Prepare for a career in composing for the screen while developing your skills in engineering, editing, orchestrating, and producing. In this master of music program, you will receive intensive professional training that combines theory and practice and work closely with renowned composers, publishers, and industry executives, collaborating to present your work in some of New York City’s leading performance venues.
Official Degree Title
Basic competence in music theory is a prerequisite for the Screen Scoring Graduate program. Entering graduate students are required to take advisory exams in music theory prior to arrival; placements will be determined by interpreting the exam results in light of your educational background and the degree program for which you are enrolled. Remedial courses cannot be used to meet degree requirements.
US applicants should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 (Summer/Fall) or November 1 (Spring) to be considered for financial aid.
How to Apply
These instructions and requirements are for domestic applicants only. If you are an international student, please see special instructions for international applicants.
Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.
1. Prepare Your Application
You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.
Statement of Purpose
You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.
Letters of Recommendation
Submit two letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions on submitting letters of recommendation.
Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline.
If you completed or are completing a degree at an institution outside of the US or Canada, you are required to provide a WES or ECE evaluation. Please review our requirements for translation and a course-by-course evaluation of your transcripts.
Proficiency in English
See testing requirements.
You are required to submit:
- Three to four compositions in which you were the original composer and orchestrator, both as audio recordings and scores.
- A video of yourself, no longer than two minutes, discussing your musical and personal background, and your goals if accepted into the program. Do not score or add background music to this video.
In addition, you have the option to submit up to three movie clips you’ve scored, each up to three minutes long, or a video compilation reel no longer than three minutes. Video clips need not be from productions for which you were the original composer; you may submit video that you have re-scored.
Your scores should be created in Sibelius, Finale, or Dorico; meet professional standards; and accurately document your music as recorded.
Here are some guidelines for selecting your music:
- Include your best work regardless of style or aesthetic. You need not restrict your submissions to music that was written for moving images. We will evaluate your portfolio in its entirety.
- In addition to showing your individual voice as a composer, include pieces that exhibit a range of genres, modes of musical expression, or forms.
- Varied instrumentation is a plus. The range of possibilities might include orchestra, chamber group, soloist, electronics, instruments from cultures other than your own, jazz ensemble, or rock band.
- At least one piece you submit should demonstrate that you can write music with narrative sensibilities – pieces that convey a mood, conjure an image, establish time or place, or suggest events.
- If a piece was intended for live instruments, a recording by live musicians is preferred. However, a good MIDI rendering is acceptable (and is in fact preferable to a mediocre performance by live players).
- Your optional video clips may include compositions that are also among the required audio submissions. If they do, you still must submit the audio-only versions.
- If you choose to submit a compilation reel, it should contain some of your best work.
Portfolio materials must be submitted through GetAcceptd.
All applicants who have submitted a complete application by the application deadline will be contacted during the week of 1/29/2024 - 2/4/2024 to schedule an interview. Late applicants will be interviewed on a case by case basis.
Applicants who are required to submit a proficiency in English test result, must meet the minimum score requirement prior to being contacted to schedule an interview. Applicants who do not meet the minimum score requirement will not be interviewed.
The interviews will be conducted remotely using the Zoom platform, and will last 15 minutes. The interviews will cover a different range of topics, spanning from questions about your portfolio and background, general questions about the field and your interests, and hypothetical questions.
After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed, and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.
You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.
Mailing Additional Items
If any application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials to NYU Steinhardt, Office of Graduate Admissions, 82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003-6680. Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.
Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.
Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.
Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.
3. Receive Your Admission Decision
You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late November for Spring semester enrollment and in late March or early April for Summer or Fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.