Applicants to the Master of Music (MM) degree are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree, or its recognized equivalent, from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation. Applicants whose college studies have been completed outside the U.S. are required to submit all academic records with official English translations, as well as documentation of U.S. degree equivalency. Applicants who do not demonstrate degree equivalency are not eligible for admission to the MM program, but may be considered for the Graduate Diploma. We recommend that applicants with questions about their degree equivalency contact the Admissions Office and/or have their academic records evaluated by a foreign credential evaluation service before applying.

Applicants to the Graduate Diploma (GD) must hold a bachelor’s degree, Undergraduate Diploma, or equivalent certification. Applicants should demonstrate knowledge, repertoire, and experience comparable to that of M.M. applicants, but will be expected to meet a higher performance standard.

Application Process

We are delighted that you are applying to NEC! If you have any questions throughout the process, please do not hesitate to contact us. We strongly recommend that you contact the staff member who specifically handles your major or degree program.

Required Application Materials

Online Application, which will include submission of your prescreening recording (if required for your major or program), essay, artistic resume (including a brief repertoire list), unofficial transcripts, English proficiency documentation (if applicable), contact information for your letters of recommendation, and the application fee of $115.

  • Unofficial transcripts: Electronic versions of academic transcripts must be submitted as part of the online application. Transcripts should show coursework completed, grades earned to date, and classes in which the student is currently enrolled. PDF files are preferred. Please do not mail hard copies of transcripts as part of the application process. Obtain an unofficial copy from your school and scan into a PDF file for upload to the online application. Please do not have electronic transcripts sent to NEC via a secure online system used by your school or university. Again, get an unofficial PDF copy of your transcript and upload it to the online application. Graduate applicants should upload transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate study, not just from the most recent program.
  • Recommendations: Two (2) recommendations are required. Contact information for your recommenders must be provided in the online application; they will then receive an email allowing them to complete the evaluation online.
  1. Artistic recommendation from your current private studio teacher.
  2. Artistic recommendation from another music teacher or ensemble director/coach

All applications, prescreening recordings, and transcripts should be submitted as part of the online application. Recommendation letters should be submitted via the online application form whenever possible. If your recommender cannot submit online, please contact your admissions counselor for further instructions.

Standardized tests: GRE scores are not required and do not factor into our admission decision.

No offer of admission will be made until all required documents are received.

All materials submitted as part of the application process become the property of NEC and will not be returned.


All online materials should be submitted by December 1 with the following exceptions:

      • Recommendation letters are due December 15.
      • Final audition video recordings for students not performing a live audition are due February 1.

After review of prescreening (if applicable for your major), applications submitted by November 1 will be given priority when scheduling dates for live auditions, based on the audition date preferences chosen on the application. Do not book travel until you have received confirmation of your official audition date.

Admission decisions are sent by NEC in late March. Graduate students must respond to the offer by April 15.


All instrumental, vocal, and conducting applicants must perform an audition. Applicants to composition, music theory, and musicology must submit appropriate materials for review and interview with the faculty if invited.

Please carefully review the Audition Requirements for complete information on repertoire guidelines for live auditions and prescreenings.

NEC Alumni and Current Students

NEC alumni and current students interested in applying to begin a new degree or program at NEC must submit a full application including unofficial transcripts and supporting materials. The application fee for NEC alumni and current students is $75 per program/major.

Spring Applications

NEC accepts applications for entry in January (Spring semester) on a space-available basis. Students interested in January admission should contact the Admissions Office at or 617-585-1101 to inquire about anticipated program openings before completing an application. If spring enrollment is available, all application materials are due by October 15. Spring applicants should submit an audition recording; those applicants living within reasonable traveling distance to Boston may subsequently be asked to perform a live audition. Admission decisions for the Spring semester will be sent on a rolling basis starting in mid-November.