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James Madison University School of Music

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Welcome to the online application site for the graduate programs of 
James Madison University School of Music.

At this time, this site is for Graduate Admissions only. If you are a high school student and wish to apply to our undergraduate program, please click here.

James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley approximately one hour from Charlottesville and two hours from Washington, D.C. and Richmond.  

The School of Music, an all-Steinway school, offers the following graduate programs: Master of Music in Music with Concentrations in Composition, Conducting, Music Education, or Performance and Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance, Pedagogy, Literature with Concentrations in Performance and Conducting. The Doctor of Musical Arts degree has been designed to make graduates more marketable in higher education by emphasizing pedagogy and literature along with advanced conducting or performance skills. Candidates with a B.M. or its equivalent earned before Fall of their beginning semester at JMU are eligible to apply for the M.M. and candidates with an M.M. earned before Fall of their beginning semester at JMU are eligible to apply for the D.M.A.

Please note that we are not accepting applicants for the D.M.A. for the Multiple Woodwind area in the Performance, Pedagogy, Literature concentration.


Our Graduate Application is in two parts, the Graduate School Application and the School of Music Application (make sure you don't skip either step!):

1. The Graduate School application consists of an application form accompanied by a fee of $60. If you are an international applicant, please also follow the links on the Graduate School webpage to the additional documents required of you. Click HERE to apply to the Graduate School.

2. The School of Music application consists of the following documents and pre-screening video submitted through Acceptd accompanied by a fee of $30:

  • Curriculum Vitae or Résumé (including a repertoire list for applied and conducting applicants).
  • Written 3-4 page statement of educational and professional goals and your interest in the program. 
  • Unofficial Transcripts. Note that the Graduate School does not require official transcripts to be sent to them unless you have already been accepted by the School of Music. If you are an international applicant and have an unofficial credential evaluation and unofficial TOEFL scores such as screen shots, please also submit them here if available.
  • Preliminary audition video recording (for MM and DMA conducting and performance) OR a portfolio of sample compositions (for MM composition only) OR a teaching audition video (for the MM music education only). For information about this pre-screening requirement, please select your area/instrument above in "Start an Application." You may review the requirements before starting your application. If your instrument is not listed on the drop-down menu, please consult the School of Music website and contact the faculty member in your area. JMU Website 
  • All applicants will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of THREE persons who will be asked by us to write confidential letters of recommendation. For music education applicants, at least one must be a supervisor/educator who has seen them teaching (such as a high school principal). Other recommenders should be professionals who know your work such as your applied teacher or other college professor.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Deadline for Assistantship Consideration*: December 1, 2022

  • All applicants who wish to be considered for an assistantship* must have complete files by this date, which include application to the Graduate School and submission of all materials required on getacceptd.com (Note:  three letters of recommendation from recommenders qualified to write about the applicant are due by December 17). Applicants will be notified approximately by the end of the first week in January whether they have been invited to audition or interview at James Madison University. Auditions/interviews must take place by February 11, 2023.

*MM Summer-Only Music Education applicants please note that there is no possibility of an assistantship in the summer.

Deadline for Admission Only (no assistantship consideration): March 30, 2023.  

  • Application files must be complete including audition/interview or composition portfolio for all graduate music programs.

For questions regarding Graduate Programs at the James Madison University, please contact Dr. William Dabback at (540)568-3464 or dabbacwm@jmu.edu.

For technical questions, please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.