An audition is required for all students seeking admission to the Setnor School of Music.

All students are responsible for meeting our deadlines. Prospective students must also complete the Syracuse University Common App.

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Music Deadlines

Early Decision (First-year students only):

Application: Nov. 15, 2021
Music Material via Acceptd: Nov. 1, 2021
Music Audition & Interview: Nov. 13, 2021 (in-person or virtual)

Regular Decision (Fall):

Application: Jan. 1, 2022
Music Materials via Acceptd: Jan. 1, 2022
Music Audition & Interview: Feb. 5, 2022
(in-person) or Feb. 12, 2022 (virtual)

Spring Enrollment:

Spring enrollment into VPA programs is very limited. Please call the Office of Recruitment and Admissions to discuss availability and timeline.

See Music Audition Dates

Audition Requirements and Process

Listed below are specific Setnor School of Music audition requirements for each instrument. Each category also includes a list of recommended audition literature.

Requirements for All Auditioners

  1. Prepare audition requirements for your primary instrument as described below.
    1. Students may choose between the classical style or jazz/commercial style for their primary instrument audition
    2. Students interested in auditioning for the jazz/commercial style can do so for all majors except the B.M. in Performance.
    3. Students applying to the B.M. in Composition are required to audition on an instrument or voice AND submit a composition portfolio. See below for requirement details.
  2. Create an application profile in Acceptd, submit the Music Audition Form, and indicate if you will be completing a virtual audition or an in-person audition. If you select a virtual audition, you must also upload your video-recorded audition materials.
  3. Complete an online theory test
  4. Schedule your in-person audition or virtual interview through Acceptd.
  5. Submit a Syracuse University application via the Common Application.  Please see our website for all-important deadlines.

See “Submitting Your Audition Material” below for details about the audition process

Requirements for those applying to B.M. Composition

Students applying to the B.M. in Composition are required to audition on an instrument or voice AND submit a composition portfolio to Acceptd.

Composition portfolios should include 3 representative works (scores to original compositions with recordings if possible).

  • Scores should be fully notated for a variety of instrumental combinations (for example, do not submit 3 choral works, or 3 solo piano pieces).
  • No lead sheet scores.
  • One score in a Jazz or commercial field is allowable, but your portfolio should show your skills as a composer beyond pop and jazz media.
  • Types of scores you should include in your portfolio might include works for the following instrumental and voice combinations: solo instrument or voice, chamber music (duets, trios, quartets, quintets, etc.), song (voice and piano), chorus (SATB, SSAATTBB, etc.), and large ensemble (orchestra, wind ensemble).

Music Major as a second-choice

If your first-choice major is something other than one listed above, but you have listed one of the B.M. degrees or the B.A. in music as your second-choice major on the Syracuse University Common Application supplement, you should also submit an audition. If you do not get into your first-choice program, you will need to have an audition on file to be considered for any of these majors. Please see “Submitting Your Audition Materials” below for details on how to do so.

    Classical Music Audition Requirements

    Jazz and Commercial Music Audition Requirements


    Transfer Students

    Transfer students are encouraged to complete the application and transcript review as soon as possible as space is limited in some programs. It is strongly recommended that transfer applicants to the Setnor School of Music follow the first-year application deadlines. Please note:

      • Please include with your audition materials submitted to Acceptd an unofficial college transcript. This is in addition to the official college transcript you send with your application for admission.
      • Include a paragraph explaining why you wish to study music, what major you hope to pursue and why, what you expect from the major, and your career aspirations.

    Submitting Your Audition Materials

    Audition materials may be submitted via Acceptd before or after the application but should meet all deadlines. You will not be able to select an interview/audition date until your Acceptd materials are submitted and you complete the theory test. 

    Please review the audition and repertoire requirements carefully (listed above) so that all components are completed by the deadlines.

    There is a $15 fee to submit the Audition form to Acceptd when completing an in-person audition, or a $30 fee to submit video audition materials to Acceptd for the virtual audition option.

    You may upload video files (.mov, .wmv, .flv) and PDF documents as appropriate to the requirements for your major of interest. It is also possible for you to embed files from YouTube or Vimeo. The online portal offers additional instruction for submitting materials. Once your materials are uploaded submitted, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission. For technical assistance, contact .

    Follow these steps as you move through the audition process:

    1. All music applicants are required to create a profile in Acceptd and submit the Music Audition Form.
      1. To get started with your Music Audition Form, choose your “Level” (undergraduate or graduate).  Then, select your “Degree” (intended major) and “Program” (degree/instrument).
      2. You will indicate if you prefer to complete your audition in-person or virtually. If you select a virtual audition, you will be required to submit your video-recorded audition materials to Acceptd and schedule a virtual interview with the music faculty.
      3. The Music Audition Form requires music applicants to provide information about their background and music experience, including a list of audition repertoire, music resume information, and a photo. You may also provide an email address for a music teacher to submit a recommendation on your behalf.
      4. If you are applying to a composition degree, you must upload your composition portfolio to your Acceptd application. Composition portfolios should include 3 representative works (scores to original compositions with recordings if possible).
      5. If you are a transfer student, please also include an unofficial copy of your transcript and course descriptions. This is in addition to the official transcripts that must be sent to the Office of Admissions.
        1. Complete the online theory test
          1. Once your audition materials have been uploaded to Acceptd, you will receive a confirmation message that includes a link to the required theory test. Once you complete the online theory test, your materials will be reviewed by faculty and you will receive access to schedule your audition or interview.
        2. Schedule an in-person audition or a virtual interview date
          1. Once your theory test has been reviewed, you will receive access to schedule your required in-person audition or virtual interview via Acceptd.
            1. During the in-person auditions and virtual interviews, faculty will conduct sight singing/sight reading exercises, test aural skills, and/or ask for specific scales to be performed. There will also be opportunity for conversation, Q&A and discussion about your goals and interests with the faculty.
          2. Dates can be found within the Acceptd portal once granted access as well as on the VPA Visit web page.
        3. In addition to the audition form and completing an audition, you must submit a Syracuse University application.  Please see our website for all important  deadlines. To start your Syracuse University application, visit the Admissions website.