Apply

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Curtis Institute of Music. Admission is a two-step process: applying and auditioning. Please check the requirements below needed to complete the online application. It is understood and agreed that the submission of an application does not obligate the Curtis Institute of Music to provide an audition.

Application Requirements 

Prospective students apply to Curtis through within the Acceptd platform. You will be asked to create a username and password, which will allow you to save your application before submission. After completing and submitting your application, you will be able to download and view it. The application, all required documents, and fees must be submitted within the Acceptd platform.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure the required documents are submitted in English. The official seal and signature of the translator must appear on any translated document.

  • Applicants should upload an unofficialcopy of their transcript to Acceptd. Official transcripts should be mailed after admissions decisions are made.
  • Addresses for your parents or guardians and their employers
  • Addresses and dates of study with private teachers
  • Addresses and dates of study at high school and/or previous college
  • A list of scholarships, awards, etc., received and their amounts
  • A response to four short essay questions
  • Live audition program (composer and title), in compliance with each department's audition requirements
  • For voice and opera applicants: a description of professional experience, if any, including roles and dates performed, names of performing organizations, nonoperatic musical activities, and dramatic training and experience.
  • A list of composers and works, including technical studies, that you have studied intensively and consider a part of your repertoire
  • An uploadable copy of your most recent academic transcript
  • At least one uploadable copy of a concert or recital program in which you have participated (featuring your name)
  • The online written consent of the present private teacher
  • Online confidential statements from two musicians, excluding relatives and the present private teacher, who are qualified to judge the applicant's personal and musical talents
  • The most current official transcript of high school and/or college
  • Bachelor of Music applicants: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I) scores
  • Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Professional Studies Certificate, and Diploma in Opera applicants who are not native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the SAT I scores
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $150 U.S. (payment required to complete online form)

Applicants under the age of eighteen must have the application cosigned by a parent or guardian.

All applicants in bassoon, clarinet, composition, conducting, double bass, flute, piano, trombone, trumpet, tuba, violin, voice, and opera are required to submit screening materials online in order to be considered for an invitation to audition in person. Applicants will be notified of decisions regarding live auditions by mid-January.

 

Please see Audition page for prescreening and live audition requirements

  • Online application fee $150 
  • Screening fee $100  (bassoon, clarinet, composition, conducting, double bass, flute, piano, trombone, trumpet, tuba, violin, voice, and opera). If the applicant is invited for a live audition the screening fee will apply as credit towards the $150 audition fee due by the department's audition date.
  • Audition fee $150  
  • Materials submitted after this date incur an additional $75 late fee

All fees are payable via the Acceptd platform. This fee must be paid before the applicant is permitted to audition. Fees are payable in U.S. dollars

Students and parents may find it useful to review the following resources: Student Fees, Estimated Student Budget, and Net Price Calculator

 

 

Key Dates

Audition dates vary by department and are scheduled based on the availability of the faculty. Please check the Audition page for specific dates and information on audition procedures. 

Application dates are as follows: 

  • November: Applications available
  • December 18: Applications due for consideration for fall. An additional $75 late fee will be assessed on applications submitted after this date. 
  • January: Students selected for live auditions will be notified during this month
  • February and March: Pre-recorded or live auditions in a virtual setting
  • April 1: Notification of admission and financial aid status provided 
  • May 1: Applicant decision due 
  • June 1: Standardized test results due. Accepted candidates are automatically placed into non-degree programs until all official test scores are received.

Programs

Undergraduate students at Curtis are enrolled in either the Diploma or Bachelor of Music programs. 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 the 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.

View all programs of study for more information. 

Program Entrance Requirements

All accepted undergraduate students are automatically placed into the non-degree undergraduate Diploma program. Entrance to the Bachelor of Music program at Curtis is determined on an individual basis. The Committee on Academic Standing reviews each student's entire application and does not offer admission based solely on test scores.

The following documents are required for application for admission to the Bachelor's degree program:

  • A complete official high school or, if applicable, college transcript in English, with grades and graduation date
  • Official scores for the SAT
  • Official scores for the TOEFL exam (for non-native speakers of English)

Note: Curtis’s College Board Code is 2100

These documents will be reviewed as the Committee considers individual applicants. Strong academic performance in high school is highly valued. For students transferring into Curtis from another academic institution, evidence of strong academic performance will also be required.

Additional Information Regarding Standardized Tests:

The Bachelor of Music degree requires:  

  • A recognized high school diploma 
  • An SAT score of 500 in the Critical Reasoning section 

Curtis also reviews the score of the SAT written exam for placement. Math scores or other SAT advanced tests are not required. 

For non-native English speakers, Curtis requires the SAT and one of the following TOEFL scores: 

  • The TOEFL written score minimum of 550, or 
  • 213 on the computer-based TOEFL test, or 
  • A post-2005 Internet TOEFL iBT of 79-80 

Curtis does not accept the IELTS test at this time 

 

Prerequisite: Bachelor of Music degree or equivalent

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required.

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • TOEFL iBT: 79–80

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required.

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*

  • TOEFL iBT: 79–80

*The TOEFL scores for students entering the Diploma program will be used for placement purposes only

Prerequisite: Bachelor of Music degree or equivalent 

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required. 

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • TOEFL iBT: 79–80

Curtis no longer accepts flute applicants for the Post-Baccalaureate program.

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required.

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • TOEFL iBT: 79–80

Standardized tests, such as Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), may be requested for placement purposes.

Application FAQ

Admission to Curtis is based solely on musical promise. If students plan to apply to the Bachelor of Music degree program, they should present the materials described in the Program Requirement / Bachelor of Music description

 

As described in Program Requirements students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree should present official SAT scores as one of many measures of academic readiness. The SAT is not required to enter to Master of MusicPost-Baccalaureate DiplomaDiploma, or Professional Studies Certificate in Opera.   

Please Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Curtis will waive the necessity of presenting SAT test scores for enrollment in Bachelor’s level classes for the 2021-2022 Academic Year.  

 

Note: The Curtis faculty may update these policies. Please check the website for updates. 

There is a $150 nonrefundable application fee. For major departments that require prescreening, there is an additional $100 feeAll fees are payable via the Acceptd platform. Please review the Curtis website to learn more about which major departments require prescreening.  

The wait list depends on the major department and the year. Someone from the admissions team will contact you if you are placed on a wait list.   

Yes, this is possible. Students who want to double-major must audition and gain admission separately for each major instrument department.  

All applicants must audition in person. Video recordings will not be considered in place of a live audition, except as noted in screened departments. Applicants to the composition department have original compositions examined by the department and a finalists interview in Philadelphia.

Curtis sets no minimum or maximum 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 choosing. They may opt to transition to the Bachelor of Music program when they reach college age. Students who already have a bachelors degreewhen they enter Curtis may pursue graduate-level work toward a post-baccalaureate Diploma or a Master of Music in Opera. 

The acceptance rate at Curtis varies from year to year and across programs. Overall, it has remained steady at about 4 percent. Do not let this discourage you. Many current students didnt believe they could be accepted but auditioned anyway. They are now thriving at Curtis. 

The most important factor is artistic promise. Though showing technical proficiency in the audition is a requirement, the strongest candidates for admission demonstrate the potential to develop into exceptional artists.  

A typical Curtis student shows outstanding technique and musicality, along with openness to critiques and an eagerness to learn. A collegial atmosphere contributes to Curtiss nurturing environment. Students focus on their craft and positively engage with and learn from their peers, faculty, and the world around them.  

Applicants may be interested in visiting Curtis's YouTube channel and Instagram profile for an inside look at student life at Curtis.  

Please contact the admissions team with any questions about applying, auditioning, or touring the campus.  

Due to Covid-19, in-person tours of the campus are not availableCurtis is creating virtual tours and information sessions for applicants and parents. Some Curtis on Tour virtual events may be open to prospects, applicants, and parents. Applicants, prospects, and parents may schedule a conversation with a Curtis student.

Please check the website regularly as details for these opportunities develop. Contact the admissions team for more information.

In some cases, applicants to Curtis can take informational lessons with Curtis faculty (i.e., trial lessons). The availability of informational lessons varies by faculty and major department. Candidates are encouraged to learn more about Curtis through all avenues, including tours, conversations with current students, the Curtis website, Curtis YouTube channel, and Instagram page. Candidates may also be interested in taking an informational lesson with a Curtis alumnus.  

Yes, Curtis admits transfer students. Applicants should refer to the Curtis website for specific program requirements and may contact a member of the admissions team for further questions.  

Policies and Reports

Curtis Institute of Music is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all in every aspect of its operations, including admission, employment, service, and educational programs. Curtis complies with all laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, or gender identity. Curtis is an equal-opportunity employer.

The safety, security and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors at the Curtis Institute of Music are of paramount importance. Read our Annual Security and Fire Safety Report to see safety statistics from 2016, 2017 and 2018.