Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to the Schulich School of Music?
You applying by using the McGill University online application. You choose music as one of the faculty options. In addition, the on-line application allows you to choose two programs. These can be two different programs in music or one in music and one in another faculty. Please note that no priority is given to your two choices. You will receive separate decisions to all applications made.
How will I know if my web application has been received?
When you complete the web application, the final page will ask for your credit card information. If the credit card is approved, you will see a receipt, which can be printed for your records.
I have applied online -- what happens now?
You will receive an acknowledgement notice by email within 24 hours. If you do not receive an email please check your spam filters just in case your acknowledgement email was filtered out. It will contain your McGill ID and an interim PIN number. Please note that you will have to change the PIN immediately before you can proceed any further. With these numbers, you log onto the Minerva website and can check the status of your application.
I am having trouble logging into Minerva -- who can I contact for help?
You can contact the Minerva Help Desk at 514-398-7878.
I am a current McGill student in a non-music faculty and I want to transfer, how do I apply?
Current McGill student must apply on Minerva as inter-faculty transfers. The inter-faculty tranfer request form will be open between December 15 and February 1. McGill students are not required to pay an application fee, however an audition fee of $62.91 is required per instrument/voice.
How do I send my documents?
By accessing Minerva using your McGill ID and PIN, you can upload some of the required documents. Applicants can upload unofficial transcripts, composition samples and other documents. Please go here for instructions. If applying from an Ontario High School please provide your OUAC reference number in your application so McGill can request your marks directly from the centre. Reference letters, such as the music evaluation and education support letter must be sent directly by the teacher or referee.
How do I send my recordings?
We require that all recordings (screening and audition material) be sent electronically to the undergraduate music admissions office. Please see audition requirements for instructions.
When are supporting documents due? What if I can't submit the reference letters, transcripts, etc., by the deadline date?
All supporting documents, must be uploaded or entered by February 1; if applicable audition recordings must be received by February 1. Send in whatever remaining documents are available as soon as possible thereafter. However, please note that documents received after the deadline date could delay the decision process. Please resend transcripts if they need updating, e.g., received new grades.
My supporting documents are arriving after the deadline. Will this affect my chances of being accepted?
We will still accept supporting documents after the deadline date. Priority will be given to those applicants who complete their files promptly -- decisions are made on completed files only. Decisions on files without transcripts and/or TOEFL scores, where applicable, are delayed until the appropriate documents are received.
I am a high school student from the Unites States; do I have to submit SATs or ACTs?
Currently, SATs or ACTs are not required for admission to the Schulich School of Music. However, if applicants wish to be considered for university academic scholarships candidates must have board schools and meet the following university academic requirements.
Do I need to play an instrument to enter a program that is not in performance, for example composition?
Yes. All applicants to undergraduate music degree and diploma programs must pass an audition in their principal instrument or in voice, regardless of the program choice.
When do audition recordings have to be submitted? If I send a recorded material, do I still pay the $62.91 audition fee?
Screening recordings for female voices and all jazz instruments must be received by January 15 for those wanting to have a live audition during the March period. Pending review of your screening recordings, it will be determined whether you will be invited to a live audition. If you cannot attend the live auditions in March, you will be required to submit a video recording by February 1st. All other instruments opting to audition by recordings should submit them no later than February 1. The $62.91 non-refundable audition fee is for evaluating all audition material, whether it's live or recorded.
Am I still eligible for a Music scholarship if I don't audition live?
Applicants who do not attend a live audition will be eligible for major (renewable) music scholarships provided a video audition is submitted on time. You will be automatically considered for a Music scholarship if you attend a live audtion or submit video audition recordings by February 1 and your application was received by January 15. However, for string applicants it is strongly recommended to attend a live audition due to an additional round of string specific scholarships.
Am I allowed to audition on two different instruments? Can I 'minor' on a second instrument?
In general, students should choose and audition on one major instrument or in voice. Within any program, only one instrument is required and students receive lessons and perform exams on one instrument only. However, an audition on a second instrument or in voice is possible upon completion of a second audition form and payment of a second non-refundable audition fee of $62.91. There is no minor in a second instrument. However, if accepted on both instruments, a student can opt for lessons in the second instrument but would be charged an additional fee above the per credit tuition rate.
Can I apply to more than one program? Does that mean two auditions?
You can make two choices on one application, They can be either one program in the Schulich School of Music and another Faculty or both programs can be in Music. If you have only one instrument or voice, there is only one audition and one audition fee to pay. However, if you wish to apply for a classical program and a jazz program, it is considered two separate instruments, e.g., piano and jazz piano, and requires two auditions and two audition fees.
When will I get my audition date and time?
Once the application deadline date has passed, your audition will be scheduled according to the dates by instrument found on the Audition Information page. The School assigns the individual date and time -- you do not have to call to schedule an audition. You will be notified on Minerva (application status page) and by email as soon as your audition has been scheduled. Normally, notification will come approximately 3 to 4 weeks prior to the exact audition date.
If I foresee a conflict, can I request a specific date? What if I am unavailable on the date(s) for my instrument?
As those dates are established with the availability of the audition panel members, we can only accommodate you on the date(s) for your instrument. If you know of any conflicts you may have within the specific dates for your instrument, you can notify us by email. If you are unable to attend, you will have to submit a recorded audition.
What about accompanists? Will an accompanist and their contact information be provided?
The Schulich School of Music will provide an accompanist free of charge for the audition time only. Rehearsal costs are the responsibility of the applicant and vary depending on the accompanist. However, applicants may bring their own accompanists, if they wish, at their own expense. Contact information (phone number, email address) for your accompanist will be provided with the written audition notice.
Can you suggest places to stay when we come to Montreal to audition?
Information on a full range of accomodations available can be found on the Visiting McGill website. McGill University has agreements with several hotels within walking distance of the campus. More detailed listings can be found at McGill official hotels.
Is the audition the only thing that decides if I am accepted or not?
The audition is a very important aspect in determining admission. However, the academic record carries equal weight, as does the Statement of Intent (included in the web application.) We also take into account the number of available spaces in certain instruments and/or programs. Transcripts from all schools attended must be submitted by the institutions directly to the Enrollment Services Documentation Centre. We look at each applicant's academic record. While the minimum average required is 70% (or above), most successful applicants have higher grades. Music Research programs (e.g. music education, history, theory, faculty) require a higher minimum of 80%. Please note that these averages do not necessarily guarantee admission.
How many students are accepted each year?
The number varies from year to year, depending on the number of students who graduate or who do not return. These numbers are normally established just prior to the audition period.
When will I find out if I've been accepted?
Following the March audition period, all completed files will be appraised for submission to the Schulich School of Music Admissions Committee. Decisions begin to be released by the beginning of April. You may log onto the Minerva website to check the status of your application.
Can I defer my acceptance to next year?
The Schulich School of Music does not permit deferring an acceptance from one year to the next year. Applicants must re-apply and re-audition.
Finances & Scholarships
Is there any financial assistance available for Schulich School of Music applicants?
McGill University offers a need-based Entrance Financial Aid program to students from modest income families who have been accepted for undergraduate studies. Where eligible, students must apply for and receive government student aid in order to be considered for need-based student assistance. Upon acceptance to the University, entering undergraduate students may apply for entrance aid on the Financial Aid Menu on MINERVA. In addition, McGill offers a program of In-Course Financial Aid to students who are experiencing financial difficulties while they are in full time attendance. For more information on our financial aid programs, please contact the Student Aid Office.
When are Music scholarships awarded?
If a Music scholarship is awarded, notification of the award will be contained in the acceptance letter.
If I am a current music student, how do I apply for a scholarship?
No applications are required as all eligible music students will automatically be considered. You may meet with your Area Chair or with Music Student Affairs to request advice on your academic/performance standing.
Who do I speak with if I think I should be eligible for an in-course scholarship, but am not sure I will automatically be considered?
Scholarships are awarded primarily based on sessional GPA, level of achievement on your practical instrument, and by Area recommendation. The Scholarships Committee includes all Area Chairs in order to ensure that all students are well represented. You may meet with your Area Chair or Music Student Affairs to request advice on your academic/performance standing.
How many credits must I register for to be eligible for Scholarships?
Students must register for 27 graded credits (not including summer courses) in order to be eligible for in-course and renewable scholarships from the Schulich School of Music. **Please note that courses flagged with the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option will be excluded from the credit load. Students must be registered for a minimum of 27 credits in addition to any S/U.
I’ve been told that I only need to register for 24 credits to be considered full time. Is this true?
Yes, 24 credits is considered full time. At this credit load, a scholarship would not be taken away. However, in order to be eligible for scholarship consideration or renewal in the next academic year, students must register for 27 credits in the preceding year. **Please note that courses flagged with the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option will be excluded from the credit load. Students must be registered for a minimum of 27 credits in addition to any S/U.
What if I am graduating, and do not have enough credits remaining to register as a full-time student? Can I still accept my scholarship?
Yes. An exception can be made in your graduating year with Departmental approval.
When will I receive my scholarship funds?
Scholarships and awards are normally credited to the student's fee account, one half for each of the Fall and Winter terms, and students should reduce the payment of their fees by the appropriate amount.
What happens if my scholarship is not deposited into my student account by my tuition deadline?
You should contact Catherine Healy (Catherine [dot] healy [at] mcgill [dot] ca) in the Dean’s Office to ensure that there is no problem with the implementation of your scholarship. You will not be penalized for administrative delays that are beyond your control.
What if the value of my scholarship is more than my tuition?
After the course add/drop deadline has passed, you may apply for reimbursement of the balance left in your student fee account – http://www.mcgill.ca/student-accounts/forms/ - Request for Refund Form.
What is the language of instruction at McGill?
The language of instruction at McGill is English. Students may, if they wish, write term papers and examinations in French.
If I am required to sit the TOEFL test, can I apply for admission before I have written the exam? What is the deadline date for TOEFL results?
You must still apply for admission by the February 1 application deadline. You will still be given an audition date and time. Provided your file is complete, your application will be considered. However, the final decision will not be taken until the results of the TOEFL exam have been received and the minimum undergraduate requirement has been met (internet based: 79; paper based: 550 or 213). There is no specific deadline date but no final decision can be taken until the requirement has been met. The longer it takes to get the results, the longer before an acceptance letter can be issued. If you wait too long to sit the TOEFL exam, you will be unable to obtain the proper immigration papers in time to study at McGill.
What credits can be transferred from another university?
Arts/Science elective credits are transferred following an appraisal of the student's transcript(s). Credit may be granted for courses passed with a grade of C or better at other universities, up to the limit imposed by McGill residency requirements and program requirements. This evaluation is done automatically in late August, just prior to advising interviews. As far as Music credits are concerned, applicants seeking exemption from program requirements on the basis of advanced music studies or work done elsewhere will be required to sit placement examinations in late August in Theory, Musicianship (Ear Training & Keyboard Proficiency) and Music History, to determine their course levels.
Can I do a double major?
A double major is two programs within the same faculty and within the same degree, e.g., B.Mus. Performance and B.Mus. Composition. You can apply to two program choices and, possibly, be accepted into two programs. However, you can only confirm acceptance into one or the other. It is possible to add the second program after registration. If you are interested in programs in two different faculties, e.g., Schulich School of Music and Faculty of Arts, you can apply to two program choices and, possibly, be accepted by both faculties. However, you can only confirm acceptance into one or the other. It is best to confirm the music program and then add the non-music program at a later date, subject to approval by the other faculty.
How do I apply for the qualifying year in Sound Recording -- what application do I use?
It is not a qualifying year in Sound Recording. We offer a package of undergraduate courses to be taken in order to be considered for admission to graduate studies at a later date. Therefore, the undergraduate web application should be completed by indicating 'Non-Degree -- Special Student' in the program section. Applicants are required to have official transcripts and letters of recommendation sent and to submit an outline of experience and study in the field of music recording.
What do I need to qualify as a Mature Student?
A Mature Student is one who does not have the academic qualifications to be considered, i.e., no high school diploma. Music students have to be 21 years of age as of September 1 and must still have official transcripts sent in support of their application.
Where can I find information about a Minor in Music?
A Minor in Music can only be done if a student is already registered for a degree program -- it cannot be done as a program by itself. There is no practical instruction associated with a minor in music. Please consult the Faculty of Arts section of the undergraduate calendar for additional information.
Can I still take Music courses if I am majoring in another faculty?
Students in another faculty are able to take class courses as electives -- see Faculty of Arts listing in the undergraduate course calendar. Practical lessons are not available as electives.