Artistic & Academic Preparation


There are many paths that prospective students travel to gain the skills needed to be competitive for admission. The best way to learn if you are a great fit for U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) is to apply!

Artistic Background

Admission to SMTD is highly selective. Most students who receive an offer of admission have extensive backgrounds in their intended areas of study and have taken full advantage of the training opportunities available to them. These can include: private lessons, youth orchestras, bands, and/or choirs, regional or national arts competitions, community and professional theatre or dance companies, and state solo & ensemble competitions.

Academic Guidelines

As a University program, prospective SMTD students must meet minimum academic guidelines before an audition or interview will be granted. Academics are a part of the qualifications for admission along with your artistic background.  Dual degree applicants will be reviewed concurrently, but independently, for both degrees.

The requirements below apply only to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Each school or college at U-M has its own specific academic prerequisites.

We require first year applicants to achieve the following:

  • Graduation from an accredited high school.
  • GPA of 3.0 or better (calculated using unweighted grades in all subjects taken from 9th–11th grade.)
    • Special note: courses taken pass/fail due to the Covid-19 pandemic will not be counted negatively in our evaluations of academic preparedness.
  • Completion of either the SAT or the ACT. Please note that U-M does not accept rush scores. We require official test scores, sent to us by the agency; test scores included with a transcript are not sufficient. Minimum score recommendations are:
    • ACT of 24 or better
    • SAT of 1180 or better
    • The Bachelor of Science in Sound Engineering requires a GPA of 3.5, an SAT math sub score of 630 or better, or an ACT math sub score of 28 or better.
    • U-M does not require the essay portion of the SAT or ACT.
    • Special note: Because the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of spring and summer exams in 2020, U-M adopted a “test flexible” policy for ACT and SAT scores for Winter/Fall 2021 applicants. The details of that policy can be found here. Please direct all questions about standardized testing policies to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The standardized testing policy for Winter/Fall 2022 applicants is yet to be determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. (last updated 3/19/2021)
  • If you are a homeschooled or online high school student, you should submit records of your schooling progress, including any transcripts from brick-and-mortar schools or colleges in which you are dual-enrolled, results from the SAT or ACT, and results from at least two (2) SAT II exams or AP exam results or official transcripts for dual enrollment work completed in an accredited college or university.
  • General high school curriculum requirements demonstrated on an official transcript:
    • Academic: Four years of English, plus a minimum of 12 other year-long courses selected from social studies, foreign languages, sciences, mathematics or any combination of these subjects. Two years of foreign language study is strongly recommended.
    • Performing Arts: Credits in music, theatre, and/or dance demonstrating experience and potential ability to succeed in the professional curriculum.

Admission as a transfer student from another accredited college or university is based in general on the high school and university academic preparation plus the following:

  • Cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.0 or better
    • Special note: courses taken pass/fail due to the Covid-19 pandemic will not be counted negatively in our evaluations of academic preparedness.
  • Evidence of ability and preparation to successfully pursue courses in academic fields that constitute a part of the desired curriculum
  • Evidence that the student is in good standing at the previous school or schools
  • Transfer applicants to Musical Theatre are advised to fulfill additional prerequisites, which are listed in the Musical Theatre section of the Auditions & Interviews page