Doctoral Studies - Music and Performing Arts

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

 Fall: December 1

All application materials must be in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline. The Office of Graduate Admissions reserves the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline.


Applicants are expected to:

  • Demonstrate a record of excellence in academic performance and a strong commitment to their particular field of study.
  • Have a relevant master's degree completed with a high grade point average (or equivalent for non-US students).

Application Process

For complete information about the application process, including instructions and forms, please visit the Graduate Application Guide

The department requires applicants to use the online application system. Please note that applications will not be processed until all their components have been received. For a complete list of components please visit the application guide degree page for your program of interest. 

Please note that all doctoral applicants are required to:

  • Take the GRE, and have their results forwarded to the graduate admissions office. These results must arrive by the application deadline.
  • Applicants from Non-English speaking countries must take one of the following English proficiency exams: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic, and submit the score.
  • Submit 3 recommendation letters electronically using the online application system.
  • Submit a statement of objectives (not to exceed 4 pages) discussing your ideas for doctoral research, their context and potential impact, and arguing how your expertise and interests make you the best candidate for pursuing this research. In preparing this statement you should identify the faculty member(s) that you are most interested in working with. The name of this faculty member, together with your name and social security number, should be included on the header of the statement.
  • Submit evidence of scholarly writing. Applicants should submit at least three research papers that best represent their ability to research and write effectively about their area of specialization. Applicants may include published work as evidence.

Also, please note the following program-specific requirements:

  • Performance: Applicants to this program are required to audition in person. Check the program audition pages for specific audition requirements and for in-person audition dates after you have applied (StringsWoodwindsBrass, Percussion, Piano). Auditions must be completed by February 1.
  • Music Education, Music Composition, Educational Theatre and Music Technology: Applicants to these programs are required to submit a portfolio of samples of previous professional, artistic and/or academic work. Please check the pages of the program you are applying to for specific guidelines on what to include in, and how to submit, this portfolio. Alternatively, call the appropriate program director at 212-998-5424.

For those programs requiring hard copies, please submit your audition materials, portfolios, and evidence of writing to:

Dr. Paul Horan
Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions
New York University
35 West Fourth Street, Suite 1077
New York, NY 10012

Notification of Admission

Doctoral applicants should expect to receive notifications of accept/reject by mid-March. In some cases this may take longer depending on funding issues.


We offer a competitive funding program for full-time PhD students that supports tuition and living expenses. See more information about the funding program or visit the Financial Aid website.