Admission Steps

Music - Composition - MM

Admission Requirements

Terms and Deadlines

For the 2021-2022 academic year

Fall 2021 quarter (beginning in September)

  • Priority deadline: January 29, 2021

  • Final submission deadline: August 16, 2021

Priority deadline: Applications will be considered after the Priority deadline provided space is available.

Final submission deadline: Applicants cannot submit applications after the final submission deadline.

Degree and GPA Requirements

Degrees and GPA Requirements

Bachelors degree: All graduate applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution.

Grade point average: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.

Program GPA requirement: The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for this program is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale



Applicants without an undergraduate degree in music must complete additional requirements.  Please contact the Lamont Admission Office for details (email:, phone: 303.871.6973).

Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers

Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers

Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. Your TOEFL/IELTS/CAE scores are valid for two years from the test date.

The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for this degree program are:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score (Internet-based test): 80

  • Minimum TOEFL Score (Paper-based test): 550

  • Minimum IELTS Score: 6.5

  • Minimum CAE Score: 176

English Conditional Acceptance Offered: In cases where minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE scores were not achieved or no English proficiency test was taken, the Lamont School of Music may offer English Conditional Admission (ECA) to academically qualified non-native English speakers.

Additional Standards for International Applicants

Additional Standards for International Applicants

Per Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulation, international applicants must meet all standards for admission before an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, [per U.S. Federal Register: 8 CFR § 214.3(k)] or is academically eligible for admission and is admitted [per 22 C.F.R. §62]. Read the Additional Standards For International Applicants policy for more details.

Application Materials



We require a scanned copy of your transcripts from every college or university you have attended. Scanned copies must be clearly legible and sized to print on standard 8½-by-11-inch paper. Transcripts that do not show degrees awarded must also be accompanied by a scanned copy of the diploma or degree certificate. If your academic transcripts were issued in a language other than English, both the original documents and certified English translations are required.

Upon admission to the University of Denver, official transcripts will be required from each institution attended.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation

Two (2) letters of recommendation are required.  Letters should be submitted by recommenders through the online application.

Required Essays and Statements

Essays and Statements

Personal Statement Instructions

A personal statement of at least 300 words is required. Your statement should include information concerning your life, education, experiences, interests and reason for applying to DU.


Résumé Instructions

Submit a resume that includes:
-Music education (e.g., teachers, degree programs, coursework, festivals)
-Other musical activities (e.g., performances of your works, performance activity, teaching, research)
-List of compositions (include instrumentation/medium, duration, year composed)

Other Required Materials

Other Required Materials

Additional requirements for this program:

Classical Emphasis: Submit a portfolio of 2-3 compositions, represented by scores and/or recordings. Please submit works that best represent your artistic interests and creative abilities. It is recommended that your application include at least one notated score; if some or all of your work is for electronics, improvisation, or other media for which notated scores are not standard, you may submit only audio or video recordings, as appropriate.
Recordings of notated works are optional but strongly encouraged. Live recordings or MIDI/electronic mockups are acceptable.
If you also compose in other genres (jazz, songwriting, folk, etc.) and would like to include examples of this in your application, you may submit them as supplemental materials (scores and/or recordings) in addition to your main portfolio of works.
Jazz Emphasis: All applicants must submit scores and recordings of two contrasting compositions/arrangements. Recordings may be audio or video. Applicants for jazz composition must also complete an audition. Prepare three contrasting pieces from the standard modern jazz canon of tunes that you feel best exemplify your talent. You will be required to perform the head or main melody and then to improvise. We're looking for loads of jazz vocabulary as well as a stellar swinging time feel.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are requiring recorded video auditions from all applicants as well as a live Zoom component.
Applicants will preference their top two (2) dates for the live component on the Lamont application.
Audition and interview requirements for jazz composition can be found on the Lamont School of Music website.



For more information about music admissions, financial aid, and the graduate programs that the Lamont School of Music offers, please refer to the department's admissions webpage.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the music admission process, please contact or call (303) 871-6973.

Start the Application

Online Application

Start Your Application

Your submitted materials will be reviewed once all materials and application fees have been received.

Apply Now

Our program can only consider your application for admission if our Office of Graduate Education has received all your online materials and supplemental materials by our application deadline.

Application Fee: $65.00 Application Fee

Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid Information

Applicants should complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15. Visit the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.