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Rackham Graduate Requirements and Dates

PhD in Music Theory

Application Deadlines

The deadline for applications for Fall admission is January 5. Applicants will be notified by April 1 of the results of their applications.

No applications in music theory are accepted for the winter (January) term.

If you wish to elect performance you will be asked to audition when you arrive on campus. Otherwise, no audition is required but an on-campus interview is encouraged. All elections in performance are subject to the availability of faculty time.

Application Requirements

In addition to the application, all relevant transcripts, and at least three letters of recommendation, each applicant who is not a graduate of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance must submit his or her scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Be certain to take the tests early enough that the scores will reach the University by the deadline for admission or financial aid. Although no minimum cut-off scores have been established, no admission decision will be made until these scores have been received.

Students whose first language is not English should also take either the MELAB or TOEFL, and have the score results sent by the deadline. No action can be taken on your application until all materials are received.

All applicants to the PhD in Music Theory program must also create an Artistic Profile to upload:

  • A sampling of recent research papers, term papers, or publications you have written that relate to music theory
  • A sampling of voice leading, model composition, or counterpoint exercises
  • A recording of a recent performance (optional)
  • A copy of the score and, if possible, a recording of a recent composition (optional)

Finally, the faculty of Music Theory request that you submit a résumé in which you:

  • Summarize your professional training (appropriate areas of study include music theory, musicology, composition, performance, and keyboard facility, as well as any other subject in which you have undertaken extensive study)
  • List the foreign languages you read or speak. In each case, describe your training and level of competence.
  • List each of your teaching experiences, indicating the subject matter, level, dates of employment, and name of supervisor.
  • Describe any relevant research or other professional experience which was not part of your academic course work.
  • Write a statement of not more than three hundred words describing your professional goals and explaining your reasons for seeking to pursue graduate work in music theory. This will also serve as the statement requested on the official application form.

All these materials should be uploaded through the Artistic Profile or by following the link below. An applicant may be asked to come to Ann Arbor for an interview with members of the Graduate Committee in Music Theory.

upload now

Admission to the Rackham degree program in Music does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

General Rackham Graduate Audition and Interview Information


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