The Curtis Institute of Music highly values a diverse international student body. Since its founding in 1924, Curtis has welcomed all applicants regardless of race, geographic origin, religious background, socio-economic level, gender, or sexual orientation.
Admissions are based on artistic promise alone.
Enrollment is limited to the number of musicians needed for a symphony orchestra, opera department, and select programs in piano, composition, conducting, organ, and guitar, as well as community artist fellows and a string quartet in residence.
All Curtis students receive full-tuition scholarships, regardless of their financial situation. For the 2020–21 school year, the annual value of this scholarship was $44,898 for undergraduate students and $55,748 for graduate students. These scholarships are renewed each year of a student’s enrollment. All Curtis students can also apply for financial assistance to cover fees above tuition. Financial aid for living expenses is determined solely by financial need. No student will have to leave Curtis solely because of financial need.
Curtis offers studies toward a Diploma, Bachelor of Music, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma, Master of Music in Opera, and Professional Studies Certificate. Curtis sets no minimum age for the admission of exceptional students to most of its programs. Students younger than college age are considered candidates for the Curtis Diploma. These students pursue their musical studies at Curtis and their college-preparatory academic studies at an accredited public or private middle or high school of their own choosing.
Upon acceptance to Curtis, all undergraduate students are automatically placed into the non-degree, undergraduate Diploma program. Students who wish to enter the Bachelor of Music program must meet that program's entrance requirements by submitting the most current official transcript of high school and (if applicable) college academic work, as well as standardized test results.
Any change from one program to another by post-secondary-school diploma students must be made no later than the end of the second year at Curtis. Diploma students wishing to apply for entrance to the bachelor’s degree program must complete the Degree Program Transfer Application and submit it to the registrar for consideration.
The Diploma program for post-secondary-school students lasts two to four years. The Bachelor of Music program requires three to five years. Students who have completed Curtis’s liberal arts requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree may enroll at no cost at the University of Pennsylvania for additional courses not available at Curtis, under the reciprocal agreement between the two schools. The Professional Studies Certificate, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma, and Master of Music programs may be completed in two to three years.