Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer to your questions about applying to graduate studies in music at McGill on this page, contact our Admissions team.

Preparing to Apply

How do I apply to the Schulich School of Music?

You apply by using the McGill University online application. You choose music as one of the faculty options. If applicable, the on-line application allows you to choose two programs. Please apply for only one program option if a thesis and non-thesis option is available. You will receive separate decisions to all applications made.

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 submit a proof of English Proficiency, can I apply for admission before writing the exam? What is the deadline to submit proof of English?

You must still apply for admission by the December 1 application deadline. In Performance, 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 your English results have been received and the minimum requirement has been met (one of the following): Internet-Based Test (IBT): a minimum overall score of 86 with each component score not less than 20 or IELTS with a band score of 6.5 or greater (Academic module.) 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 your exam, you will be unable to obtain the proper immigration papers in time to study at McGill.

Do I need to write the GRE?

The Schulich School of Music does not require the GRE for admission.

Can I apply to more than one program?

You can make two choices on one application, if you wish. They can be whichever programs you want but you must submit all the materials for each program. Please do not apply to a thesis and a non-thesis program in the same area of specialization as two separate choices -- select only one then you or the department may request a change at a later time. If you have only one instrument, there is only one audition and one audition fee to pay.

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 to submit an outline of experience and study in the field of music recording.

When are Music scholarships awarded?

Meetings are held in February and in March. Successful applicants are notified by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in Music.

Graduate Diploma Programs

What is the difference between the Graduate Diploma in Performance and the Graduate Artist Diploma?

Both diplomas are high-level, performance-intensive programs that allow students to work towards the achievement of professional goals as performers. The GDP is a one-year program. The GAD is intended for students who wish to study in a diploma program for two years. Completion of the McGill GDP is required of students admitted to the GAD.

If I am interested in the GAD, what program should I apply for?

You should apply for the GAD and follow the audition requirements for that program.  If your audition for the GAD is successful, you will be recommended for admission to the GDP for your first year of study. Your letter of admission to the GDP will confirm that you have been recommended to continue to the GAD after successful completion of the GDP year, without re-audition. In order to continue to the GAD, you will have to maintain grades of A on all practical courses in the GDP.

Do you mean to say that if I am admitted to the GAD, I will automatically be admitted to the GDP?

Yes. You will be admitted for two years: in the GDP for your first year, followed by a second year in the GAD.

How will I know if I am accepted into both diplomas?

At the time of admission, you will receive information and instructions on admission to both programs.

If I am admitted to both diplomas, will I need to re-audition for the GAD?

No, you will be able to continue in the GAD, as long as you maintain a grade of A in all your practical courses.

What happens if I apply to the GAD but am not recommended for admission?

The audition panel will consider whether you can be admitted for the GDP and make a recommendation on that basis.

If I am admitted to the GDP only, can I reapply to the GAD?

Yes, you can reapply and re-audition during the next audition period.

What happens if I am admitted to the combined GDP and GAD, but do not achieve grades of A in all my practical courses in the GDP?

You will not be allowed to continue to the GAD, but you will still receive the GDP as long as you meet minimum passing requirements.

Can I apply to the GDP only?

Of course. If you are interested in a one-year program in order to pursue performance-focused goals, you should apply to the GDP.

Ready to Apply

How do I submit documents?

By accessing uApply using your McGill ID and PIN, you can upload all documents that can be submitted in a PDF format: for example, transcripts, essays, CVs, repertoire lists.  All multi-media material; including composition scores, audio or video material cannot be uploaded via uApply and must be sent directly to the Music Admissions Office (Music Upload Page).

When are supporting documents due? What if I can't submit the reference letters, transcripts, etc., by the deadline date?

All supporting documents, including essays or, in Performance, audition recordings, must be received by December 1st. Upload whatever remaining documents are available as soon as possible thereafter. However, please note that documents received after the deadline date will delay the application and decision process. Please reupload new 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, essays, and/or TOEFL scores, where applicable, are delayed until the appropriate documents are received.

Auditions (Performance only)

When do recored audition have to be submitted for Performance applicants? If I send a recording, do I still pay the audition fee?

Video screening recordings for female voices, conducting and DMus instruments must be received by December 1st. Those opting for a recorded audition must submit them by December 1st. All DMus performance applicants must attend a live audition. In addition, a 30 minute interview is required (same day as audition). The non-refundable audition fee is for evaluating all audition material, whether it's live or recorded.

I am currently a voice major at McGill and will be graduating in the spring, am I required to submit screening recordings for my master's degree application?

Applicants who are currently McGill students and completing a music degree are not required to submit screening material. This also applies to DMus and Graduate Diploma in Professional Performance. Please note that all McGill music students who graduated more than one year ago will be required to submit screening material.

When will I get my audition date and time?

Once the application deadline date has passed, the Schulich School of Music assigns your individual date and time - you do not have to call to schedule an audition. Your audition information will be posted on your application (uApply).

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 the 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?

McGill University has agreements with several hotels within walking distance of the campus. See the Travel Services website for details.

Waiting for News?  Already Applied?

I successfully applied, what do I do next?

You are required to upload admission documents to your application. Please continue to monitor your application for any status updates.

In Performance, 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. We also take into account the number of available spaces in certain instruments. For all applicants, transcripts from all schools attended must be submitted by the institutions directly to the Schulich School of Music Admissions Office. Applicants must meet the academic standards (minimum CGPA 3.0 out of 4.0) established by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office.

How many students are accepted each year?

There are generally no quotas for the graduate programs. However, there are space restrictions in the Sound Recording program and in certain Performance programs and/or instruments. In Performance, these numbers vary from year to year, depending on the number of students who graduate or who do not return and they are normally established just prior to the audition period.

When will I find out if I've been accepted?

Admission to graduate studies operates on a rolling basis starting in February for Music Research and in March for Performance applications. Graduate admissions are processed in two stages. Application documents are compiled and reviewed by the Schulich School of Music and a recommendation is made to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office as to a student's admissibility. Upon receipt of the Schulich School of Music's recommendation, the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office verifies the credentials of the applicant and, if admissible, will issue an official letter of acceptance within two weeks of the receipt of the recommendation. 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 have to re-apply and, in Performance, re-audition.

When will the placement tests be held?

Not all graduate students are required to sit placement exams. After a student is officially accepted by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office, and, if the student is required to take the exams, the Schulich School of Music Graduate Office will mail the appropriate placement exams directly to the student. The student completes the exams and returns them to the Schulich School of Music for assessment.
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