The admissions process is handled individually by each of the undergraduate colleges at Cornell. Potential music majors should apply to the College of Arts and Sciences via Cornell's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. (Students who enroll in other colleges may nonetheless take courses in the Music Department, perform in the department’s ensembles, or minor in music.) It is not necessary to audition to be admitted to Cornell. All application materials, with the exception of recordings and scores, should be sent directly to the admissions office of the relevant college.

Supplement Submission

Students who excel in musical performance or composition may wish to supplement their applications with a recording or musical score. Students should submit recordings only if they believe that their musical abilities will enhance their application. These materials are evaluated by faculty members in Music and the evaluations are then forwarded to the respective college’s admissions office. The evaluation of musical accomplishment among applicants to Cornell attempts to identify candidates with a distinguishing excellence in music. Such accomplishment suggests that a student is able to concentrate on difficult long-term goals and to achieve them.

Click here for instructions on how to submit recordings or scores.

Recordings and scores submitted as part of the admissions process do not replace live auditions for ensembles or lessons; these take place at the start of every semester. No audition is required of potential music majors, either live or recorded, as the application to become a music major is made after the student has enrolled at Cornell, usually in the sophomore year.


Visitors to Cornell are welcome to drop by the Music Department, which is housed in Lincoln Hall. The department office is open every weekday during business hours (8:30 AM to 4 PM during the academic year, shorter hours during breaks) and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Lincoln Hall is open longer still, during the same hours as the Music Library. Prospective students who would like to meet with a faculty member should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies at least a week in advance of the visit.

Lincoln Hall is located on the northeast corner of the Arts Quad and may be entered either from the quad or from East Avenue. A bus stop in front of Lincoln Hall is served by campus buses and by TCAT, Ithaca’s public transportation system.


Cornell resources:

External resources: