NEC offers rigorous 5-year dual degree programs with both Tufts University and Harvard College. These programs allow students who have dual passions in both music and another field to have access to the world's best resources for both pursuits.
It is possible to be considered for both the Tufts/NEC and Harvard/NEC dual degree programs while only submitting one application to NEC. Please note however that these programs are very different in terms of structure, curriculum, and scope. If you would like to be considered for admission to both programs, indicate this interest in the NEC online application; a double NEC application fee is required. Please also be sure to follow the separate Tufts and Harvard application procedures.
Tufts/NEC Dual Degree
The Tufts/NEC program allows highly-motivated students to pursue both a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Music degree from NEC over five years of study. Students are immersed at both schools from the start, taking weekly lessons plus ensembles, music theory, and musicianship at NEC throughout the five years. This program allows musicians to have an intensive musical and academic experience and is truly among the best of its kind. Students initially live on the campus of Tufts University, taking a shuttle that frequently connects NEC and Tufts. Students must apply separately to both Tufts and NEC; the performance expectation for admission is similar to the normal undergraduate entrance level.
Application Process for Tufts/NEC
Tufts and NEC make initial admissions decisions independently, with NEC making a second level of admission determination for the dual degree after knowing which applicants were admitted to Tufts and also passed the audition at NEC. Applicants must apply to both Tufts and NEC following the institutions' normal undergraduate application process and indicating in their application that they are applying for the Tufts/NEC program. Each school requires separate applications, supporting materials, and related fees.
An offer of admission to the dual degree program would come from NEC in early April. There are limited openings to this program, so it is possible that an applicant can be admitted to Tufts and pass the NEC audition but be denied admission to the dual program.
Tufts/NEC dual degree students receive all financial aid from Tufts University; no financial aid is offered through NEC for the dual degree. For further information regarding Tufts, please contact the Tufts Admissions Office.
Harvard/NEC Dual Degree
The Harvard/NEC program is a unique education for extremely advanced musicians and scholars. It culminates in a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College after four years, with an intensive fifth year as a graduate student at NEC to complete our Master of Music program. Students take weekly private lessons at NEC during the initial years of the program, becoming more involved in coursework and ensembles in the fourth and fifth years. Prospective students must apply separately to Harvard and NEC; the performance expectation for admission is significantly higher than the normal undergraduate entrance level, and only a small number of applicants are admitted each year.
Application Process for Harvard/NEC
Harvard and NEC make initial admissions decisions independently, with NEC making a second level of admission determination for the dual degree after knowing which applicants were admitted to Harvard and also performed one of the top auditions at NEC. Applicants must apply to both Harvard and NEC following the institutions' normal undergraduate application process and indicating in their application that they are applying for the Harvard/NEC program. Each school requires separate applications, supporting materials, and related fees.
Applicants should prepare the undergraduate audition repertoire as listed for their major (Composition applicants should submit a portfolio). After review of audition recordings (or portfolios), some applicants may be asked to connect in February via video call for a short interview and remote audition.
Please contact the Harvard College Admissions Office for more information regarding their process. Dual degree applicants should also submit the relevant arts supplement, including performance or composition materials, directly to the Harvard Admissions.
The Harvard/NEC program is one of the most competitive dual degrees in the world. It is possible that an applicant can be admitted to Harvard and perform well at the NEC audition but still be denied admission to the dual program. Admitted students must demonstrate the highest level of performance ability, especially since they will be seeking to earn the Master of Music degree from NEC. Typically, only 5-6 students are admitted each year. Regardless of Early Action or Regular Decision status at Harvard College, applicants will not receive a decision about dual program admission until early April; this notification would come directly from NEC.
Students enrolled in the Harvard/NEC dual degree are billed by NEC a substantially-reduced tuition fee in years 1-4; Harvard's educational costs in years 1-4 are handled directly through their financial aid office. Due to the extremely competitive nature of this program, all admitted students have high merit, and this acknowledgement has been built into the cost structure of NEC's portion of the degree. In years 1-4, Harvard/NEC students are therefore only offered need-based financial support from NEC. Prior to the intensive fifth year of MM study at NEC, dual degree students are reassessed for graduate level merit- and need-based financial aid based on their progress in the program.
Harvard undergraduates in their first year of study may apply to transfer into the dual degree program by completing NEC's application and audition process. Due to curriculum constraints, students beyond their first year at Harvard may not apply to transfer, and current NEC undergraduates are not eligible to transfer into the dual degree at Harvard.