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Admissions FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Peabody Institute admissions process.

Application Basics

On The Application Form

Starting Early

Preparing for Your Audition

At Your Audition

How We Decide

Once You're Accepted

Beyond The Classroom

International Students

Still have questions? Visit Mr. Lane's Admissions Tips for more information about music, music schools, and music degrees.

Application Basics

How do I apply?

Applying to Peabody is easy! Our electronic application becomes available around mid-September and can by found by clicking here.

When do I need to submit my application?

You need to submit your application by December 1 if you want to audition at Peabody in February, or if you are an undergrad and want to audition at a regional location.
You need to submit your application by April 15 if you want to audition at Peabody in May. Note: that there are no auditions or interviews in May for several majors, and for any DMA programs.
Those applying to majors involving pre-screening should upload their pre-screening video to DecisionDesk by the application deadlines.

Do I have to apply and/or be accepted to JHU before I can come to Peabody?

No. Peabody is a division of The Johns Hopkins University, but you only have to apply to Peabody to be accepted here. The only exception is for students planning to pursue double degrees.

What's the difference between a degree program and a diploma program?

Degree programs have an academic component to them. Diploma programs are focused almost entirely on performance.
For undergraduate students earning a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree, 75 percent of courses are performance and musical academics, while 25 percent of courses are liberal arts (general studies) courses.
Undergraduate students in the Performers Certificate Program (PC) do not take liberal arts courses and typically complete the program in three years.
Graduate students earning a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts focus exclusively on music performance and musical academic study. These programs are limited to private study, recitals, and ensembles where appropriate.

I was home schooled. Can I still apply to Peabody?

Absolutely! Applicants to Peabody must either have graduated from an accredited high school or have a high school equivalency certificate or diploma (GED). Without a high school degree or GED, Peabody will consider musically acceptable applicants for admission on a case by case basis. To determine whether an applicant is able to complete college-level academic work, Peabody will consider a transcript from an accredited home schooling agency, standardized test scores (such as SAT or ACT), results from Peabody placement tests, and/or transcripts from a college or university showing completion of credit-level courses.

How do I get financial aid information?

Our financial aid office has all the information for applying for financial assistance, including scholarships and assistantships. If you plan to apply for federal student aid, you will need to fill out a FAFSA form, found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. For this form, Peabody's school code is E00233.

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On The Application Form

Do I need to have three recommendations?

Yes. We ask for three recommendations as supplemental data to your application. However, one missing letter of recommendation will not prevent your application from being processed.

How will I know when you have my recommendations on hand?

Once you have submitted your recommenders' e-mail addresses on the application, they will get an e-mail asking them to upload a letter of recommendation. You can log in to DecisionDesk at any time to see if they have submitted their letter yet.

How do I go about requesting a specific teacher at Peabody? And what happens if I change my mind later in the process?

Step 1: Enter your first and second teacher of choice on your application. You can also enter "no preference" if you're not familiar with our faculty. You can add or revise this section later.
Step 2: After auditions, our faculty will compile a list of acceptable applicants for their studios. Our staff will then look at your preferences and the faculty's preferences and make a match.
Step 3: If your faculy preference changes after you have been matched, we will make every effort to find a more agreeable private teacher match.

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Starting Early

Can I start school in January?

No. Our courses are based on a Fall/Spring sequence. The only exception is for a Graduate Performance Diploma applicant who auditioned and was accepted during the regular times in February or May, but delayed entrance into the second semester.

Do you offer early admission?

No. Early admission of high school students into the Peabody Institute is not offered. We recommend music students spend their final year of high school developing their musical skills before auditioning to come to Peabody.

Do you offer early decision? What about early acceptance?

No. We cannot offer early decision because Peabody does not hold auditions until February. Double degree students hoping to be accepted early decision to JHU Homewood schools should keep these limitations in mind.

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Preparing for Your Audition

How do I schedule an audition?

After submitting your application and any required pre-screening materials, you will be sent an invitation to audition. You will be contacted in mid-January for February auditions and in late-April for May auditions.

Do I need to pre-screen?

Find out if your program requires pre-screening here.

Pre-screening materials must be submitted by the application deadlines. Pre-screening helps save time, money, and stress for applicants and helps keep the on campus audition schedule from getting overloaded.

Why have repertoire requirements?

Audition requirements help to identify the general level of musical development for those entering Peabody. For some majors, the listed repertoire is considered a guideline. For others, it is a requirement. Whatever you perform, it is important that the music is at least the same level of difficulty as the recommended pieces.

How many movements should I prepare?

The audition instructions for each major will specify how many movements you should prepare. Given our audition time constraints, it is likely you will not be asked to perform part of every movement you have prepared. Audition repertoire is designed as a guide to the level of development typical of those accepted to Peabody.

Where can I find sample placement exams?

You can find sample music theory placement exams here and here.

You can find information about ear-training placement exams here

You can find a sample Music History exam for DMA and MM Musicology here.

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At Your Audition

Should I come for a live audition?

Yes (with exceptions). Piano, composition, and percussion major applicants who pass pre-screening must audition on campus. DMA applicants, Graduate applicants, and Artist Diploma applicants must also audition on campus.

However, undergraduate applicants who audition regionally, jazz applicants, international students, or undergraduate applicants living 300 miles west or 150 miles north or south of Baltimore, may all record their auditions (with the exception of piano, composition, and percussion majors).

For any other applicants, a live audition is recommended, but a recorded audition may be accepted. Regional auditions are recorded and played for faculty during our regular audition times.

How long will my audition be?

Typically, undergraduate auditions last 10 to 15 minutes. However, certain majors schedule multiple applicants within an hour time frame to audition in the order they arrive. Audition length is not indicitive of any positive or negative faculty impressions.
MM auditions could last up to 20 minutes.
DMA auditions last 20 minutes.

How can you listen to all my audition selections in such a short time?

We can't. Auditions are not a performance. Faculty may start and stop you throughout your audition in order to gain a clear understanding of your level of development.

When will I get the results of my audition?

February auditioners will receive initial results via e-mail on April 1.
May auditioners will receive initial results via e-mail the first week in June.
This e-mail may include teacher assignment and a link to financial aid results, along with other forms.

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How We Decide

How many people do you accept each year?

Peabody does not use quotas in the admission process. We work to balance accepted students in light of our ensembles and facilities. If the number of students in one major is too large, the faculty will raise their standards for entrance the following year.

What GPA do you require for acceptance?

For undergraduate applicants, we look for a 3.0 GPA and for SAT scores of 530 verbal and 480 math. Anything below that goes to the Dean of Academic Affairs for evaluation. In practice, we rarely reject anyone for purely academic reasons. However, Peabody does tend to reject students unlikely to do well in the academic side of their programs.
Master of Music applicants require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 exclusive of performance credits.

Music Theory: How much do I have to know?

Little to none! Peabody's extensive music theory program offers formal training on the subject, but we would encourage applicants with a working knowledge of music fundamentals, including scales, intervals, and the notation of rhythm. For this reason, we give a music theory fundamentals test and ear-training test to those who audition on campus. A second test is available for those hoping for advanced placement once enrolled in the Conservatory. Students who have not mastered the fundamentals of music theory will be required to take a special lab along with Theory I.
Graduate students are assumed to have a theory background, and applicants will take placement tests to help us place or exempt you from music theory review classes.

Is it an advantage to contact a teacher before coming to audition?

Not necessarily. Our admissions process is independent of whether you have met or contacted one of our faculty members before your audition.

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Once You're Accepted

How are scholarships determined?

After auditions, students are ranked from the highest rated player to the lowest. Peabody staff then reviews the list and considers the top tier of applicants for performance (merit) based scholarships. The number of scholarships awarded is determined by Peabody's need for the particular talent category.  The monetary amount of the scholarship awarded to an applicant generally reflects their ranking as well as their financial need. In general, Peabody scholarship funds are used to make it possible for the most talented students attend.

If my family has no financial problems, do I have to submit financial aid documents?

No. However, if you do not submit financial aid documents, you might miss out on a significant Peabody Scholarship. It is best for applicants to fill out a FAFSA form or the international form on our financial aid website.

Will I know who my teacher will be before sending in a tuition deposit?

Yes. Based on your private teacher request on your application and the faculty's response to your audition, your acceptance letter will generally contain your teacher assignment.
However, in a few cases each year, applicants are offered their choice of teacher or might be waitlisted for their preferred teacher's studio. If you decide to change your teacher preference, you can contact the admissions office in writing.

Does Peabody accept Advance Placement (AP) credits?

Yes! We accept AP credits in most academic subjects, requirement or elective, if you earned a four or five on the test. However, we do not accept AP Music Theory credits. Our own music theory course offerings will help us determine your level of development to accurately place you in future courses.

Can I transfer credits to Peabody?

Transfer credits are accepted in liberal arts subjects. We do not accept transfer credits for Music Theory. Placement for Music Theory classes are held during audition week and orientation through the Admissions Office.

What if I can't come this year? Will you hold my acceptance so I can come next year instead?

No. Because Peabody relies on audition ratings in a given year, increases in the number of applicants could change the development standards for acceptance from year to year. For this reason, applicants may not defer acceptance. Of course, we welcome you to reapply, but you would have to go through the application process from the beginning.

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Beyond The Classroom

What is the relationship between Peabody Conservatory and the Johns Hopkins University?

The Peabody Institute is a school of The Johns Hopkins University. As a school of The Johns Hopkins University, Peabody students are JHU students and have access to most of the opportunities and activities available to students at the School of Arts and Sciences. A Peabody degree is simultaneously a Johns Hopkins University degree, and carries with it the same assumption of excellence as any other JHU degree—plus the musical credentials of a Peabody Conservatory degree.

Is there enough space in the dormitories?

Yes. Undergraduate students are required to live in the dorms for their first two years at Peabody, and many elect to continue living in the dorms. The Peabody Residence Halls are on campus, and we have always been able to accommodate any student who wishes to live here. As an alternative, Peabody is located in an urban residential neighborhood with readily available off campus housing.

Is Peabody a safe place?

Yes. We have our own Campus Police, a van service to transport students to and from their local destinations after dark, and transportation to and from the Homewood campus by a shuttle bus.
That being said, Peabody is located within a single city block in a residential section of Baltimore City. While Mount Vernon is not a high crime area, we do encourage Peabody students to take security seriously.

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International Students

What is Peabody's Policy about the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

International applicants with a non-English speaking background must complete the IELTS or TOEFL and have the results forwarded to us. Peabody's TOEFL code number is 5532 (IELTS does not require an institutional code).  If your IELTS score is less than 6.5 (overall band score) or your TOEFL score is less than 79-Internet (or 213-C), you may be required to successfully complete English as a Second Language (ESL) classes as part of your program, which may extend the time it takes to complete a degree. International students required to submit an IELTS or a TOEFL score will be tested for ESL placement (or exemption) during orientation, so intensive ESL study before arriving at school can shorten both the length and the cost of your degree.

Am I required to take the one of these English tests?

Yes; if you are from a school or country where English is not the language of instruction, we require an official IELTS or TOEFL score.
However, if you have graduated with at least two years at a school where all classes are taught in English, then transcripts from the school, SAT scores or ACT scores can substitute for a IELTS/TOEFL score. It is your responsibility to alert us to your special situation! Along with your application, please upload a document with the name "IELTS" or "TOEFL," and a brief explanation of your background.
Current Peabody Students completing a BM or MM degree and applying for a new program are not required to submit a IELTS/TOEFL score.
International students with a non-English speaking background who are completing a Performer's Certificate or a Graduate Performance Diploma at Peabody and who are applying for a degree program must meet the stated IELTS/TOEFL requirements.

What happens if my TOEFL or IELTS score is low?

If your IELTS or TOEFL score is below our published standard, you may be required to take ESL classes as a part of your program. This may prolong your course of study, so we recommend you to begin English study as soon as possible.

What about English Language requirements for DMA applicants?

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program has a strong academic component, and requires the ability to compose scholarly papers in English. In addition to the required IELTS or TOEFL score, your ability to thrive in an English-speaking academic environment will be part of the on-campus evaluation.

How do I get a student visa?

Step 1: You will be sent two copies of an Affidavit of Support along with your acceptance letter to Peabody. You will use the Affidavit to verify you can financially attend Peabody. Return the Affidavits as instructed along with your tuition deposit.
Step 2: Peabody will then send you an immigration form called an I-20. Take this form to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest you to apply for an F-1 Student Visa.

For more information on this topic, visit the International Student Affairs web site or contact Peabody's International Student Advisors via email at ois-peabody@jhu.edu.

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