Application Information | Music | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Application Information

Deadline: February 15th

All application materials must be received by February 15th in order to receive primary consideration for acceptance and financial assistance, i.e., Graduate Assistantships, Graduate Fellowships and partial tuition waivers.

1. Apply to the School of Music

Complete the School of Music application. 

2. Apply to the Graduate School

Complete the University Graduate Application . This application is all done on-line.

You must submit the following materials in order to complete your application:


For non-vocalists: Two (2) letters of recommendation are required from past teachers and/or music professionals who know your work and can assess your potential for scholarly and creative work at the graduate level. 

For vocalists. Two (2) letters are required: 1 from your current voice teacher and 1 from an ensemble/stage director. 

NOTE: The Graduate School will not process your application until you pay the appropriate fee. 

NOTE: In order to be accepted into the MM program, you must complete BOTH applications. The first is for acceptance into the School of Music; the second is for acceptance into the university.

3. Make CONTACT with the School of Music Faculty.

Make contact with the appropriate instructor by sending them an email. They will be happy to hear from you. They can discuss the program and help you plan your audition. 

4. Auditions (or other assessments)

  • Instrumental, History, Theory, Composition, Conducting, Music Education, Vocal

The assessment process for acceptance into the SIU School of Music Master of Music program is done on an individual basis, i.e., there are no specific dates for auditions. Making contact with our faculty will initiate the specifics for your acceptance. This may include an audition for performers or conductors (live which is preferred, or recorded), scores and recordings for composers, or scholarly papers for music historians and music educators.

  • Guitar

Graduate guitar studies require an audition specified in this material: here, in MS Word .docx format, and here, in .pdf format. For further questions contact Dr. Isaac Lausell.

  • Piano

Present a memorized performance of a well-balanced solo program of a minimum of 30 minutes length including at least 3 different style periods from the standard Classical literature. Technical requirements will include solid proficiency in all major and minor scales and arpeggios, hands together, 4 octaves at a minimum metronome speed of 80, 4 notes per beat.  A brief sight-reading demonstration will also be required.

Audition For Accompanying Graduate Assistantship: 

If you are applying for the MM Piano Performance concentration and wish to audition for an accompanying graduate assistantship position, please prepare an instrumental sonata movement or an art song to be performed (with an instrumentalist or a singer who will be provided by SIU) at a live audition. In case you are not able to visit the campus for a live audition due to the distance from your home and Carbondale and you choose to mail a recorded audition CD/DVD, please include a performance with an instrumentalist or a singer of your choice in your audition CD/DVD.

M.M. Graduate Collaborative Piano Majors:

Please click here for MM Collaborative Piano audition requirements. 


5. International Applicants

International Applicants must do the following:

  • Take the TOEFL

All International students must pass the TOEFL examination in English proficiency at the appropriate level. See the International Admissions web page for details. Have the scores sent directly to the SIU School of Music at the address below. NOTE: If your undergraduate degree was granted in an English speaking country, you are exempt from this exam.

  • Financial Disclosure Form

Download, complete, verify, and upload the Financial Disclosure Form as part of the Graduate School application process.

  • Translations

Please note: Any transcript or diploma not originally in English must be accompanied by an English translation.

Financial Assistance

There are several ways that you can help finance your graduate degree, but you must apply for them, and they are very competitive.

Graduate Assistantships

     TO APPLY: The application for a Graduate Assistantship is part of the School of Music Application (No. 1 above). Complete where indicated.

     If awarded you will receive a complete tuition waiver plus a monthly stipend for teaching, assisting teaching, clerical, or other work.

     The deadline for applying for an assistantship is February 15th! ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC GRADUATE STUDIES OFFICE BY THIS DATE.


A fellowship includes a full tuition waiver and stipend for a 10-hour-per-week research assignment.
Follow this link to learn more.

In order to apply for a Master's level Graduate Fellowship:

1. Submit completed applications to the Graduate School AND School of Music as outlined above, including CV and official transcripts.

2. Complete the Fellowship Application Packet (excluding Departmental Nomination Page). Submit Application Packet, including personal statement, "test scores," and three recommendation letters to the Director of Graduate Studies.

3. NOTE: Fellowship recommendation letters should specifically address the student's character, musical and academic merit, and potential to execute research independently and effectively. Letters submitted for Fellowship purposes will be included in the applicant's file for consideration of admission to the School of Music and departmental Graduate Assistant awards. In other words, if you apply for a Fellowship, you don't need to send separate letters to apply for admission.

4. The Director of Graduate Studies in Music will complete the Departmental Nomination page and ranking as required, and will include the official transcript and CV which should already be received as part of the student's application process. The School of Music will submit all completed packets, in PDF and printed form, to the Graduate School by the posted Fellowship deadline. 

5. All materials MUST be received by the Director of Graduate Studies in Music by Monday, January 26th.

Request Information

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact:

Dr. David Dillard
Director of Graduate Studies
School of Music
Altgeld Hall—Mail Code 4302
Southern Illinois University
1000 S Normal Ave
Carbondale, IL  62901
(618) 536-8742

VISA or other International issues address to:

Center for International Education
425 Clocktower Drive, Woody Hall
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois 62901-6514
(618) 453-5774