take a double major should seek advice from each department as early as possible.
Double Majors with a Professional Degree
If a student wishes to attain a degree in Engineering, Business, Nursing or Agriculture with a music major, it is necessary first to be accepted by the School of Music, then to obtain permission from the appropriate College to complete a second major in the College of Letters & Science. In most cases it will take longer than four years to complete a degree with the added major. Students will work toward the degree in their professional area while fulfilling the 40-credit requirement for a Letters & Science Music major (BA/BS). Courses in the second major will be reflected on the transcript not the diploma.
To shorten the time working toward a degree, students have several options:
a) with sufficient high school work in math or foreign language, one can gain retroactive credits that will count toward one’s degree.
b) upon evaluation, UW-Madison will accept up to 90 transfer credits counting toward the degree.
c) students may take course work during the summers at the UW-Madison campus.
Consult the College of Letters & Science for specific information about degree programs. You may also contact the School of Music for information on combining a music major with a second major in the College of Letters in Science. For questions on combining L&S majors outside of music, contact L&S at 608.262.2644.
Students are the foundation of every university. We are committed to providing the support you need to help you succeed. Below are a number of helpful resources and links to get you started.
Office: 3561G Humanities Building
Office phone: 608.263.1918
Online access to schedule advising appointments is restricted to students who applied to, auditioned for, and have been admitted to the Mead Witter School of Music.
Students considering applying to the School of Music should contact Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator Jared Jellison at email@example.com or at 608.263.5986.
INDIVIDUAL ACADEMIC ADVISING
Current music majors can schedule an appointment via Starfish, which can be accessed via your MyUW student portal. If uncertain how to use Starfish, see https://advising.wisc.edu/facstaff/starfish/starfish-student-resources/
Appointments can also be made by phone at 608.263.1918.
BE PREPARED FOR YOUR ADVISING APPOINTMENT
Please bring the following to your appointment:
- Any questions you have about requirements, extracurricular opportunities, study abroad, or whatever is on your mind.
- A pen and paper for note taking.
- Any form you may need signed. Be sure you have filled out all pertinent information and have read the form/document thoroughly.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM AN ACADEMIC ADVISING APPOINTMENT
Academic advisors help students learn and understand their degree and major requirements. Programs in the Mead Witter School of Music are highly sequential, and some required courses are offered only once each year. Many of School of Music undergraduates are interested in earning an additional major and/or certificate, and this is possible with careful planning each semester.
Advisors often can explain the differences between courses that meet the same degree requirement. For students considering study abroad, it’s a good idea to begin exploring programs early in your degree and work with your advisor to determine the program length (semester/summer/year) that will best fit your needs and interests.
It is recommended that you see an advisor at least once a semester to plan your courses and check progress toward degree completion. Students sometimes need clarification of degree requirements, particularly if they are considering switching to a different major/degree program within the School of Music.
Counseling & Mental Health
Student support at UW-Madison reaches beyond finances. Our faculty and staff at the School of Music care deeply about their students. We understand that sometimes life gets tough, and students need someone to talk to. While we treat our students like family, we strongly encourage them to seek professional help through Counseling and Consultation Services. This on-campus resource is available for students, parents, faculty, and staff. C&CS offers face-to-face appointments, group counseling, as well as a 24-Hour Mental Health Crisis Services Hotline. No problem is too small, and mental health is vital for all of our students.
Information about UW-Madison admissions and assistance to international students:
Jobs and Gigs
Student Job Center
This university website lists dozens of jobs for students. https://jobcenter.wisc.edu/
SuccessWorks is a place where L&S students from all majors can explore their interests, connect with others who share their passions and develop skills they need to take their next steps toward success.
Hire a Musician
The School of Music maintains a blog for posting part-time job opportunities, as well as gigs in the area, and other professional development opportunities. We encourage students to take advantage of these postings to improve their resumes while earning a few extra dollars along the way.
Musician’s Health Resources
The Mead Witter School of Music offers a variety of resources for students. Both prevention and treatment of music-related injuries is important. Check this page for further information.
Students with Disabilities
The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, including the School of Music facilities, is ADA compliant. If you are having trouble finding information you need, or would like to suggest a change to information you have found, please contact the ADA Coordinator at 608.263.7400.
Here are some other helpful resources for students with disabilities:
Undergraduate Tuition, Scholarships, Awards, & Financial Aid
1. Wisconsin makes financial sense
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a highly ranked, world-class university that offers a cost-competitive tuition. Music majors at Madison benefit from individual attention within the School of Music, and have access to the opportunities of a premier research institution.
We offer a reciprocal tuition relationship for Minnesota residents. To find out additional information about the Wisconsin-Minnesota Reciprocity Agreement, or to access current tuition information you can visit the Office of the Bursar webpage.
All prospective incoming undergraduates are considered for merit-based School of Music scholarships at the time of audition. Scholarships are offered to students who distinguish themselves as outstanding musicians through their musical backgrounds and by their audition performance, and who demonstrate outstanding potential for success in the music major at UW-Madison. Most scholarships are offered for a full four-year period and may range on a yearly basis from $500-$10,000.
Bucky’s Tuition Promise guarantees scholarships and grants to pay for tuition & segregated fees for students whose household adjusted gross income (AGI) is $56,000 or less. Incoming freshmen will receive eight (8) consecutive semesters (4 years) of free tuition & segregated fees and transfer students will receive four (4) semesters (2 years).
- Learn about Summer Music Clinic Tuition Remission Scholarships.
- Learn About the Wisconsin Teacher Pledge
2. To be eligible for School of Music scholarships
All applicants who have auditioned in-person* on a regular audition date, who have been admitted to the university by general admissions, and for whom we have a complete School of Music application file will be considered for a scholarship. No additional application is needed.
Please see the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions page for our application and audition deadlines.
Most final decisions on scholarships will be made after the last audition in spring. Students are notified electronically after decisions are made.
*Not applicable in 2020-21 due to all-virtual auditions. All students who complete a virtual audition will be eligible for scholarships.
3. Requirements for scholarship students
- Participate in an appropriate School of Music performing organization. Pianists must enroll for accompanying.
- Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00
- Maintain satisfactory progress toward a music degree and complete a minimum of 12 credits per semester.
4. Other Financial Aid Resources
We highly recommend that students seek whatever scholarships or grants may be available through the UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Services. Please note that financial aid offers through UW Student Financial Services may be adjusted if a student receives a School of Music scholarship.
We also encourage students to conduct independent scholarship and award searches. The following sites may help: