Scholarships and Awards

A number of scholarships and awards are designed specifically for students in the College of Music. 

Graduate students must enroll as full-time students, maintaining a 3.00 GPA, and make adequate progress toward their degrees. The college offers approximately 100 graduate assistantships as well as graduate fellowships and a variety of endowed scholarships for graduate students.

Academic Ethics

Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Cheating, plagiarism, illegitimate possession and disposition of examinations, alteration, forgery, or falsification of official records and similar acts or the attempt to engage in such acts are grounds for suspension or expulsion from the university.

In particular, students are advised that plagiarism consists of any act involving the offering of the work of someone else as their own. It is recommended that students consult with their instructors as to the proper preparation of reports, papers, etc., in order to avoid this and similar offenses. Students are expected to be acquainted with and abide by provisions of the University of Colorado Boulder Honor Code.

Scholastic Requirements

A student is required to maintain at least a B (3.0) grade point average in all work attempted while enrolled in the Graduate School, and a student must have at least an overall 3.0 average to receive a graduate degree. Courses in which grades below C (2.0) are received are not accepted for master’s degree programs or for the removal of academic deficiencies. 

Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 at any time during their graduate career will be placed on academic warning by the Graduate School.

Music majors are eligible for scholarships or renewal of their scholarships as long as they make satisfactory progress in their major (as determined by the faculty), demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in jury exams and auditions, participate in ensemble (when required in degree plan) and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Students who have a cumulative GPA below 3.00 will be placed on scholarship warning for a maximum of two semesters (consecutive or cumulative), provided the GPA improves each semester. Students on scholarship probation who do not earn a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher by the end of the probationary period will have their scholarships revoked.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for specific degree programs that supplement the Graduate School requirements are discussed in the degree program descriptions that follow. The GRE general test is required for the PhD program in Music Education. The GRE is strongly encouraged, but not required, for the PhD in Musicology and MM in Music Theory degrees. Applicants to the Master of Music Education program with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 must submit GRE scores to be considered for admission. 

Preliminary Examinations

Before the beginning of their first semester of work toward a master's or doctoral degree, students are given preliminary exams covering the major field, several areas of music theory and music history. Specific requirements vary with the student's degree and program. Students pursuing the master's and doctoral degrees in voice also must pass proficiency requirements in piano and diction (English, French, German and Italian). Choral students must pass diction requirements in French, German, Italian and Latin.

Results from the major-field examination serve as one basis for recommending specific coursework in the program. Conducting majors should be knowledgeable in areas of repertoire, score analysis and conducting techniques. Select performance majors are examined in the areas of technique, repertoire, stylistically informed performance and pedagogy. Students enrolled in the master's degree in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy must demonstrate knowledge of jazz theory and history and jazz keyboard proficiency.

College Teaching and Professional Development

Most graduate degrees in music require coursework in music pedagogy. Students who plan to teach at the college level are urged to be involved in the many offerings of CU Boulder's renowned Center for Teaching and Learning. Workshops, observations, consultations and other professional development opportunities are scheduled throughout the academic year. These include campus-level offerings as posted at the Center for Teaching and Learning website, as well as music-specific events organized by the Lead Teaching Assistants in the College of Music. The program offers three certificates that graduate students may pursue during their studies at CU Boulder: the Certificate in College Teaching (CCT), Professional Development Certificate for Preparing Future Faculty (PDC:PFF)and Professional Development Certificate for Preparing Future Professionals in Business, Government, Industry and the Arts (PDC:BGIA). For details, see Graduate Certificates.

Financial Aid

In addition to the opportunities for financial aid described in the Graduate School section, the College of Music grants merit aid in the form of teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships and graduate part-time instructorships (GPTI) to numerous graduate students each year. The assistantships and instructorships, which are usually one-quarter time (25 percent), include both a stipend and the waiver of 5 or 6 credit hours of tuition each semester. There are also scholarships offered by the individual departments and external fellowships awarded through the Graduate School. All prospective students who have completed their applications by December 1 will automatically be considered for available scholarships and assistantships.

English Language Requirements

A student who is noticeably deficient in the use of the English language may not obtain an advanced degree from the University of Colorado. Satisfaction of this requirement depends not so much upon ability to pass formal tests, although these may be required, as upon the consistent use of good English in all oral and written work.

Therefore, and English assessment exam (TOEFL, IELTS, DuoLingo are currently accepted, see here for an updated list of acceptable exams) is required of all international graduate applicants whose native language is not English. This includes applicants who have already completed a degree or studied in an English-speaking country for any length of time. An acceptable score must be reported directly to the CU Boulder Office of Admissions by the December 1 deadline in order for the applicant to be considered.

Graduate Auditions

Auditions are required for all performance and performance/pedagogy programs. A personal audition is strongly preferred and required for consideration of a Graduate Assistantship position. Note that some studios require a preliminary, recorded audition before a student may be invited to schedule an audition on campus. For specific information and audition dates, refer to the Prospective Graduate Students Auditions website or contact the office of the associate dean for graduate studies at 303-492-2207 or