Undergraduate applicants are expected to demonstrate an advanced level of performance with the potential to grow as a musical artist. Graduation from an accredited secondary school (or its equivalent) is a prerequisite for enrollment. Homeschooled applicants must submit records indicating that they will have completed high school equivalent studies in accordance with the homeschool laws of their state of residence. 

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 unofficial high school transcripts must be submitted as part of the online application to NEC. 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. If you have attended multiple schools, please submit transcripts from all high schools attended.

    Students who have been homeschooled should work with their families to submit transcripts showing subjects studied, materials used, a parent/tutor evaluation, and a parent/tutor signature. Homeschooled applicants who have completed any studies in a traditional high school should submit transcripts from that institution. Incoming homeschooled students must submit final records indicating that they completed high school equivalent studies in accordance with the homeschool laws of their state of residence.
  • 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 private studio teacher addressing your musical work to date and readiness to study music at a conservatory level. (If your private studio teacher is unable to write a recommendation, please ask another music teacher or ensemble leader.)
  2. Academic recommendation from a non-music teacher addressing your writing and cognitive abilities.

All application information, prescreening recordings, recommendations, transcripts, and English proficiency documentation (if applicable) should be submitted as part of the online application.

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.

Standardized tests: SAT or ACT scores are not required and do not factor into our admission decision.


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. Undergraduates must respond to the offer by May 1.


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

Please carefully review the Audition Requirements for repertoire guidelines for both prescreening and live auditions.

Double Majors

As conservatory study requires intensive focus in a specific applied area, NEC does not admit double majors in multiple performance areas. Students may only double major by combining a performance major with Music History or Music Theory; such requests are only considered at the end of the second year of study at NEC.

Students may apply to more than one major or program, although it is generally recommended that students focus on one major for conservatory admission. A separate application and fee must be submitted for each major, instrument, or program to which you apply. Students may enroll in only one major in their first year of study at NEC.

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 in late-September 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.