We regret to announce that the University of Chicago will not accept applications for the PhD program in Music during the 2021 admissions cycle. As we focus our resources on supporting students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will pause on bringing new students into the program until Autumn 2022. This was a difficult decision, but we are prioritizing supporting students who have already matriculated in the department. We encourage you to consider applying in the Autumn of 2021 for the Autumn 2022 cohort. If you have any questions, please contact

Prof. Thomas Christensen, Music Department Faculty Director of Recruitment

If you wish to apply for graduate study in the Department of Music, please visit the Division of Humanities Admissions page for more information and to complete the Division of Humanities online application. Applications include electronic submission of the following materials:

  • Personal statement (1-2 single-spaced pages)
  • Two writing samples (around 20 pages each)
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Official GRE scores (institutional code 1832)
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores if applicant is international or a non-native English speaker
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Application fee of $90 (fee waivers are available to applicants for whom the fee represents a financial hardship)
  • Departmental Supplemental Form (accessible via the online application, no need to mail physical copy)

Composers should also upload recent scores (.PDF) and recordings (.MP3) directly to the application.

(For large video files or to submit hard copies as a supplement to your digital application, write to and for further instructions.)

*The deadline to apply is December 15.*


Additional Details:

  • Your writing samples indicate to the faculty your scope and ability for future research. Two samples (around 20 pages each) are requested.
  • The GRE General Test is required of all applicants for admission. You may self-report your GRE general exam scores if necessary, provided that official GRE scores come directly from the test site.
  • The TOEFL is required for all non-native/international applicants. As per University requirements, the minimum required score for the TOEFL is 104 overall, with 4 sub scores of 26 each.
  • Personal recommendations are an important part of the application process. Upon the completion of your application through Slate, when you click "send", the system will generate a prompt to each email address you provide. Your recommenders may submit their letters online in support of your application.

International applicants may visit the University's English Language Requirements page for more information, and they may write to with additional questions about eligibility. Prospective and incoming international students can find further information on the Department of the Humanities' International Students page.

If you have additional questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Admissions at or 773.702.1552. You may also reach the Music Department at or 773.702.2089.