Undergraduate Admission & Audition Information

All auditions for the 2021 cycle will be conducted with pre-recorded videos and virtual interviews. See more information below.

Music is a screened major and requires a performance audition. The steps to apply and audition are listed below.

Step 1: Apply to Towson University

To apply for the undergraduate music major, you must complete Towson University's application for admission.

Step 2: Apply to the Department of Music

You must also complete the Department of Music Undergraduate Application. Admission to the major is granted by the Department of Music, contingent upon a performance audition. All composition majors must also submit a portfolio for screening.  Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to the music major or music minor.

If you prefer, you can complete the print version of the Music Undergraduate Application (PDF) and mail it to Mary Ann Criss, Assistant to the Chairperson and Academic Program Coordinator, Department of Music, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD  21252-0001.

After we receive your application, we will send you a confirmation letter via U.S. mail regarding your audition.

You are asked to indicate your preferred audition date on the Undergraduate Music Application.  In order to audition on your preferred date, the Department of Music MUST receive your completed music application by the deadlines listed below:

  • For Saturday, January 9 (Department of Music application deadline Friday, December 11)
  • For Saturday, February 6 (Department of Music application deadline Friday, January 8)
  • For Saturday, March 6 (Department of Music application deadline Friday, February 12)
  • For Saturday, April 10 (Department of Music application deadline Friday, March 19)

Additional Deadlines for Composition Students

Composition applicants must submit a composition portfolio by the following dates:

October 1 for those seeking Spring 2021 admission.
December 21 for those seeking Fall 2021 admission.

Application Instructions for Specific Majors

Prospective Music Education Majors

Prospective music education majors in guitar and piano are automatically enrolled in the MUED Vocal/General concentration.  If you desire to be enrolled in the MUED Instrumental concentration, you must also demonstrate proficiency on a secondary instrument other than guitar or piano. Students should indicate that they will be auditioning on both the primary and secondary instruments on the Music Undergraduate Application.

Prospective Composition, Jazz/Commercial Composition and Music Technology Candidates

Prospective Composition, Jazz/Commercial Composition and Music Technology candidates must submit a portfolio in addition to their audition in their primary instrument.  Note the early deadlines for these portfolios for the Composition degree: Oct 1 for Spring 2021 admission and December 21 for Fall 2021.

Step 3: Request Two Recommendations

We ask you to identify two people who can assess your musical abilities.  Send the Recommendation Form (PDF) to your recommenders.  They can return the form via email to  or mail to Mary Ann Criss, Assistant of the Chairperson and Academic Program Coordinator, Department of Music, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252-0001.  Your recommenders can submit letters or the Recommendation Form (PDF).  It is your responsibility to see that your recommendations are received prior to your audition.

Preparing for Your Audition

After you have applied to both Towson University and the Department of Music, these additional steps will occur:

Step 4: Audition Requirements and Procedures for 2021

Auditions

For the 2021 application cycle to the Department of Music programs, applicants have the following two options:

  1. Submit a video audition recording and attend a virtual interview and/or skills assessment with faculty from the Department of Music.  In most cases, the virtual interview will occur on your selected audition day.  Information regarding how to prepare your audition video and tips for success can be found below.
  2. Perform your audition live and virtually over Zoom on the audition day.  Note that this option should be selected only if you are confident that you have high-speed and reliable internet connection.

Please familiarize yourself with specific audition and repertoire requirements found below:

If you have any additional questions about how to prepare and submit your audition video please email Ms. Mary Ann Criss, academic program coordinator  or Dr. Phillip Collister-Murray, Chairperson

General Procedures for Audition Video Preparation

  • Visit this informative tutorial on creating your best audition video as well as Making an Audition Video-10 Steps to Success as well as Practice Techniques-Tips for Audition and Performance Success.

  • Check our website for audition requirements, repertoire requirements for your specific instrument/voice or composition.
  • Select your repertoire - consult your teacher(s).
  • Select your recording device, appropriate room/setting/lighting and appropriate audition attire.
  • Make sure to record yourself using these criteria:
    Choose a neutral background for yourself if at all possible.
    Put your recording device in landscape (horizontal) mode, not vertical or selfie mode.
    Insure the video frame captures you and your entire instrument at an angle that allows us to see your hands, keyboard, bow strokes, posture, etc... (Pianists may capture just the keyboard along with hands and a side view of yourself).
    If you are using an accompaniment track, make sure that you are in balance with the recording so that we can hear both you and the accompaniment track.
  • Turn off all noise makers while you record.
  • Do a short test recording to make sure you look and sound as you wish.
  • Include these things, a "slate" at the beginning of your audition video:
    Your full name (spoken slowly and clearly).
    The degree program(s) for which you are auditioning.
    The name and composer of the work(s) you'll be performing on your video.
  • Record your video in one continuous take without edits.  Your video will be approximately 10 minutes long.
  • If your particular instrument/voice requires recorded skills assessment (scales, etudes, sight-reading) include these items on your video after your repertoire.
  • Check your video to make sure it recorded correctly.

Submitting Your Video

  • Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and label it with your name and instrument/voice/composition i.e. Jane Smith, contrabass
  • You are encouraged to set your video as "unlisted." Do not set it to "private" as this will likely interfere with our ability to access your video link.
  • Send your video link to .
  • Do not send the actual video file.
  • If you have any questions or are having difficulties submitting, contact the Department of Music.

Step 5: Attend Your Audition

We will send you a letter confirming the audition date you requested on your application.

Transfer students desiring to enter applied lessons at the MUSA 300 level must present an audition to demonstrate those standards expected of a 2nd semester sophomore jury at Towson University. Click here for proficiency levels.

Audition Interview & Music Skills Assessment

  • The Department of Music requests that all applicants be available for a virtual (Zoom) interview on the audition day which you selected (i.e. 1/9, 2/6, 3/6 or 4/10).
  • You will be given a time for that interview and will log on to a Zoom link provided to you by a faculty member from the area for which you are auditioning.
  • Depending on your instrument/voice/composition that interview may also include like skills assessment by way of scales, etudes, sight-reading etc...
  • You may be contacted to conduct your program interview earlier than the audition day or be asked to set up an appointment shortly after that audition day if needed.
  • Note: Music Education applicants will be requested to attend a separate and additional program information session for future music educators.

Step 6: Accompanists for Auditions

If you need an accompanist to pre-record an accompaniment track, or have questions about how to incorporate an accompaniment track into your audition video contact Dr. Phillip Collister-Murray, for assistance.

Step 7: Receive Your Audition Results

We will notify you of your audition results by letter approximately two to four weeks after the audition.  If you are recommended to receive a Department of Music scholarship, a separate form will be included with that letter.

Audition Postponements Due to Inclement Weather

If we decide to postpone an audition day, we will post an announcement on the Department of Music website.  We will also leave a recorded voice message on 410-704-2839.  University closing announcements are posted on the TU homepage, and recorded messages can be heard on 410-704-NEWS.

It is your responsibility to notify the Department of Music at 410-704-2839 if you cannot make the scheduled date.

Scholarships

The Department of Music offers scholarships to prospective music majors who qualify based upon the talent demonstrated during their audition and an assessment of their academic profile (GPA). (Note: for Fall 2021, ACT/SAT standardized testing is optional.  However if students do submit test scores, they must be sent from the testing agency to be considered official. University Admissions will not accept test scores reported on high school transcripts.)

Scholarships are available only to students who major in music and enter in the fall term.

If you wish to be considered for departmental scholarships, you must audition by February 6, 2021.  Applicants who are recommended for Department of Music scholarships will be considered only if they have been admitted to the university and after their academic profiles have been reviewed by the Department of Music.  We encourage you to submit your Towson University application for admission six to eight weeks prior to your audition date

Students who are recommended for a Department of Music scholarship will receive a Scholarship Award Form approximately two to four weeks after the audition. Students who wish to accept the scholarship must complete and return the form by the designated deadline.

Transfer & Graduate Student Applicants

Transfer & Graduate students follow the same procedures as listed above.  Graduate students should contact our Graduate Program Directors for more information: Dr. Terry Ewell (MM degrees) -  or Dr. Kate Evans (MS degrees) - 

Non-Majors

If you are interested in being accepted to take applied lessons or be involved in Department of Music ensembles or classes, please contact Mary Ann Criss, academic program specialist,

Parents & Guardians

Each audition day will include opportunities for parents/guardians and student applicants to learn more about the Department of Music, Towson University, and to ask questions about our programs.  For the 2021 application cycle, these information sessions will be conducted virtually over Zoom with a link to the meeting shared at least 24 hours prior to audition day.

More Information

If you have questions about the admission or application process, please contact Mary Ann Criss, Assistant to the Chairperson/Academic Program Coordinator, at  or 410-704-2836.