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How to Apply

PhD, Music Performance and Composition: Performers

Combining intensive performance with related academic study, this doctoral program prepares accomplished musicians for a career in professional music performance or music research. You will study closely with our artist-faculty and develop areas of specialization for your performance or teaching career.   

A concentration is also available for composers.

Academic Plan Code: MUCP

Degree: PHD

Academic Sub-Plan Code: PER

Credits: 49-55

Academic Load: The time it takes for you to complete this program will vary, based on if you study full-time or part-time and the number of credits you register for each semester. Please be aware that some programs do not offer a part-time option. 

Application Deadlines
Spring: N/A 
Summer: N/A
Fall: December 1

Program Information
Program Website | 212-998-5424

How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the 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

As part of your application, you are required to upload a statement of purpose that discusses your ideas for doctoral research, their context and potential impact, and argues how your expertise and interests make you the best candidate for pursuing this research. Please also identify the faculty member(s) that you are most interested in working with. The name of this faculty member, together with your name, should be included on the header of the statement. Maximum length: four pages. 

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions.

Scholarly Writing

Please mail in at least three research papers that best represent your ability to research and write effectively about their area of specialization. You may include published work as evidence. Mail your scholarly writing to: Dr. Paul Horan, NYU Steinhardt, Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, 35 West Fourth Street, Suite 1077, 10th Floor, New York, NY, 10012.


You are required to audition in person. For specific audition requirements and how to schedule an in-person audition date after you have applied, contact your area of focus.

Brass: Doctoral candidates should contact Wayne du Maine, Director of Brass Studies, at for information about auditions and to schedule an audition.

Jazz: There is no live audition for the PhD application in Jazz as the degree is research-based. We ask that applicants schedule an on-campus or phone interview with Dr. David Schroeder to discuss the application requirements, including GRE test scores and portfolio of creative work. Additionally, Dr. Schroeder will discuss the PhD curriculum, including academic course work, and the dissertation process.

Percussion: Contact Jonathan Haas ( and Sean Statser ( to arrange your audition date and time (must be completed by January 22).

Piano: Piano Studies requires a pre-screening video, to be submitted via the GetAcceptd protocol by December 1, 2019. Prescreening videos must feature 45 minutes of repertoire of the applicant's choice, demonstrating the applicant's technical, expressive, and interpretive strengths. Applicants will be contacted personally to schedule an in-person audition after this date, to take place in late December 2019 and early January 2020.

Contact Marilyn Nonken ( for further details.

Strings: January 26, 2020. Contact Professor Baer no later than Friday, December 13, to arrange your audition time. The string program will be accepting only part-time PhD students this year.

Please prepare the following for your audition:
Complete concerto from the classical, romantic, or 20th century
Complete Bach Sonata, Partita, or Suite
Complete classical or romantic sonata
Work composed after 1960

Vocal Performance: We ask that you submit recorded materials that will be reviewed by the faculty. The requirements are the same as for the master's audition pre-screening materials for Music Theatre or Classical Voice. Once that review has been completed we will contact those candidates from whom we require further information.

Woodwinds: Doctoral candidates should contact Dr. Esther Lamneck, Director of Woodwind Studies, at for information about auditions and to schedule an audition.


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. See detailed instructions.


Required. See testing requirements

Proficiency in English

2. Apply


Start your application now

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.

Application Fee

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 remaining application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials together in a single mailing using this document cover sheet. Items received without the cover sheet take longer to process and match to your application. 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.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late March or early April for fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.

Application Policies

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 recommendations, by the application deadline.