Audition Information

Mission and Mini Mission observing a flute audition.

Admission for undergraduate and graduate music majors is a two-part procedure. Every student must be accepted by both the university for general admission and the School of Music in order to pursue a degree. A successful in-person* audition is required for admission as a music major to all undergraduate programs and most graduate programs. While you may declare yourself as a music major when applying to the university, you will not achieve that status until you have auditioned and been formally accepted (in writing) by the School of Music.

Spring 2021 applicants should contact Brigid Crawford at bcrawford@niu.edu to schedule their audition prior to the December 1 Spring application deadline.

*Update: Auditions for Spring/Fall 2021 applicants will be held virtually via Zoom. Students must still register for one of NIU’s School of Music Audition Dates. Each student will still be required to attend the mandatory welcome meeting and area meetings on the day-of their specific audition. Upon registration, students may select from two options regarding their audition:

Option 1: Audition live via Zoom. In this option, students will need to be in a space with good acoustics and set up so the audition committee can see and hear the audition. Accompaniment is not required.

Option 2: Submit a video recording to bcrawford@niu.edu as a YouTube link the Sunday before your audition and attend an individual Zoom meeting on your specific audition date. Videos must not be edited or enhanced to change the quality of the audition. If your video is suspected of being edited or enhanced, you will be asked to submit a new audition.

Those auditioning on or before February 20, 2021

Students will be notified of their specific audition time the day before their audition. If you are aware of a time conflict on your specific date, please contact Brigid Crawford at bcrawford@niu.edu. We will do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee specific time requests. To be considered for a music scholarship, you must complete your NIU general application, music application and audition by Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

Those auditioning after February 20, 2021

Following February 20, please contact Brigid Crawford at bcrawford@niu.edu to schedule an audition. Applications and auditions will be accepted based upon studio capacity. We encourage you to apply and audition as soon as possible for full consideration. 

On Your Audition Day

  • Check-in at the Music Building for your audition
  • Mandatory welcome meeting and overview
  • Area welcome meeting
  • Ability to utilize practice rooms
  • Scheduled audition time
    • You will receive your time on the day of your audition. If you are aware of a time conflict on your specific date, please contact Brigid Crawford at bcrawford@niu.edu. We will do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee specific time requests.
  • Optional campus tour

In addition to performing your prepared audition repertoire, the audition will include an aural skills assessment, which may include sight-reading and pitch matching. Please let us know if you need any special accommodations for your audition day at least one week prior.

Music Theory Information

You will complete aural skills and sight-reading exercises as a part of the audition. Music Theory credit from other institutions is non-transferable and Advanced Placement (AP) credit for Music Theory is not accepted by the School of Music.

Upon acceptance to the School of Music, all transfer music majors and minor students will complete a Music Theory Placement exam. First-year students that have completed any music theory coursework or the Music Theory AP exam are welcome to take the placement exam if interested in attempting a higher music theory placement.


*If your travel situation makes it impossible to be present for a live audition, you may submit a video audition with prior approval from the Admissions Coordinator. Video submissions must not be edited or enhanced to change the quality of the audition. If the video submitted is suspected of being edited or enhanced, you will be asked to submit a new audition
The School of Music reserves the right to change the format of auditions, in accordance with University, local, state, and federal guidelines and procedures.