Admissions Policy/Procedure for a Music Major

ssu student performing on timpani


All prospective music majors must audition to be considered for entrance into the BA music program. This entire audition process will apply to all new students, external transfers, and internal transfers. An in-person audition is strongly recommended, and will be recorded by the music department. Any alternative audition arrangement will be the exception, and must first be approved by the music department chairperson. The alternative audition will require a DVD of solo music performance and an application letter that details the applicant's music background and experience: this will be followed up by a telephone interview with a music department faculty member. The requirements of the audition are as follows:

The applicant will perform two musical selections of contrasting style that display technical proficiency and musicality.

  • The applicant will be asked to perform scales and sight-read. 
  • The applicant will be required to complete a music theory placement exam. 
  • A brief personal interview will be conducted.

All applicants will receive written notification of their rating. A successful audition will demonstrate the applicant's capacity for university-level music study. A successful audition does not guarantee admission to Salem State University: the university's admission requirements must be satisfied.

Music applicants will be rated as approved, provisional or not approved. Approved applicants, pending successful admission to Salem State, are eligible to become music majors. Those who are deemed provisional will be encouraged to enroll in first-year music major courses, and may take applied lessons at their own expense. Provisional applicants will be required to complete a successful second audition during the next semester. Applicants who are not approved may take applied lessons at their own expense, and may take a second audition in the next semester if they so choose.

Applicants to the program may audition up to two times. Provisional and not approved applicants may take a second audition in the next semester. A final decision on acceptance or not is made at that second audition. This entire audition process will apply to all new students, external transfers, and internal transfers.

At the beginning of each academic year, the music department will announce and publicize the schedule of audition dates with print and digital access. There will be a minimum of two audition dates per fall and spring semesters. Some circumstances may require external transfer students to make special arrangements for an audition date and time, and this will be scheduled with the music department chairperson on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants will be encouraged to reserve an audition time at least two weeks prior to their desired audition date. Applicants can call the music department office 978.542.6296 to schedule an audition appointment.

Click here for upcoming audition dates.


No audition is required at this time for acceptance into the dance major degree program.