Certificate Programs

If you’re a musician looking for a full range of training—and the certificate to show for it—you’ve come to the right place. 

NEC's School of Continuing Education offers a variety of credit-bearing programs: the Skills Certificate in Solo Jazz Piano, the Certificate of Merit and Professional Studies Certificate in Music Theory & Composition, Performance, Music History, Conducting, Jazz, Contemporary Improvisation as well as studies in Music-in-Education. Weekday evening and Saturday classes make SCE certificates ideal for adults who want a conservatory education and have grown-up lives to accommodate.

Some of our certificate programs provide graduate level training. Others allow professional musicians to refresh or supplement their previous musical education. Still, others prepare students for undergraduate study at a higher institution (like NEC). Avocational musicians with strong music backgrounds can earn credentials.

Have questions about your own path? Contact SCE Student Services Coordinator, Colin Geaghan at ContinuingEducation@necmusic.edu.

“My confidence grew and I trusted my instrument more than ever.”

"I have emerged from the Professional Studies program a much more confident and capable musician than when I entered."

The core of the certificate program is private studio instruction and performance, which is offered for all instruments as well as voice, guitar and composition. Most certificates are equal to two years of full-time study; part-time domestic students may extend the curriculum over a period of up to five years, and may also take summer courses to accelerate their program. The Skills Certificate, Jazz Certificate, and Music-in-Education programs have their own requirements; see the links for more information.

Students seeking admission into a certificate program must have documentable proficiency as a performing singer, instrumentalist, or composer. Limited scholarship funds are available for certificate students.

Students who have completed the certificate program have been accepted into institutions such as:

Berklee College of Music, Eastman, Longy School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, The New School of Music and NYU.

Please click on the menu to the left for more information about specific programs—and don’t hesitate to contact us! 


To apply for NEC's School of Continuing Education certificate program, click on one of the following links below for domestic applicants or international applicants and you will be taken to the application page where you will create an account and apply online. There is $50 non-refundable application fee.

1. Online Application

Domestic Students Only: 2017-2018 Certificate Application
International Students Only: 2017-2018 Certificate Application


*Late applicants will be accepted on a case by case basis and should contact our office for further information.

2. Additional Materials: AFTER completion of the online application

  • An in-person or electronic (YouTube video preferred) audition demonstrating your level of proficiency on two contrasting pieces (contrasting by style, time period, or tempo)
  • One-page personal statement describing your interest in pursuing the certificate program and your musical background
  • An in-person or web conference interview with NEC Continuing Education Director, Dan Schmunk
  • An additional in-person or web conference interview with respective department chair
  • A recommendation letter from an academic institution or former teacher which will exhibit your academic performance/personal character and such.
  • Copy of transcripts from previous institution (either high school or higher educational institution)
  • Copy of a photo I.D.
  • Copy of TOEFL exam with a minimum score of: 79iBT or 550 Paper-Based (International Students only)  Find additional information in Frequently Asked Questions.

Please submit these materials either by email or mailing address:



Mailing address:

NEC School of Continuing Education
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115

If you have any questions, please contact our Student Services Coordinator, Colin Geaghan at ContinuingEducation@necmusic.edu

New England Conservatory of Music does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or veteran status in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, or other Conservatory-sponsored activities.