School of Music Admissions & Audition/Exam Request Form

AUDITION DATES for entry into the 2022-2023 ACADEMIC YEAR COMING SOON.

Certain instrumental areas may have restrictions on available dates. Up-to-date information on date restrictions can be found below.

Select the options below to learn more about the School of Music admissions procedure.


Step 1

Apply to the University of Kentucky. When you select “Music Major” in your UK Admissions Application, you will be classified as “Pre-Music” pending the results of your audition (Step 2). Try to apply for UK admission prior to February 1. Acceptance into School of Music programs is contingent upon acceptance by the UK Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Step 2

Apply for a School of Music audition. The audition will determine your acceptance into the School of Music programs.
An audition is REQUIRED for all prospective Music Majors or Minors.

  • After carefully reading the instructions, fill out the form below to register for an audition.
  • Audition FAQs can be found in a tab below.
  • Certain programs have repertoire requirements that must be demonstrated at your audition. Check your desired Area of Study for more information.

If you do not pass your audition, or otherwise decide not to be a Music major or Minor, contact UK Admissions to change your major. You will not be able to take courses intended for music majors or minors until you have passed your Music audition.

Selecting an Audition Date

If you audition after our regularly scheduled audition dates, you may not be able to compete for certain scholarship opportunities, and some programs you want may be filled to capacity. Also, the audition process is competitive -- if you should choose to arrange your audition before these dates, a decision on your acceptance may or may not be delayed until after students have been heard on the regular dates.

In certain circumstances, auditions may be scheduled at other times by direct arrangement with our faculty at their discretion. If you are admitted as a Music major or Minor you will automatically be considered for any School of Music scholarships or grants for which you are eligible. For other financial aid, including merit scholarships, grants, work-study, loans, etc., see the UK Office of Student Financial Aid.

Transfer students: You must obtain a letter of release from your current institution before you can be considered for a scholarship at the University of Kentucky School of Music.

International students: Visit UK’s International Admission Information page.

Alltech Competition: Invitations to audition in the Alltech competition are made based on your UK admissions auditions. All students are considered for the competition when they audition for admission.

Graduate - Application & Audition

Step 1

Apply to the University of Kentucky Graduate School. You must apply to the UK Graduate School before proceeding with your School of Music application. Visit the Graduate School website for details and deadlines.

Step 2

Schedule a School of Music Entrance Exam in music theory (aural and written) and music history. If you are seeking a performance degree you must also schedule an Audition. Auditions and Entrance Exams are offered on the same dates. If applying for the fall semester, you should take the exams early and complete your application by March 15. Proceed to the form below to apply.

Step 3

Attend your School of Music Entrance Exam and (if applicable) Audition.

Note: a pre-audition screening is required for the following programs. Click below for details:

  1. Graduate Voice Screening (Deadline: December 1) - Send to: Voice Faculty
  2. Graduate Percussion Screening (Deadline: December 1) - Send to: James Campbell
  3. Graduate Choral Conducting Screening (Deadline: December 15) - Send to: Jefferson Johnson

Graduate - Entrance Exams

PLEASE NOTE! For applied performance degrees (e.g., MM and DMA), Entrance Exams are not REQUIRED until a week or so before the Fall term begins in August, but applicants who wish to be considered for an assistantship in music theory or history or who want to know what they should study in order to be eligible to bypass required review classes may take them on one of the scheduled dates. The exams are largely diagnostic tests and are not evaluated with your other admission materials.

For academic degrees (e.g., those in Music History, Music Theory and Composition, Music Education, and Music Therapy) Entrance Exams ARE part of the application process, along with a personal interview (on-line, if conditions dictate). Applicants for these areas should contact the division coordinator in the particular area to arrange for the interview and exams.

For applicants to the Music Therapy Program, the music theory and music history entrance exams are part of the application process for students who are already board-certified. For equivalency students, the music theory and music history entrance exams are diagnostic and may be taken in August. The music therapy essay entrance exam and the personal interview (both of which may be conducted online or in person) are part of the application process for all applicants to the music therapy program.

QuestionsJoanne Filkins

Area Examinations

Certain programs have special exam requirements. Unless otherwise noted, these requirements are in addition to those listed above:

Music Education, applicants for the M.M. degree

This is a one-hour exam in the area of specialization, either Choral/General or Instrumental. Each exam will consist of discussions of methodology, materials, terminology, and influential persons in the area of specialization.

Music Education, applicants for the Ph.D. degree

This exam consists of discussions of methodology, materials, history of music education practices, influential persons, and resource materials of research significance.

Musicology, applicants for the Ph.D. degree

In this exam, students are given a musical element and/or genre and asked to trace it through several epochs of the history of music. Students will also be asked to discuss one or more specialized topics in areas including music research and bibliography, music in vernacular and cultivated traditions, music and culture, and Western idioms and styles.

Music Therapy, applicants for graduate M.M. in Music Therapy degree

This exam replaces the requirements listed above. Applicants to the music therapy program should contact Dr. Olivia Yinger to schedule an examination date. Applicants should bring a writing utensil and 6-8 sheets of lined notebook paper to their music therapy entrance examinations.

  • Music Theory: This exam consists of both aural and written theory elements. Questions will be either multiple choice format or score analysis. Concepts include:
    • Aural recognition of intervals, chords and scale patterns.
    • Aural recognition of various musical elements like meter, tonality, etc.
    • Written fundamentals like part writing, modulation, modes, meter, cadences, common scales/chord progressions will be included.
    • Basic knowledge of popular music form and structure.
    • Analysis skills including score analysis, transposition, key recognition, etc. will be included. 

The following websites are useful study guides for the music theory entrance exam: Ear Training and Tutorials.

  • Music History: This exam consists of 7 sections - Medieval/Renaissance Period, Baroque Period, Classic Period, Romantic Period, Modern Period, Jazz and Popular Music, and Non-Western Music - of 5 multiple-choice questions. Students will be asked to answer 5 questions in each section.

The following websites are useful study guides for the music history entrance exam: Flashcards and Resources

Vocal Performance, applicants for the M.M. degree

This is a one-hour exam covering composers and works in the history of art song, pedagogy, diction, performers, and poets.

Vocal Performance, applicants for the D.M.A. degree

This exam covers composers, literary figures, and performers in the history of opera and art song. Students will be asked to discuss aspects of vocal pedagogy, and to transcribe texts into the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Admissions FAQ

Is there a separate application form for School of Music admission?

Not for undergraduates. Your audition request, along with your application to UK, is your application.
Graduate students require applications to the UK Graduate School, the School of Music Audition/Exam Request, as well as the submission of other materials depending upon the chosen Area of Study.

When will I get confirmation of my audition time?

You will receive an email a week or two before your chosen date if you register early, or soon after you fill out the Audition Request Form if you register late.

Where do I go?

As your scheduled audition date approaches you will receive an email with details. If you are auditioning at a time other than on one of our listed audition days, please consult with the faculty member who has scheduled your audition.

Where can I park?

Most “E” lots are unregulated on Saturdays, but you should read the restrictions posted at the entrance to any parking lot. Be prepared to park a block or more from your audition venue. The Singletary Center has a drop-off entrance on Rose Street. For the Fine Arts building, use the lower level entrance on Patterson Drive. Parking structure #5 is close to our facilities. Although you will have to pay to park here it may be easier than trying to find an available spot. Allow plenty of time to find parking. Visitor parking information and maps are available from UK Transportation Services.

I'm coming from out of town. Where should I stay in Lexington?

Please see the UK Visitors Center for information.

Will there be an accompanist provided?

A professional accompanist is provided for voice auditions only. Other auditions are performed without accompaniment. You may bring your own accompanist, but it is not required.

Do I need to bring copies of my music?

You do not need to bring extra copies of your music except for the vocal accompanist.

Will I be able to warm up before my audition?

Practice rooms are available in the Fine Arts Building. UK School of Music student guides will be provided to you during the Audition Orientation to take you to these rooms and to your audition location.

How many people will be listening to my audition?

Auditions may be heard by a single instrumental faculty member, or by several faculty in a division. Graduate auditions usually have at least three faculty.

What repertoire should I have prepared?

Please check the page for your desired Area of Study for more information.

Can I get a campus tour while I'm there?

Information sessions and campus tours should be arranged through the UK Visitors Center, and College of Fine Arts tours can be arranged through our Visit Us form.

When will I know the results of my audition?

You will receive notification by mail from the School of Music after all prospective students in your area of specialty have been heard. Auditions are completed in early March, with notices being sent a few weeks after.

When will I know if I will be offered a Music scholarship?

You will hear from us about your acceptance into the School of Music before you hear about scholarships. Scholarships are competitive, so we need to have heard all prospective students before making final decisions. For new students, scholarship decisions will be made by no later than April 15.

Who can I contact for more information?

How do I sign up to perform in a music ensemble?

Most ensembles are open to all UK students regardless of Major or Minor, and we encourage you to join! Ensemble audition signup sheets are posted beginning the week before classes each semester in the Fine Arts Building. Check the bulletin boards or contact the faculty in charge of each ensemble for details.

If you are ready to apply, please read the instructions carefully and fill out this form to request an audition for admissions, scholarships, and graduate entrance exams. This form is NOT for ensemble auditions.
To contact us for any other reason, please use email.

  • All undergraduate programs require an audition. If you are applying for a graduate program that does not require a performance audition, please use this form to request an Entrance Exam date and ignore the parts relating to the audition.
  • If you have not yet applied for admission to the University of Kentucky, please do so. You must be accepted by BOTH the University AND the School of Music.
  • Your admissions audition serves also as your scholarship audition. You are automatically considered for any scholarships for which you qualify. You do not need to apply separately for a music scholarship except for graduate fellowships and assistantships.
  • Please check the page for your area of interest and/or instrument for any repertoire requirements before filling out this form.


Graduate Voice, Graduate Choral Conducting, and Graduate Percussion auditions require a pre-screening DVD to be submitted before you are invited to audition.

If you have your student Wildcard ID, this number should be listed along the bottom. If you have your acceptance materials, this number should be listed in your link blue information. Otherwise, if you do not know your UK ID number, please leave this blank to prevent confusion.
Please provide the name AND location of your highschool.
In-person auditions may have to be modified in January 2021, pending the latest information about COVID in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Virtual auditions still need to select their preferred audition date below, as the Zoom call will still be scheduled for one of those dates.
PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT apply for a graduate program (Masters or Doctorate) until you have completed a Bachelors degree.
This is your preferred program. You may qualify for other programs upon your audition/admission.
This will determine which faculty will hear your audition. If you plan to audition in more than one instrument, please submit a separate form for each audition request and note the fact in the comments field below.
Please select the audition date that works best for you. If there are extenuating circumstances that make these dates impossible, please contact the School of Music or the head of your Area of Study to see if another meeting can be arranged. PLEASE NOTE: Not all instruments can be heard on all dates. January, including special arrangements on unofficial dates, Piano area auditions are not available. Please select a February date or contact a Piano faculty member to see if a special date can be arranged after January. Voice auditions for February 12th and 26th are now closed, please select another date or contact the voice area for special arrangements.
This is your preferred program. You may qualify for other programs upon your audition/admission.
This will determine which faculty will hear your audition. NOTE: If you plan to audition in more than one instrument, please submit a separate form for each audition request and note the fact in the comments field below.

Some areas of study require a written graduate entrance exam as part of the application materials for the degree. These exams are offered on Saturday mornings, 9:00AM-12:00PM of audition weekends. Only PhD students and those interested in TAs in musicology or music theory need to take the exams at that time. Please contact the division coordinator or studio teacher to confirm whether they require completion of the graduate entrance exam during audition weekends as part of the application process.

Please select the audition date that works best for you. If there are extenuating circumstances that make these dates impossible, please contact the School of Music or the head of your Area of Study to see if another meeting can be arranged. PLEASE NOTE: Not all instruments can be heard on all dates.

Special arrangements for auditions and exams MUST be made with faculty and/or proctors BEFORE submitting this application.  This option is not for inquiries or tentative scheduling.  Please contact the division or program head in your Area of Study, or speak with the graduate exam proctor to make any special arrangements.  Questions about graduate entrance exams may be directed to Joanne Filkins.

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