Students interested in applying as undergraduate music majors should contact the Conservatory of Music early in their senior year of high school (or two semesters prior to the semester of entrance for transfer students). Make yourself aware of the opportunities afforded by New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship Program.

Admission into one of the conservatory’s undergraduate programs is a two-part process: an application to CUNY with Brooklyn College as the student’s designated choice, and notification of the Conservatory of Music of the student’s application with arrangement made for an audition. (Submit an Undergraduate Audition Request Form online or contact the conservatory to schedule an audition.)

The application to Brooklyn College is through CUNY’s centralized application procedure. The application form may be completed online through the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Admissions website. Select Brooklyn College as your first college choice and music as your intended major.

Depending on the intended degree program, the conservatory requires an audition, a portfolio review, and/or an interview. Details are listed with the individual programs. All incoming music students also need to arrange to take the conservatory’s placement examinations and keyboard proficiency test prior to registration. Details about the placement exam may be found below.

International students for whom English is a second language must submit their TOEFL score. The minimum score for undergraduate applicants is 500.

(Students accepted into one of the conservatory’s music programs but not assigned to Brooklyn College by CUNY may appeal by calling the Brooklyn College Office of Admissions at 718.951.5001, and also by contacting the undergraduate deputy at the conservatory.)

Bachelor of Arts


An interview and placement exam are required prior to registering for music courses. An audition is required before the third semester in the program. Review the audition requirements.

Bachelor of Music


Applicants must submit a portfolio of three to five compositions. All written materials must be legible. Recordings should be included where available. Review the portfolio submission requirements (PDF).

A placement exam is required prior to registering for music courses. An audition is required before the third semester in the program. Review the audition requirements.

Music Education

A placement exam is required prior to registering for music courses. An audition is required before the third semester in the program. Review the audition requirements.


In addition to a placement exam, a student must audition on their primary instrument. Review the audition requirements.

Theory Placement Examination

The placement examination for the theory course sequence requires knowledge of pitch notation in treble and bass clefs, rhythmic notation in simple and compound meters, and identification and construction of key signatures, intervals, and triads.

Ear-training Placement Examination

The placement examination for the ear-training course sequence requires the theoretical knowledge described above, and the ability to match single pitches and the pitches of intervals and triads; sight-sing a stepwise melody; perform a simple rhythm; and notate simple dictated melodies and rhythms.

Minimum Keyboard Facility

Music majors must possess a minimum keyboard facility as evidenced by the ability to play the following:

  • Scales (major and minor), chords and chord progressions (IV-I64-V-I and I6-II6-V-I) in all keys
  • One work on the level of the pieces in the Anna Magdalena Notebook by J. S. Bach and Mikrokosmos, Book 2 by Bartók
  • At sight, melodies in the treble and bass clefs with simple chordal accompaniments

Students who do not possess this facility at the time of entrance will be assigned to Keyboard Workshop classes.

Composition Portfolio Guidelines

Applicants to the Bachelor of Music in music composition and the Master of Music in music composition programs are asked to submit a portfolio of from three to five pieces showing the range of music created by the composer. Portfolios displaying a variety of types of works are preferred: from solo, to ensemble, to electronic, to works with media.

Music that can be notated (conventionally or non-conventionally) should be submitted in Adobe PDF format as a publication ready document. A recording of the piece may also be provided in mp3 format for audio only or mp4 format for audio with video. No audio of MIDI playback (such as Sibelius or Finale playback) should be sent unless the MIDI playback represents the final version of the piece.

Works for which notation is not relevant or impossible to provide (such as with some works employing electronics or improvisation) need to include a representative recording of the piece and a description of the work as well as any instructions that might be provided to a performer (if appropriate).

Submit your portfolio using this SlideRoom link (there is a $10 fee).

The deadline to receive portfolios for spring admission is November 15. The priority deadline for applicants for fall is March 1. A late portfolio review for fall will take place in May. The deadline for this review is May 1.

Important Reminder

The portfolio review only allows a person to major in music composition if accepted by Brooklyn College. Applicants must complete the appropriate application to Brooklyn College in addition to submitting a composition portfolio.

Brooklyn. All in.