Skip navigation

Audition Information

Undergraduate admission for music majors is a two-part procedure. Every student must be accepted by both the Office of Admissions and the School of Music in order to pursue a degree. The Office of Admissions uses ACT or SAT scores, GPA, high school ranking, and course-specific requirements to determine eligibility for admission. The School of Music accepts students after they complete a successful audition. While you may declare yourself as a music major when applying to the university, you will not achieve that status until you have auditioned and been formally accepted (in writing) by the School of Music.

A successful audition is required for admission as a music major to all undergraduate programs and most graduate programs. All prospective students are expected to perform an “in-person” audition. The actual playing audition for an undergraduate takes from 10 to 20 minutes. However, the entire audition/admissions process may take longer to complete.

If your travel situation makes this impossible you may submit your audition via videotape or CD, although some applied areas may request an appearance to corroborate the evaluation of the taped audition. You must obtain permission before sending your taped audition.

If you wish to pursue the emphasis in composition you may submit written examples of your work to the composition faculty in addition to the audition.

Auditionees must also demonstrate music literacy through sight-reading, aural comprehension, and pitch-matching. Individuals who have difficulty reading music due to a diagnosed medical condition (e.g., dyslexia, ADHD) must also demonstrate this competency at the time of their audition. Auditionees who have low vision may request large-print materials in advance of the audition. Auditionees who are blind must be proficient in Braille music notation.

In addition to your playing/singing audition, all applicants to the School of Music are required to:

  1. Submit a School of Music application.
  2. Submit two letters of recommendation.
  3. Compete the online theory test (incoming freshmen only). Transfer students will be tested on theory/aural skills on the Friday before classes begin.
  4. Apply to the university through the Admissions Office as soon as possible.
    You do not need to be accepted to the university before you audition for us, but we do encourage you to apply early.

All of the above forms can be found on our website or can be requested from:

Coordinator of Admissions
Northern Illinois University
School of Music



Admissions Coordinator

Lynn Slater
School of Music
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Office: 815-753-1546

Contact Us

Music Building
8 a.m.-noon; 1-4:30 p.m.

Request information about the School of Music

CPVA Homepage

NIU Arts Blog

Follow us on