1. Admissions

How to Apply

We cannot wait to hear you.

Spring and Fall 2021 Application Timelines

Spring 2021 (All Programs*)

  • September 15 - Application opens
  • November 1 - Application and recordings due
  • November 15-29 - Virtual performance interviews held through Zoom
  • December 1 - Admission decisions released
  • December 15 - Applicant response deadline

*Not all programs accept applications for Spring 2021. Please visit the Auditions page for details.

Fall 2021 (Prescreened Programs)

  • September 15 - Application opens
  • December 1 - Application and prescreening recordings due
  • January 5 - Prescreen invites and denies sent by this date
  • January 22 - Prescreen invitees will have selected a virtual performance interview by this date. Recordings fulfilling the Final Audition repertoire will be due one week before the selected virtual performance interview time.
  • February 7 to March 1 - Virtual performance interviews held using Zoom. Details regarding exact virtual performance interview formats will be sent in December.
  • March 15 to 30 - Admission decisions released
  • April 15 - Graduate and postgraduate admission response deadline
  • May 1 - Undergraduate admission response deadline

Fall 2021 (Non-Prescreened Programs)

  • September 15 - Application opens
  • December 1 - Application due
  • January 8 - Applicants will have selected a virtual performance interview time by this date. Recordings fulfilling the Final Audition repertoire will be due three weeks before the selected virtual performance interview time.
  • January 17 to March 1 - Virtual performance interviews held using Zoom. Details regarding exact virtual performance interview formats will be sent in December.
  • March 15 to 30 - Admission decisions released
  • April 15 - Graduate and postgraduate admission response deadline
  • May 1 - Undergraduate admission response deadline

Requirements and Materials

Auditions

Spring and Fall 2021 applicants will be required to submit a Final Audition Recording and attend a virtual performance interview. Depending on program area, this virtual performance interview may include live performance and/or a speaking interview with the faculty or other members of the admission committee. Applicants will receive details regarding their virtual performance interview format in December. See your specific area of study for more information about audition repertoire requirements.

Application Fee

A non-refundable $110 application fee must be paid by credit card to the submit application. Current students and alumni of the SFCM collegiate, continuing education, and pre-college divisions have a reduced application fee of $50.

 

SFCM accepts application fee waiver requests from students demonstrating high need. Counselors for current high school students may submit the NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form. Note that this completed form must come directly from the high school counselor to SFCM via email or postal service. Applicants who demonstrate high need and do not qualify for the NACAC fee waiver or are applying for a graduate or postgraduate program must complete the Application Fee Waiver Request Form linked on the Review page of the application to be considered for an application fee waiver or reduction.

 

All application fee waiver requests must be submitted before Sunday, November 29 in order to be processed in time for the December 1 deadline.

Letters of Recommendation

All applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation. One must be from the applicant's current private music teacher or ensemble director. The applicant will provide the names and email addresses of three recommenders when completing the application.

 

An email with detailed instructions for completing the recommendation form will be sent to each individual recommender as soon as the applicant enters their contact information in the application. Recommendations must be submitted electronically through the recommendation form. A recommender may submit their recommendation form whether the applicant has submitted the application yet or not.

 

Recommendations should be received no later than January 1.

Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts must be submitted with the application before December 1. These should be uploaded in the "Academic History" section of the application, and may be a screenshot of an online portal or a PDF of a paper copy. If you are admitted and decide to attend, you will be responsible for submitting an original copy of your final official transcripts to the SFCM Office of Admission no later than July 1. Final official transcripts are in English, indicate a degree has been completed, contain an official seal or signature, have a cumulative GPA on the USA 4.0 scale, and come to SFCM directly from the institution via email, a secure online system, or post. Students completing their degrees after July 1 must contact the Office of Admission prior to the deadline.

 

  • Undergraduate applicants: Please submit transcripts from all high schools attended. Home-schooled applicants are required to submit either an official transcript issued by an accredited institution, or the diploma from the GED or CHSPE. In addition, home-schooled applicants need to submit SAT or ACT scores.
  • Undergraduate transfer applicants: Please submit all high school and college transcripts.
  • Graduate and postgraduate applicants: Please submit all college transcripts. SFCM does not require your high school transcripts.
  • International students must provide notarized course-by-course translations of their final official transcripts if the originals are not issued in English. The Office of Admission may require that international transcripts be evaluated by an organization specializing in foreign credential evaluation, such as World Education Services (wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ece.org).
Short Essays and Writing Samples

All applicants must submit responses to the following writing prompts:

  • Please include a brief essay discussing your career goals as a professional musician. (300-500 words)
  • Please describe the factors that will guide your collegiate admission decision and briefly discuss why, specifically, you have applied to SFCM. (300-500 words)

 

All applicants must submit a video responding to the following prompt:

  • Who is an artist you admire and how have they influenced your art? (60 seconds or fewer)

Note that this video submission does not have an affect on admission. It is for the faculty to get to know you better.

 

Applicants for Technology and Applied Composition have an additional writing prompt. Please visit the TAC Auditions page for more information.

Applicants for the Master of Music degree program must also upload a writing sample, such as an academic paper, from their undergraduate studies.

Academic Requirements for Admission

Admitted undergraduate applicants with a GPA less than 2.5 (4.0 scale) and graduate and postgraduate applicants with a GPA less than 3.0 (4.0 scale) at their previous institution are offered admission to the Conservatory with Academic Probation status. In order to have the probation status removed, these students will need to maintain the minimum GPA requirements during their first year.

 

  • Freshman Applicants
    • Diploma from accredited high school, GED, CHSPE, or transcript (if home-schooled).
  • Home-Schooled Applicants
    • Official transcript issued by an accredited institution, or diploma from the GED or CHSPE
    • Official SAT or ACT scores to support transcripts. The Conservatory's school code for SAT is 4744; the code for the ACT is 0403. SFCM will accept scores as official if they are listed on the student's official school transcript.
  • Transfer Applicants
    • Students wishing to transfer to the Conservatory from another institution must show evidence of a satisfactory academic record at all institutions of higher education and secondary schools attended, and are required to submit official transcripts from all of the institutions attended. Admitted transfer students will receive a transfer year assessment from the Office of Academic Affairs immediately following the release of their admission decision.
    • SFCM also grants credit for certain AP and IB (International Baccalaureate) exams. These test scores must be uploaded in the application. Please visit the Transfer Students page for more information.
  • Master of Music and Artist Certificate Applicants
    • Applicants for the Master of Music degree and Artist Certificate programs are expected to hold a bachelor's degree in music from an accredited college, university, or conservatory. A student who has a degree in an area other than music and who has had excellent audition results and experience in music theory and history may be considered. Others may be recommended for admission as transfers into the undergraduate program. Graduate students may be able to transfer graduate credits to the Conservatory’s undergraduate program. The Conservatory will not accept any transfer credit at the graduate level.
Three SFCM students out in San Francisco