How to Apply
Collegiate Apply / Request Information
We are excited to hear you!
- September 20 - Application opens
- December 4 - 12:00 pm PST - Application deadline**
- Mid-December - Prescreen invites and denies released
- Mid-December - Audition Sign-Up
- January and February - Auditions
- Mid-March - Admission decisions released
- April 1 - Financial aid statements released
- April 15 - Graduate and postgraduate admission response deadline
- May 1 - Undergraduate admission response deadline
**The application deadline has passed! Late applications will be considered on a limited case-by-case basis. You must write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request to submit a late application. Some programs require prescreening recordings with the application deadline. Please visit the Auditions page for details.
- September 20 - Application opens*
- November 1 - Application deadline
- November 13-20 - Auditions
- November 30 - Admission decisions released
- December 8 - Applicant response deadline
*Not all programs accept applications for Spring 2024. Please visit the Auditions page for details.
Requirements and Materials
Auditions are required for all degree programs. Review the audition requirements for your specific area of study. Please note, requirements are different for each degree program.
Spring and Fall 2024 applicants who are unable to attend a live audition at SFCM are especially encouraged to inquire about sample lessons and/or phone calls with faculty they listed as a preference in the application to supplement their recordings or interview.
All applicants must submit responses to the following writing prompts and a self-recorded video. TAC and chamber music applicants have additional writing prompts. Please visit the audition pages for more information.
- Essay #1: Please describe your career goals and how you envision attending SFCM will enable you to achieve these ambitions. (300-500 words)
- Essay #2: At SFCM, we bring people together to better the lives of others through music. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (300-500 words)
- Video Response: 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.
- TAC Applicants and Chamber Music: Applicants for Technology and Applied Composition and the String and Piano Chamber Music program have additional writing prompts. Please visit the audition pages for more information.
Two letters of recommendation are required for all degree levels (see degree type requirements below). Recommendation letters are only accepted through an online form sent to recommenders after the applicant has entered their contact information in the admissions application. Letters may be submitted prior to the student submitting their application. For fall semester entry, recommendation letters must be received by January 10.
Recommendations by degree type:
- Composition: For applicants who have not studied privately, please include at least one recommender who can speak about your musical abilities. Additional recommenders may be anyone who can speak in regards to your work ethic and character; they do not need to be within a music field.
- Performance: One recommendation must be from the applicant's current private music teacher or ensemble director.
- TAC: For applicants who have not studied privately, please include at least one recommender who can speak about your musical abilities. Additional recommenders may be anyone who can speak in regards to your work ethic and character; they do not need to be within a music field.
Unofficial transcripts must be submitted in the "Academic History" section of the application. We accept PDFs or screenshots from online portals or paper copies converted to PDF. Students should not order official transcripts until after being admitted to the program.
Final official transcripts: Admitted students must order official transcripts to be sent to the Office of Admission by July 1. Students should not order official transcripts until after being admitted to the program. We accept final transcripts from the institution only via email (email@example.com), a secure online portal, or post/mail. Final transcripts must meet the following guidelines: language in English, indicate degree completed, show a cumulative GPA on the US 4.0 scale, and must contain an official seal or signature. Students who will complete their degree after July 1 must contact the Office of Admission prior to this deadline.
Transcripts per student type:
- Undergraduate Applicants: First-year and transfer applicants should submit transcripts from all institutions attended. This includes high school and college/university. First-year applicants should submit college/university transcripts if attending running-start or college in the high school. Home-schooled applicants are required to submit either an official transcript issued by an accredited institution, or the diploma from the GED or CHSPE. Admitted transfer students will receive a transfer year assessment from the Office of Academic Affairs following the release of their admission decision.
- Graduate and Postgraduate Applicants: Submit transcripts from all colleges attend. The Conservatory will not accept any transfer credit at the graduate or postgraduate level. SFCM does not require your high school transcripts.
- International Students: In addition to the requirements above, 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 Admissions may require that international transcripts be evaluated by an organization specializing in foreign credential evaluation, such as Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ece.org), World Education Services (wes.org), or Spantran.
- Undergraduate Home School Applicants: Applicants must submit 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.
- AP/IB Scores: SFCM grants credit for certain AP and IB (International Baccalaureate) exams. These test scores must be uploaded in the application. Please visit the Transfer Information page for more details.
SFCM does not have a overall GPA minimum for admission. However, 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.
- Undergraduate Applicants, Home School: Home-schooled applicants must earn either a GED or the equivalent of a public school diploma by taking the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) before they can enroll at SFCM.
- Transfer Applicants: Transfer 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.
- Graduate and Artist Diploma Applicants: Applicants for Graduate and Artist Diploma programs must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, university, or conservatory in order to attend SFCM. We accept applications from students with a degree in an area other than music. The Conservatory will not accept any transfer credit at the graduate level.
- Postgraduate Applicants: Applicants for the Postgraduate programs must hold both a bachelor's and master's degree from accredited colleges, universities, or conservatories in order to attend SFCM. We accept applications from students with a degree in an area other than music. The Conservatory will not accept any transfer credit at the postgraduate level.
Current exceptions include:
- Full Fee Automatically Waived: Current students and alumni of the SFCM collegiate, continuing education, pre-college divisions, and applicants being considered for the Denis de Coteau Fellowship.
- Reduced Fee: Applicants who register and attend an in-person campus tour or college fair with SFCM will have the fee automatically reduced to $50.
- School Counselors: 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Applicants who do not qualify for the fee waivers listed above may complete the Application Fee Waiver Request Form linked on the first page of the application to be considered for an application fee waiver or reduction.
All application fee waiver requests must be submitted before November 28 in order to be processed in time for the December 1 deadline.