Admission and Fellowships


If you wish to apply for graduate study in the Department of Music, please visit the Division of Humanities Admissions page for more information and complete the Division of Humanities online application. Applications include electronic submission of the following materials:

  • Personal statement (1 - 2 singe-spaced pages)
  • Two writing samples (around 20 pages each)
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Official GRE scores (institutional code 1832)
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores if applicant is international or a non-native English speaker
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Application fee of $90
  • Departmental Supplemental Form (accessible via the online application, no need to mail physical copy)

Composers should also upload recent scores (.PDF) and recordings (.MP3) directly to the application.

(For large video files or to submit hard copies as a supplement to your digital application, write to and for further instructions.)

Additional Details:

  • Your writing samples indicate to the faculty your scope and ability for future research.  Two samples (around 20 pages each) are requested.  
  • The GRE General Test is required of all applicants for admission. While we do not have a minimum GRE score requirement, admitted student scores are generally in the 75th percentile or higher. You may self-report your GRE general exam scores if necessary, provided that official GRE scores come directly from the test site. 
  • The TOEFL is required for all non-native/international applicants. As per University requirements, the minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall, with 4 sub scores of 26 each.
  • Personal recommendations are an important part of the application process. Upon the completion of your application through Slate, when you click "send", the system will generate a prompt to each email address you provide.  Your recommenders may submit their letters online in support of your application.

International applicants may visit the University's English Language Requirements page for more information and write to with additional questions about eligibility. Prospective and incoming international students can find further information on the Department of the Humanities' International Students page.

If you have additional questions about the application process, please visit the Graduate FAQ or contact the Office of Admissions at or 773.702.1552. You may also reach the Music Department at or 773.702.2089.


Doctoral students in the Department of Music are awarded a five-year fellowship that includes a stipend, full tuition, and health insurance coverage. Students may also apply for research and travel funds.

Funding and Aid in the First 5 Years
For doctoral students starting the program in 2016–17, the stipend and teaching remuneration is $24,000 over 9 months. Additional summer funds of $3,000 are available up to four times prior to the fifth year in the program.

Funding and Aid in the Dissertation Stage
After the five-year Division of the Humanities fellowship, doctoral students receive tuition aid, health insurance coverage, and have access to research and conference travel grants. Many students also receive a final year of fellowship (also called a sixth year of funding or Dissertation Completion Fellowship) as they finish writing the dissertation.

Additional Funding Sources
Fellowships from public or private agencies can enhance a student’s overall financial support and applicants are encouraged to explore all funding opportunities available to them.

The Division of the Humanities has additional information on the types of financial support available to doctoral students.

A number of prestigious fellowships to support graduate education are available to enrolled students in the Department. More information can be found in the Admissions and Financial Aid sections of the Dean of Students Office's website. There are internal and external fellowships, as well as travel grants. The Liebmann and Mellon Fellowships require nomination from the faculty of the Department, and students may apply directly for Javits Fellowships. Students who need to go abroad for fieldwork or source studies may apply for Fulbright Fellowships through Graduate Student Affairs, and for fellowships offered by individual countries (such as the DAAD Fellowships for Germany). Fulbright information sessions are organized by the Dean of Students Office in the Spring Quarter. Students are encouraged to explore fellowship opportunities through the Fellowship Kiosk maintained by the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. Teaching appointments as Lecturers and Course Assistants are distributed through an internal application process and faculty approval.

The Division of the Humanities and the University also offer dissertation-year fellowships designed for students to finish their thesis in a final year of dissertation writing. Students' applications are solicited for various dissertation-year fellowships in the Winter Quarter. Students submit a dissertation chapter, a copy of their dissertation proposal, and letters of recommendation from their advisors. At the beginning of Spring Quarter, the Department nominates candidates who are selected to compete across the Division and the University. Students are notified of decisions in early May.

Through awards from its Felding, Rhind, and Kaschins endowments and Departmental gifts, the Music Department also funds library and archival research, ethnographic fieldwork, composers' attendance at summer festivals, and specialized language study. Students typically apply for these funds in early March and decisions on funding are made in spring quarter.