Graduate Division

In order to be considered for admission to the Mary Pappert School of Music, graduate applicants must have completed an adequate undergraduate preparation in music; normally, a bachelor's degree in music from an institution of recognized standing, a college-level conservatory diploma, or its foreign equivalent. The minimum overall quality point average must be 2.5 and at least 3.0 in music courses ("A" grade = 4.0). Entrance to the Mary Pappert School of Music is determined by faculty committee and the Director of Music Admissions. Applicants are considered for admission by review of required materials and the successful completion of the music audition process.

Required Materials

NOTE: All official documents that are submitted for admission become the property of the University.

  • Application
    Those who wish to pursue graduate studies in music must first apply through the University Office of Admissions. All application materials must be received by the school no later than 60 days prior to the beginning of the term in which the applicant anticipates commencing graduate work.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    Applicants are required to supply, at a minimum, a list of solo repertoire (concertos, sonatas, orchestral exceprts, or etudes) and are strongly encouraged to include media links and any relevant experiences in music performance, production, and pedagogy as well.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Two letters of recommendation are required from professionals in the field of music who can attest to the applicant's qualifications for admission to the Graduate Division of the Mary Pappert School of Music.
  • Official Transcripts
    Each student applying for admission to the Graduate Division must request an official transcript from each institution attended, including any attended during summer sessions, regardless of whether credit or degree was received.

Music Audition Process

In addition to the requirements listed above, a music audition is required for admission to any graduate music program. Applicants must schedule their music audition through the online application portal. Detailed information about music audition dates and requirements, as well as instructions for registering for an audition and submitting audition materials are listed on the music admissions webpage. Music auditions must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance of the desired audition date. Graduate applicants should prepare a total of approximately 30 minutes of repertoire for the audition (equivalent to that of a senior recital for an undergraduate music major). All applicants must pass the audition process in order to be accepted into any graduate music program. For more details about the Audition Guidelines and Requirements please visit

For all graduate applicants, the music audition process consists of a combination of the following components:

  • Performance Audition (for Master of Music Performance and Artist Diploma)
  • Graduate Interview (for Master of Music Therapy)

Once registered for a music audition, applicants will receive detailed communications relative to the upcoming music audition from the Office of Music Admissions that include:

  • Graduate Interview Expectations
  • Personalized Audition Day Schedule

Applicants will receive notification of audition results directly from the Mary Pappert School of Music (typically within 7-10 days of the audition). Those that have passed the music audition process will receive an official letter of acceptance from the Director of Music Admissions.



International Admission Requirements

Applicants from around the world are welcome in Duquesne University's Graduate Music programs and are considered for admission on the same basis as students from the United States.

NOTE: All required materials and documents must be translated into English and official transcripts must be converted to fit US grade-point standards for consideration of admission. All international students are required to take an English placement test upon arrival at the university.

In addition to the aforementioned admission requirements, international students must complete the following:

Test of English as a Foreign Language

All international applicants to graduate degree programs are required to submit official TOEFL/IELTS/DuoLingo score reports current to within one year of the audition as part of their application. At the Mary Pappert School of Music, the minimum scores for admission into the Master of Music degree programs are listed below.

  • TOEFL: Minimum score of 80 (on the internet-based test) with a minimum sub-score of 17 in each section. 
  • IELTS: Minimum overall band of 6.5 with a minimum sub-score of 6.5 in Reading, 5.5 in Writing, 5.5 in Speaking, and 6.0 in Listening.
  • DuoLingo: Minimum overall score of 110

*Applicants to the Artist Diploma program must complete the language exam as well, but there is no minimum score required for admission. The Mary Pappert School of Music reserves the right to require or recommend ESL coursework as needed.

Applicants who have not taken the required language exam or whose score is below the requirement, may be granted admission to the International Pathways program to improve English skills before being fully admitted into the Master of Music degree program or Artist Diploma program.  More information on the International Pathways program is available through the Office of International Programs.

International applicants who completed their undergraduate study at an accredited university in the United States do not have to submit a language exam score, but will still take the English Placement Tests upon arrival at the university.



Types of Admission

Applicants will be granted acceptance in the following ways:

  1. Formal--Full and unconditional admission into a graduate degree program.
  2. Conditional--Admission pending completion of university-specified requirements.
  3. Duquesne University Students--Applicants registered in the Mary Pappert School of Music who require no more than 12 semester hours for the completion of their baccalaureate studies may apply for conditional acceptance. Upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree, formal acceptance will be automatic, provided that all other admission requirements for the specific graduate program have been met.
  4. Duquesne University Students Campus Courtesy--Especially qualified students within 12 semester hours of the completion of their baccalaureate studies may be granted conditional acceptance with permission to take graduate courses applicable to the master's degree. Normally, only courses numbered 500-599 are offered, subject to the approval of both the instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies. The maximum number of credits thus earned shall not exceed six hours. Upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree, formal acceptance will be automatic, provided that all other admission requirements for the specific graduate program have been met.
  5. Students from other Institutions--Qualified applicants from other institutions who file their applications during the final year of work toward a bachelor's degree may be granted conditional acceptance. Formal admission will be granted upon subsequent filing of a satisfactory supplementary transcript showing the degree awarded.
  6. Temporary Transfer--This is granted to a student in good standing in any recognized graduate school who wishes to enroll in the Mary Pappert School of Music for any one term or summer session and who plans to return thereafter to his or her former college or university. The student's graduate dean must provide a statement that he or she is in good academic standing, and must give written approval for the student's temporary transfer to Duquesne.
  7. Special Status--Music Education students who need credits for certification, and other students who do not wish to become degree candidates may be given special permission to register for courses, pending the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the professor(s) concerned. Credits thus accrued will not be counted toward a graduate degree unless all required application materials for formal admission have been submitted, evaluated, and approved.
  8. Doctoral Courtesy--Scholars who have attained doctoral status from this or other recognized universities and who wish to continue study in special fields may be permitted to attend individual courses subject to the permission of the instructor in charge. No official record will be made of the work done. If credit and/or official transcript are desired, regular admission procedures must be followed.
  9. Auditor--With the permission of the School, auditors may attend certain courses provided they pay regular rates per semester hour. Under no circumstances will credit be allowed for such attendance.