Quick Links

Entrance Requirements

Application for Admission

Applicants should be graduates of a university of recognized reputation and hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent, as determined by McGill, in a subject closely related to the one selected for graduate work.

Minimum requirements:

  • A Bachelor's degree (or equivalent as recognized by McGill University) in a subject closely related to the one selected for graduate work. If you have obtained your educational credentials at an institution outside of Canada, they will be assessed for equivalency with a McGill University degree. Please consult the International Degree Equivalency page for more information.
  • High academic achievement: The minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is 3.0 out of a possible 4.0, or a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 out of 4.0 in the last two years of full-time studies. In some departments, however, a higher CGPA is required for admission.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must identify on the application form  two instructors, who are familiar with their work, and who are willing to write the letters of recommendation.
  • Proficiency in English: The primary language of instruction at McGill is English. You may make arrangements to write papers, examinations or theses in French, except in cases where knowledge of the English language is one of the objectives of the course. Prior to admission, you may need to demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English. For more information, visit the English Language Proficiency page.
  • Other requirements: Some departments may have additional requirements such as audition, essays or other documents. Please note that additional documents can be uploaded as PDF documents. Please optimize (small file sizes) PDF documents for web viewing only. For audio or video material please Please refer to the program requirements below.

Note: Even though an applicant may appear to satisfy the general admission requirements, acceptance into a graduate degree program is not guaranteed by the Schulich School of Music or the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office. The final admission decision rests with the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office.

Application Procedures:

 Master's, PhD, DMus and Graduate Diploma in Professional Performance (GDPP) applicants

Application deadline: December 15

Application Checklist

All supplemental application materials and supporting documents must be uploaded directly to the McGill admissions processing system. See www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/submitting-your-documents for information and instructions. Please note that this does not apply to audio and video material. Please see audition requirements for details.

  1. Online Application for Admission form: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready.
  2. Application fee: $102.60 fee (applicants can submit one or two applications per app fee), payable by credit card. Performance candidates will be charged an additional $61.56 audition fee. The fees will automatically be charged when the application form is submitted.
  3. Transcripts: Applicants must submit a complete record of study from each university/college-level institution attended to date. Uploaded copies will be considered as unofficial; final, official copies will be required once offered admission. Transcripts written in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation.
  4. Reference letters: on the application form you must provide the names and email addresses of at least two professors who are familiar with your academic work. McGill will contact these referees and invite them to upload references on your behalf.
  5. Personal Statement: A statement describing reasons for applying to graduate studies and the Schulich School of Music. Please indicate qualifications, qualities or circumstances to be significant; please provide information about educational and professional aims and goals. This can be uploaded to the application (PDF format maximum size 5 mb).
  6. Curriculum Vitae:  An overview of your experience and other qualifications, including employment, academic credentials, publications, honours, awards, contributions and significant achievements. This can be uploaded to your application (PDF format maximum size 5 mb)
  7. Research Proposal: A detailed description of your research proposal or area of study. This is a mandatory document for all applicants applying to a DMus or PhD program (PDF format maximum size 8 mb.)
  8. Thesis Abstract or Summary: Required for all doctoral applicants. Please upload a brief summary of your previous graduate degree work (PDF format maximum 2 mb).
  9. TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable): When registering for the test please ensure the results be sent directly to McGill University (school code 0935.) McGill will then receive the results electronically, directly from the testing agency. Please note that the Schulich School of Music does not require the GRE.
  10. Screening Material (some Performance Programs): All female voice applicants (early music, opera and solo options) are required to submit screening material if electing to attend a live audiiton. In addition, conducting applicants and applicants to DMus performance and Graduate Diploma in Professional Performance must submit screening material. No live audition will be scheduled if screening material is not submitted for review. Please submit material through our upload page.
  11. Audition (Performance Applicants): Applicants are encouraged to attend a live auditon, however due to schedule conflicts or distance constraints, applicants to the MMus Performance program can elected to submit a recorded video audition (does not include conducting applicants). Female voice applicants who cannot attend a live auditon are not required to submit screening material; a video auditon is required. Please submit material through our upload page.
  12. Additional documents (audio or video): Applicants in female voice, conducting, DMus Performance and Graduate Diploma in Professional Performance are required to submit screening video material by the application dealine of December 15th. No live audition will be scheduled unless screening material is reviewed by the school. If selected beyond the screening review, all doctoral performance (DMus), Graduate Diploma in Professional Performance (GDPP) and conducting applicants are required to attend a live audition and interview. Please submit material through our upload pageNOTE: When uploading material please have your McGill ID. You can find this by logging into uApply and clicking PROFILE and then IDENTIFICATION CODE.
  13. Additional documents: Please see below for specific program requirements. 

Additional Required Documents

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
    Please include in your personal statement: comments on your research interests, your reason(s) for pursuing the MA, your expectations of the program at McGill, and your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses.
    Material relating to specialization:
    1. Music Education
      • Two recent essays (in English or French) of 1,500 words or more, preferably on music education topics and related research. Please combine essays into one file and upload to Written Work in your application (PDF format maximum 8 mb). 
      • Summary of teaching experience. Please include in C.V. (PDF format maximum 5 mb)
    2. Music Technology
      Please consult the Musical Science and Technology (MST) Minor program in Music Technology for a representative list of courses in music and science that applicants are expected to have taken before commencing the MA degree program in Music Technology. Applicants for the MA should also submit:
      • Research papers on any aspect of computer applications in music or equivalent evidence of research in a related scientific or technological field  Please combine essays into one file and upload to Music Technology Paper(s) in application (PDF format maximum 50 mb.)
      • If research papers are not available and audio material will be submitted in support of application, audio material must be uploaded directly to the Schulich School of Music. Please submit material through our upload page.
    3. Musicology
      Two recent essays (in English or French) of 1,500 words or more (minimum 6 typed pages, double spaced), preferably one historical and one analytical.  Please combine essays into one file and upload to Written Work in your application (PDF format maximum 8 mb.)
    4. Theory
      • Samples of most advanced work in harmony (e.g., model tonal composition, melody harmonization, figured-bass realization), and counterpoint (e.g., invention, fugue exposition or other composition) Please combine essays into one file and upload to Writing Sample in application (PDF format maximum 8 mb).
      • Two recent analyses (one treating a tonal work and one a post-tonal work). Please combine analyses into one file and upload to Music Theory Analyses in your application (PDF format maximum 12 mb.)
      • one essay (in English or French) on a music history topic. Please upload to Written Work in your application (PDF format maximum 8 mb.)
      • If Schenkerian techniques have been studied, one analytic study that includes voice-leading graphs. Please upload to Music Theory Analytical Study in your application (PDF format maximum 10 mb.)
      • An interview (campus or via Skype) may be requested.
  • Master of Music (M.Mus.)
    Material relating to specialization:
    1. Composition
      A minimum of three scores (with recordings, if available) of recent work: together with a brief presentation for each (e.g., program notes, explanatory notes, compositional techniques, etc.). Please combine scores and notes into one file and upload to Composition Scores (PDF format maximum 50 mb.)  Composition Recordings (MP3 format): If additional space is required for scores and/or audio; material must be uploaded directly to the Schulich School of Music. Please submit material through our upload page.
    2. Performance
      • Applicants to female voice (early music, opera and solo) must provide a video recording of their performance for screening purposes by December 15. Video material is highly recommended however, audio material can be submitted for screening purposes. No live audition will be scheduled until a recording has been submitted and reviewed. Please see note for current McGill students completing a music degree.
      • All performance applicants (not including jazz); list of repertoire worked on during the past four years (indicate level to which pieces were prepared, e.g., performance standard, simple reading, reading plus some detailed work). Please upload to Repertoire Listing (PDF format maximum 2 mb.)
      • Performance Jazz applicants must submit a list of 25-30 standard jazz tunes from performing repertoire (please upload to Jazz Tunes Listing PDF format maximum 2 mb) and two or three original compositions (please upload to Jazz Compositions PDF format maximum 10 mb.)
    3. Sound Recording
      • A one-half to one hour of applicant recorded music, together with a technical description(s) of the recording(s). This description should include the technical set-up, a discussion of the problems encountered, the solutions to these problems, and an evaluation of the results. Please upload written technical descriptions to Sound Recording Descriptions (PDF format maximum 25 mb.) Audio samples (.wav format strongly suggested) must be uploaded directly to the Schulich School of Music. Please submit audio material through our upload page.
      • An outline of experience and study in the field of music recording. Include in C.V. (PDF format maximum 5 mb.)
      • A written statement of career aims and goals. Include in Personal Statement (PDF format maximum 5 mb.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
    Include in Personal Statement comments on your reason(s) for pursuing the PhD, your expectations of the program at McGill, and your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses. Include research interests in Research Proposal (PDF format maximum size 8 mb.) If a Master's thesis has been completed or in the process of completion, please submit a Thesis Summary/Abstract (PDF format maximum 2 mb.)
    Material relating to specialization:
  1. Composition
    • Two recent essays (in English or French), minimum 10 pages, double spaced, on any aspect of compositional research related to music theory, sound recording, musicology, music technology, music education, or to any other related field such as acoustics, mathematics, psychology, and so forth. Please combine essays into one file and upload to Written Work (PDF format maximum 8 mb.)
    • A minimum of three scores (with recordings, if available) of recent work: scores, together with a brief presentation for each (e.g., program notes, explanatory notes, compositional techniques, etc.). Please combine scores and notes into one file and upload to Composition Scores (PDF format maximum 50 mb.) Composition Recordings (MP3 format): If additional space is required for scores and/or audio; material must be uploaded directly to the Schulich School of Music. A web form will soon be available (details to follow.)
  2. Music Education Please contact the Music Education Chair lisa [dot] lorenzino [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof Lisa Lorenzino) before applying.
    • Two recent essays (in English or French), minimum 10 pages each, double spaced, on music education topics and related research. Please combine essays into one file and upload to Written Work (PDF format maximum 8 mb) in application.
    • Summary of teaching experience. Please include in C.V. (PDF format maximum 5 mb.)
  3. Music Technology
    Research papers on any aspect of computer applications in music or equivalent evidence of research in a related scientific or technological field  Please combine essays into one file and upload to Music Technology Paper(s) in application (PDF format maximum 50 mb.) Audio samples in support of your application must be uploaded directly to the Schulich School of Music. Please submit material through our upload page.
  4. Musicology
    Two recent essays (in English or French) minimum 10 typed pages each, double spaced, preferably one historical and one analytical. Please combine essays into one file and upload to Written Work (PDF format maximum 8 mb) in application.
  5. Sound Recording
    Two recent research papers (on any aspect of sound recording.) Please combine essays into one file and upload to Written Work (PDF format maximum 8 mb) in application.
    a 60 to 90 minute demo of applicant recorded music, together with a technical description(s) of the recording(s). This description should include the technical set-up, a discussion of the problems encountered, the solutions to these problems, and an evaluation of the results. Please upload written technical descriptions to Sound Recording Descriptions (PDF format maximum 25 mb.) Part of the program may be a 5-channel DA88-format tape containing surround recordings. Audio samples (.wav format strongly suggested) must be uploaded directly to the Schulich School of Music. Please submit audio material through our upload page.
    Familiarity with Internet web-based tools and software for desktop audio research and production. Information on your sound recording experience. Please include information in your C.V.
    A comprehensive statement describing the particular research questions that motivate the candidate to work in a research and production environment. Please include information in your Research Proposal.
  6. Theory
    • Samples of most advanced work in harmony (e.g., model tonal composition, melody harmonization, figured-bass realization), and counterpoint (e.g., invention, fugue exposition or other composition) Please combine essays into one file and upload to Writing Sample in application (PDF format maximum 8 mb).
    • Two recent analyses (one treating a tonal work and one a post-tonal work). Please combine analyses into one file and upload to Music Theory Analyses in your application (PDF format maximum 12 mb.)
    • One essay (in English or French) on a music history topic. Please upload to Written Work in your application (PDF format maximum 8 mb.)
    • If Schenkerian techniques have been studied, one analytic study that includes voice-leading graphs. Please upload to Music Theory Analytical Study in your application (PDF format maximum 10 mb.)
    • An interview (campus or via Skype) may be requested.
  • D.Mus. (Composition) and D.Mus. (Performance)
    Material relating to your specialization:
    1. Composition
      A minimum of three examples of your recent work: scores, together with a brief presentation for each (e.g., program notes, explanatory notes, compositional techniques, etc.). Please combine scores and notes into one file and upload to Composition Scores in your application (PDF format maximum 50 mb.)  Composition Recordings (MP3 format): If additional space is required for scores and/or audio; material must be uploaded directly to the Schulich School of Music upload page.
    2. Performance
      • All DMus programs require screening material, applicants must submit their screening material by December 15. No live audition will be scheduled until a recording has been submitted and reviewed. Please see note for current McGill students completing a music degree.
      • List of repertoire worked on during the past four years (indicate level to which pieces were prepared, e.g., performance standard, simple reading, reading plus some detailed work).
      • Two recent essays (in English or French), minimum 10 typed pages, double spaced, preferably one historical and one analytical.  Please combine essays into one file and upload to Written Work (PDF format maximum 8 mb)
      • A personal statement describing your performance, research and professional goals as well as your reasons for wishing to pursue these at McGill. Include in Personal Statement (PDF format maximum 5 mb.)
      • If invited to an audition, a 30-minute interview will be also be scheduled.
  • Graduate Diploma in Professional Performance

A one year program involving intensive coaching, performance and repertoire study for the advanced or professional performers. Offered to individuals in orchestral and early music instruments, piano, organ, and voice, and to pre-formed ensembles.  Chamber ensembles must apply and complete diploma requirements as a formed ensemble. Specific requirements will be tied to the artist’s or ensemble’s professional goals. Curriculum will be defined around performance projects detailed at the audition. Voice students will receive coaching and training in movement and acting with performance opportunities linked to McGill Opera productions. Chamber groups will be encouraged to explore their ensemble identity with respect to sound, communication skills, performance practice and artistic/interpretative vision

Admissions. Pre-requisite: M.Mus. or B.Mus. with equivalent professional experience.  Chamber ensembles must apply and complete diploma requirements as a formed ensemble.  All musicians must be highly accomplished performers.  Audition requirements will be those specified for the D.Mus. in Performance Studies as detailed on the Graduate Schulich School of Music website.


Material relating to your specialization:

  • Applicants must provide a recording of their performance for screening purposes by December 15; video is preferred. No live audition will be scheduled until a recording has been submitted and reviewed. Please see note for current McGill students completing a music degree.
  • List of repertoire worked on during the past four years (indicate level to which pieces were prepared, e.g., performance standard, simple reading, reading plus some detailed work).
  • A detailed description of your area of study. Include in Research Proposal (PDF format maximum size 8 mb.)
  • If invited to a live audition, a 30-minute interview will be scheduled.

 Note: Admission to graduate studies operates on a rolling basis. Graduate admissions are processed in two stages. Application documents are compiled and reviewed by the Schulich School of Music. The Schulich School of Music then makes a recommendation to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office as to a student's admissibility. The Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office verify the credentials of the applicant and, if admissible, will issue an official letter of acceptance.