Prescreening and live interviews with the NEC composition faculty are required for all composition applicants living in North America, as well as all composition applicants to the DMA and Harvard/NEC programs regardless of their country of residence.

Composition applicants residing outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico who are not applying to the DMA or Harvard/NEC programs may be considered for admission based on the submission of a composition portfolio without an interview and should follow the same portfolio requirements as prescreened applicants. All portfolios are due December 1.

Applicants should submit their portfolio and accompanying recordings via our online submission portal. Portfolio scores can be uploaded as PDF files and recordings may be uploaded in several file formats. Please refer to the recording guidelines section of our general Audition Requirements page for information about uploading your prescreening files to our online application.

Live Interview Process

To be considered for a live interview, applicants must submit a composition portfolio by December 1. After a prescreening review, qualified applicants will be asked to interview with composition faculty members at NEC. Applicants who are not selected for a live interview will be notified that they have not been accepted for study at NEC.

Composition Portfolio Requirements

Submit three scores of original compositions. If available, please also include a recording of the submitted compositions. As mentioned above, we encourage applicants to submit their scores and recordings through our secure online portal. While submission of  materials through our online portal is preferred, applicants who wish to send a hard copy of their portfolio and recordings instead of submitting materials online may do so. (Do NOT submit materials both online and in hard copy.) If sending a hard copy portfolio, each of the submitted scores should be a bound photocopy of the original manuscript and recordings should be submitted on CD.*

In addition, applicants should show proof of theoretical study through transcripts or other supporting documents.

DMA applicants should submit at least three scores and recordings of recent works. It is helpful if works are chosen to demonstrate a variety of ensembles and forms, including at least one larger work.

* Scores and recordings submitted in hard copy by Composition applicants will be returned if accompanied by appropriate return packaging and postage. Applicants wishing to pick up scores in person can make arrangements to do so by calling the Office of Admission. Scores are available for return between July 1 and September 30 only. NEC will not be responsible for scores remaining in the Office of Admission after October 1.

Live Interview

Applicants are required to attend a live interview with Composition faculty during our regular audition period (February and early March) if invited to do so after the prescreening portfolio review.  Interviews will last 20 minutes and will give our faculty the opportunity to learn more about applicants and their work, and simultaneously allow applicants to learn more about NEC and our Composition program. The interview does not include an entrance exam or demonstration of instrumental proficiency. Applicants to the DMA are, however, required to take the standard DMA entrance exams which typically occur on the day immediately before or after the interview.