Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions

Music Theatre

Music Theatre FAQ


Q: Is this a performance program? Why is it part of the Steinhardt School?

New York University's "school of music" has historically been housed in the Steinhardt School, beginning in 1925, and has become a part of both the structure and tradition of NYU. Vocal Performance --like its sister programs in piano, strings, brass, wind, percussion, and jazz studies -- is indeed a performance program. It offers conservatory-like training within the context of a demanding liberal arts curriculum. Students graduating from the program receive no teacher training and are not certified to teach in public schools.

Q: What courses will I take to complete my degree?

Curriculum requirements for the degrees offered through this program can be found on the NYU Website at the following URLs:

Q: How long does it take to complete the Masters degree?

It is possible to complete the Masters degree in three semesters. However, most students choose to attend the program for four semesters.

Q: How long will it take to complete my degree as a transfer student?

If you are accepted as a transfer student there are two factors that determine how long it will take you to complete your degree at NYU. These factors are 1) the number of completed credits that NYU will accept and apply to your curriculum requirements and 2) the number of semesters of private voice the faculty adjudicators decide you must take in order to complete your degree. Completed semesters of private voice at another institution will not necessarily count toward your degree requirements at NYU. Be aware that while the voice study requirement can be provided to you immediately upon your acceptance, it often takes longer for the University and the Program to assess your transfer credits.

Q: What are the performance opportunities for students?

Vocal Performance produces six to seven shows per year. A typical year includes three mainstage productions (two musicals and an opera produced in Steinhardt’s Loewe Theatre), two productions in the Black Box Theatre, and two productions in an intimate venue.

For a complete description of the facilities, please visit our Facilities page.

Q: Do musical theatre students take classical voice classes? Do classical students take musical theatre classes?

All students take classically-based voice lessons. Music theatre and classical voice students do have separate requirements to graduate. However, beyond those requirements, classical students are encouraged to take music theatre classes, and music theatre students are encouraged to take classical voice classes.

Q: How are students matched with voice teachers?

All incoming students sing a vocal "diagnostic" in which they are evaluated by members of the voice faculty. Based on this evaluation the student will be placed with a voice teacher. There is an opportunity for the teacher and student to meet and decide that both are satisfied with the pairing before classes begin.

Q: How can I receive information by mail about the program?

Please e-mail with your name, address, whether you are interested in graduate or undergraduate study, and whether you are interested in Classical Voice or Music Theatre (or both). You should receive information within a few weeks. If for some reason you do not, please e-mail again, or call the Vocal Performance program line at 212-998-5154.

Q: Whom should I contact if I am interested in visiting the school?

Undergraduate Inquiries: Email Professor Dianna Heldman
Graduate Inquiries: Email Professor William Wesbrooks

Q: How do I request an application?

To apply for undergraduate study, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website, or call 212-998-4500.

To apply for graduate study, please visit Steinhardt's Office of Graduate Admissions website, or call 212-998-5030.

Q: Is it possible to apply for early decision?

Undergraduate applicants can apply for early decision. Information in regard to that process can be obtained from Undergraduate Admissions.

Q: Is it possible to begin the course of study in the spring semester?

While it may complicate certain course sequences, both undergraduate and graduate students can begin their studies in the spring semester.

Q: How do I arrange an audition?

Students must first apply to New York University through either Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions. Please then visit our Auditions page for your next steps.

During November, there is one Open House audition day, during which students may come and audition without having yet submitted an application. However, a student will not be considered for admission into the school until he or she submits an application to Admissions.

Q: When should I audition?

Try to audition as early in the year as possible.

Q: What is required in the audition?

For current audition requirements please visit our Auditions page.

Q: Is it possible to submit an audition on videotape?

Auditioning in person is greatly preferred. However, if you are unable to travel to New York City to audition, you may submit a videotaped audition. Please visit our Auditions page for audition requirements.

Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

Please visit the Financial Aid Office website at or call 212-998-4444 for financial aid information.

Q: What types of financial aid are offered? Does the program offer assistantships?

NYU offers need-based aid, as determined by the FAFSA, and merit-based aid, determined by past academic achievement. Occasionally, talent scholarships will also be awarded. The program does not offer assistantships.

Q: Are there non-degree programs or special workshops offered?

The program offers a three-week summer workshop in music theatre that is open to both visiting college students and pre-college students. The workshop includes acting classes, song analysis (how to act a song), dance training, private vocal coachings, and a performance at the end of the three weeks. Private voice lessons are also available. In order to participate students must have completed their junior year of high school and must be sixteen years old.