SFCM students playing violin in class

Breakdown of costs for tuition and other expenses at SFCM.

The numbers below apply to all undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs.

2020–21 Tuition

Full-time student
$47,800 annually / $23,900 per semester

Full-time students who wish to register for credits in excess of 18.5 in the Fall or Spring (not counting ensembles) must pay a per-credit fee of $2,100.

Secondary/additional instrument instruction

  • One hour-long lesson per week: $10,660 annually / $5,330 per semester
  • One half-hour lesson per week: $5,330 annually / $2,665 per semester

Part-time student
Per academic credit
$4,200 annually / $2,100 per semester

Private instruction (one hour-long lesson per week)
$19,080 annually / $9,540 per semester

SFCM Student Budget

Students should come to SFCM fully prepared to meet their tuition, fees, and living expenses. Although living expenses will vary considerably, the following figures should help students plan a budget for the academic year:

2020 - 2021 SFCM Student Budget (budget is based on nine-month academic year)
This is the budget that will be used for purposes of financial aid. If you have any questions please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Budget Category All new UG students Living in Bowes Center All continuing students & New Grad Students Living in Bowes Center All Students living Off-campus
Tuition $47,800 $47,800 $47,800
Housing $13,400(1) $13,400(1) See estimate below(2)
Dining Plan(3) $5,000 $2,500 $1,000
Comprehensive Fee $900 $900 $900
Health Services Fee $350 $350 $350
Total Tuition and Required Fees $67,450 $64,950 $50,050
Estimated additional student expenses
Books and Supplies $975 $975 $975
Rental Housing Estimate $0; See above Housing Charge $0; See above Housing Charge $16,200(2)
Personal Expenses Estimate(4) $5,200 $7,100 $6,100
Health Insurance *** *** ***
Total Budget $73,625 $73,025 $73,325
  1. Housing is based on a shared room at the Bowes Center. On-campus housing is required for Undergraduates in accordance with the Residency Requirement Policy.
  2. Students who live off-campus estimated $1,800/month rent for the 9-month academic year.
  3. Dining plan charge is the minimum required plan based on residency status and class year. See the Dining Services website for more information.
  4. Personal expenses include travel expenses, toiletries, clothing, entertainment, and additional food outside of the dining plan.

***All full-time students are required to have health insurance. Undergraduate cost of the Student Health Insurance Plan is $2,140 ($895 for Fall, $1,245 for Spring and Summer), and the Graduate student cost is $3,178 per year, ($1,325 for Fall and $1,853 for Spring/Summer). Fall coverage is from August 1 to December 31 (5 months) and Spring/Summer coverage is from January 1 to July 31 (7 months). All students will have this charge on their student billing account until waived with proof of insurance and a signed waiver form.

Student Health Insurance Plan 

Term Payment Plan (TPP)

For students who want to pay on a monthly basis, the Conservatory offers an in-house Term Payment Plan for a one-time fee of $50 per semester. Tuition, fees, and housing (if applicable) for each semester will be divided into four equal payments, due at the beginning of each month. A $25 late fee is charged for all payments submitted after the 5th of the month. For more information on this plan, please read the Term Payment Plan Enrollment Form below. The first installment for the Fall 2020 semester is due September 18, 2020. Please note that this plan doesn't automatically renew; to keep using it, you must enroll every semester.

Term Payment Plan Enrollment Form 

Payment of Tuition and Fees

The $500 enrollment reservation is required of all students and is credited to the tuition payment due for the Fall semester. The enrollment reservation is non-refundable if the student fails to register, and is due from new graduate and postgraduate students by April 15, and from new undergraduate students by May 1. The enrollment deposit should be paid through the admitted student's application status page after indicating attendance through the Reply to Offer of Admission form.

The balance of Fall tuition and fees must be paid when Fall classes begin. Spring tuition and fees must be paid when Spring classes begin. Students may also enroll in the Term Payment Plan (please see above).

Payments can be made by cash, check, or credit card:

  • Checks can be mailed to SFCM, in care of the Business Office (50 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA 94102), or they can be brought in person. Checks should be made out to “The San Francisco Conservatory of Music” or “SFCM.”
  • Credit card payments can be made over the phone, in person, or online at sfcm.edu/payment.
    • Foreign credit cards are accepted.
    • Please DO NOT email your credit card information. As part of our PCI Compliance, we don’t send or receive credit card information in unencrypted forms.
  • If you wish to wire funds to SFCM, please contact Anna Semina in the Business Office.

Late Registration Fees

  • First week: $250
  • Each subsequent week: $50
  • Late Payment Fee: $75
  • Late Tuition Payment Plan Fee: $25
  • Non-Sufficient Funds Fee: $25

Use the Net Price Calculator to get a sense of the cost of attendance based on what similar students paid in a previous year.

To view our Refund Policy, please visit sfcm.edu/refund-policy


Get in touch with the business office.

Anna Semina
Student Accounts Manager

Solanch Sosa


BM, Violin

“I’ve known since childhood that if I wanted to be a professional classical musician, I would need to work hard to get a scholarship at a conservatory. I started playing violin at age 7 in my home city of Cienfuegos, Cuba, where I was selected to attend an elementary school with a rigorous music program. When my family immigrated to the United States several years later, however, the cost of continuing my music education became a challenge, as my Spanish-speaking parents struggled to cover our family’s basic needs with minimum-wage jobs. So, for the past ten years, I practiced nine hours a day with the hope of earning a scholarship that would enable me to continue my training at the highest level. . . When I received my acceptance letter to SFCM and a generous scholarship that made it possible for me to attend, it was one of the happiest moments in my life.”