Undergraduate Program FAQ

Can I do an undergraduate degree in performance?

No. We are an academic department, not a school of music or a conservatory. We offer a robust performance program with many options, and lessons and ensembles can be taken for (a small amount) of academic credit. Up to 4 credits of performance can be counted toward a music major. But it is not possible to major in an instrument or voice.

Can I audition for a member of the department? Is an audition required?

An audition is not required for admission to Columbia's undergraduate programs. It is not possible to audition in person, nor do we offer sample lessons. Students applying to one of Columbia's undergraduate programs MAY submit an audition recording (on CD). In general, such submissions will be referred to a member of the Music Department's faculty for evaluation by the admissions office. However, we do not recommend students for admission on this basis. We simply provide an evaluation. The Music Department has no direct influence on admissions decisions.

How should I prepare myself to be a competitive applicant to Columbia as a prospective music student?

It is advisable to take as much music theory as possible in high school. But it is more important to take a well rounded program of courses in the humanities, social and natural sciences, languages, and mathematics.

Are there specific scholarships available for musicians?

Not through Columbia (other than scholarships for summer music study offered to students already enrolled). All Columbia financial aid is need based; Columbia admissions are need blind.

Does Columbia charge for music lessons?

Yes. There is a fee of $300 for all students, regardless of major, as of Fall 2018. Fees for Barnard voice lessons are handled separately; for more information, contact Gail Archer.

Can I visit the department?

You are welcome to visit the Department during business hours on days Columbia is in session (see the academic calendar). It is unlikely that you will be able to meet with a faculty member, but you may drop by the office (621 Dodge) with questions or to pick up brochures, or visit the Music Performance Program office (618 Dodge) with specific questions about our performance offerings.

Admissions Office Rep for Applicants to Columbia College Interested in Music

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 212-854-2522
Office Address: 212 Hamilton Hall

If you are considering applying to Columbia College and have a specific interest in music (whether as a potential major or not), please contact the College Admissions Office with all initial inquiries. The Music Department's office staff and faculty members cannot advise or answer questions on the specifics of the admissions process, and we do not interview or audition College applicants in person. We are happy to answer questions about our curriculum and the performance opportunities we provide.