Young musicians come to the Curtis Institute of Music from 20 countries around the world to study with its acclaimed faculty. Today nearly 40 percent of the students enrolled at Curtis are from abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Curtis requires both: 

  • 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 

In reviewing requests for entry into the Bachelor of Music program, Curtis takes into account all facets of a student’s academic record—especially high-school grades and graduation, standing in all Curtis classes, and SAT and other standardized test scores. Students with strong academic records should meet with the chair of the liberal arts program for a review of their potential. The chair will then meet with the dean to make a final decision.


The most important thing is not that a student study for the SAT, but that he or she try to become as comfortable and proficient as possible with the English language and American culture by reading books and magazines, speaking English, watching movies, and so on. SAT prep programs are expensive, are usually not geared for non-English speakers, and may take away valuable time from your other work. We do recommend that you purchase an SAT prep book from a bookstore. There are also practice tests online. The College Boards SAT Preparation Booklet is available from the associate dean of student services, free of charge. 

If cost is a concern, feel free to connect with our director of student financial assistance, Veronica McAuley. If you have financial need, Curtis can help with the purchase of these materials. Be sure to have an estimate of the cost for the material you want to buy.

Resources for International Applicants