UNI School of Music

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Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions/Audition Requirements

Applying for graduate studies at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music requires five basic steps: 

  1. Complete the University Graduate College Application (online here). Include the following required materials with your application:

    a) Two letters of recommendation (a third letter of recommendation is optional). Letters may be uploaded in PDF format and must contain the recommender’s contact information (email, telephone, and address) or your references may send their letters directly to UNI via email to admissionsprocessing@uni.edu (IMPORTANT – please make sure they include your full name that matches your application exactly).

    b) Statement of Goals/Objectives (personal statement)

    c) Resume or CV

    d) Any other area-specific requirements that need to be submitted (see Special Area Requirements below)

  2. Submit your Official Transcripts (all students - must be sent directly to UNI from your undergraduate institution – transcripts issued to student are not considered official) and TOEFL/IELTS scores (International students only - please arrange to have these scores sent directly to UNI Admissions from the testing center).
  3. Complete the School of Music Graduate Studies Application form (online here). 
  4. Submit your audition video – see Special Area Requirements below. The deadline for submitting your video audition for scholarship consideration is February 1. Audition videos for acceptance into the program (only) are accepted on an ongoing basis all year.
  5. Apply for Graduate Scholarships and Assistantships, if you wish to be considered for these (on-campus applicants only). 

Details on these steps, as well as additional information related to admission requirements, fees, deadlines and special area requirements (major-specific information) can be found below. Questions can be directed to Graduate Coordinator Suzanne Hendrix-Case (suzanne.hendrix@uni.edu). 

Application Deadlines

All application materials/paperwork [i.e. University application, School of Music application, Graduate Assistantship application, Tuition Scholarship application, references and transcripts] must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, and these materials must be received prior to February 1st. Auditions and interviews must be completed by February 15th for the following school year.


STEP ONE: FILL OUT University Graduate College Application

In addition to the School of Music Application, the university requires the submission of an Application for Graduate Study (for domestic students) or an International Application for Admission (for international students). Applications are available from the university or online at http://uni.edu/admissions/apply (domestic and international). Paper copies may also be requested. Applications should be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office (domestic) or Office of Admissions (international) at the address below.

For more information about the Graduate College application, see:

For more information about the Graduate College application process for International students, see:

STEP TWO: Submit the following documentation directly to the Office of Admissions:

1. Official transcripts, sent directly to admissions by the issuing institution (unofficial transcripts or transcripts mailed directly by the student are not acceptable). Electronic transcripts may be requested; contact the admissions office for information

2. International students: TOEFL or IELTS score, sent directly from testing agency to Admissions Office

International students (from non-English speaking countries) are required to submit proof of a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (written), 213 (computer) or 79 (Internet). Scores should be sent directly to Office of Admissions at the address below.

3. Application fees (see UNI Graduate Application for detailed information)


Option 1: ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION (preferred)

Most things can be attached to your main application. Anything else can be emailed to


Option 2: To submit paper applications and hard copies of materials, mail to:

002 Gilchrist Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0018

Please note: The Graduate Record Examination (general test) is NOT required for admission to the MA or the MM degree programs.

STEP THREE: FILL OUT School of Music Application Form

CLICK HERE to complete the online application form.

To request an application packet by U.S. mail, please contact:

Graduate Studies 
School of Music
Russell Hall 115
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0246
319-273-GRAD (4723)

STEP FOUR: Special Area Requirements – arrange and/or submit your audition, interview, and/or portfolio

Please refer to the specific instructions for your area of application under "SPECIAL AREA REQUIREMENTS" at the bottom of this page.

STEP FIVE: Graduate Assistantship and Scholarship Applications

If you wish to apply for GA and/or scholarship support, please fill out and submit the GA and Scholarship applications – follow the instructions on the forms.

The application forms are located here:

They are the first two forms listed on the page, entitled:
1. Application for Graduate Assistantship & Position Descriptions

2. Application Form for Graduate College Tuition Scholarship

More information on Graduate Assistantships, including position descriptions, is located here:



Special Area Requirements

Master of Arts

In-person interview/audition in area of concentration (audio recordings are permissible if an in-person audition would pose undue hardship), or submission of scores or writing samples if you wish to focus on composition, theory, or music history. See Master of Music - Performance for area listings for applied study.

Master of Music - Composition

Interview and Portfolio with recordings of compositions. Contact Dr. Daniel Swilley for specific requirements: daniel.swilley@uni.edu

Master of Music - Conducting

In-person audition and interview with at least two members of the Graduate Conducting Faculty. It is also recommended that the applicant have two years of conducting experience beyond the baccalaureate degree. A video/DVD recording may be submitted in lieu of the in-person audition, but may not satisfy the audition requirement. Tapes/DVD's should be of high quality and show the applicant in rehearsal situations, though performance recordings may also be included. Video recordings should include two (2) or three (3) works of varying styles, and be taken so as to clearly indicate the conductor's facial and other physical gestures. Contact Dr. Danny Galyen for additional information: danny.galyen@uni.edu

Master of Music - Jazz Pedagogy

In-person audition and interview. Also, applicants must submit an essay of interest (no more than 2 pages) outlining experiences in jazz performance, composition, arranging and/or teaching, as well as stating professional goals in any or all of these areas. Contact Mr. Chris Merz for additional information: chris.merz@uni.edu

Master of Music - Music Education

Submit online evaluation or contact Kevin Droe (kevin.droe@uni.edu) to schedule an interview. 

For information on the distance learning program in music education offered entirely online via Adobe Connect, please visit: https://www.uni.edu/continuinged/distance/music-ed

Please note: the distance learning program is offered cooperatively with the Continuing Education program and is NOT eligible for scholarship or assistantship support. On-campus students in the Music Education master’s program ARE eligible for scholarship/assistantship.

Master of Music - Music History

Interview and Writing Samples consisting of scholarly paper(s) from undergraduate studies coursework. Contact Dr. Alison Altstatt if you need additional information: alison.altstatt@uni.edu

Master of Music - Performance

In-person audition (audio recordings are permissible if an in-person audition would pose undue hardship). If you are sending a recording, a DVD or video files are the preferred media for submission. You may send DVDs directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions. If you are submitting a video file, please e-mail the file directly to music@uni.edu


String Applicants: Contact Dr. Steve Koh for audition requirements and to arrange your audition date: sang.koh@uni.edu.

Piano/Organ Applicants:

1. Perform three contrasting, memorized works. *In-person audition (audio recordings are permissible if an in-person audition would pose undue hardship). 
2. Provide solo repertoire list. 
3. Provide vocal and instrumental accompaniment/chamber music list. 
Contact Prof. Randall Harlow at randall.harlow@uni.edu to arrange your audition.

Percussion Applicants: 
Contact Prof. Kramer Milan for audition requirements and to arrange your audition date: kramer.milan@uni.edu

Graduate Percussion Audition Requirements:

  •  4 mallet marimba solo
  •  2 or 4 mallet marimba solo by Bach
  •  Timpani Solo (Such as one of Carter's 8 Pieces for Timpani or an equivalent) 
  •  Concert snare drum solo like an advanced Delecluse Etude or equivalent 
  • Sight reading on marimba 
  • Demonstration of soft to loud to soft roll on snare drum over 30 seconds. 

Plus one of the following: 

  • A multiple percussion solo submitted as a video (unlisted youtube link preferred) 
  • A demonstration of ability on a world percussion instrument 
  • A demonstration of drumset technique and abilities (Play a jazz chart, demonstrate styles, etc.) 
  • Play 2 contrasting orchestral excerpts on your choice of Snare drum, Xylophone, or Timpani. 

Woodwind Applicants: 
Contact the applied teacher for the area in which you wish to study for audition requirements and to arrange your audition date. 
Clarinet: Dr. Amanda McCandless amanda.mccandless@uni.edu
Saxophone: Dr. Ann Bradfield ann.bradfield@uni.edu
Oboe: Dr. Heather Peyton heather.peyton@uni.edu
Bassoon: Dr. Ben Roidl-Ward ben.roidl-ward@uni.edu
Flute: Dr. Hannah Porter-Occeña hannah.porter-occena@uni.edu

Audition requirements for MA/MM Flute Performance candidates:
  1. Mozart Concerto in G Major or D Major, complete, including cadenzas; memorization encouraged but not required. 
  2. A complete multi-movement sonata, through-composed sonatina, or Romantic/20th/21st Century concerto from the major repertoire. Examples include Bach, Bonis, Coleman, Dutilleux, Feld, Hindemith, Ibert, Martinu, Nielsen Poulenc, Prokofiev, etc. 
  3. A 20th/21st Century work for unaccompanied flute.
  4. Three contrasting orchestral excerpts. 


Bassoon MM/MA Audition Requirements  (please contact benjamin.roidl-ward@uni.edu with any questions about audition repertoire):
  1. Two scales of your choice (one major, one minor, two octaves minimum).
  2. A movement from a major Classical or Baroque Concerto (Mozart, Weber, Hummel, Vivaldi, etc.)
  3. A movement from a major 20th-Century Sonata or a complete unaccompanied 20th or 21st-Century work 
  4. Two contrasting major orchestral excerpts 


Brass Applicants: Contact the applied teacher for the area in which you wish to study for audition requirements and to arrange your audition date. 
Horn: Joshua Johnson  joshua.johnson@uni.edu
Trumpet: Dr. Randy Grabowski  randy.grabowski@uni.edu 
Trombone: Dr. Anthony Williams anthony.williams@uni.edu 
Tuba: Dr. Stephanie Ycaza stephanie.ycaza@uni.edu

Vocal Applicants:

Graduate and Artist Diploma voice audition repertoire requirements: 15-20 minutes of stylistically varied classical vocal repertoire demonstrating the applicant’s ability to sing in the following languages: English, French, German, and Italian. Other foreign languages are permitted in addition to the four required languages listed above. With the exception of an oratorio aria, all selections are to be sung from memory. Though recordings with ‘live’ accompaniments are preferred when possible, the use of pre-recorded accompaniment tracks are permitted.

Please review the voice division information for graduate applicants on their page here: https://music.uni.edu/voiceAfter submitting your video audition via the link in step 4 at the top of the page, division chair Dr. John Hines (john.hines@uni.edu) will contact you to schedule an interview.

Master of Music - Piano Performance and Pedagogy

  1. Perform three contrasting, memorized works. *In-person audition (audio recordings are permissible if an in-person audition would pose undue hardship). 
    2. Provide solo repertoire list. 
    3. Provide vocal and instrumental accompaniment/chamber music list. 
    4. Provide a scholarly paper from undergraduate studies coursework.

    Please contact Prof. Andrea Johnson (andrea.johnson@uni.edu)to schedule your audition.

Artist Diploma

Please contact the applied professor or area chair for your instrument or voice, as listed above.