Application and Deadlines

Applications and Pre-screening Materials for the Masters of Sacred Music (MSM) program are due on December 1, deadline extended through December 15, and auditions will take place on Sunday, February 9 and Monday, February 10, 2020.    If you are unable to make any of these deadlines please send an email to  Please note, for the upcoming academic year, online applications will be available starting September 1st.

The application is a three-step process for all students:

  1. APPLICATION: Prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree, BM, BS, BA or BME, in music and complete the online graduate school application by December 1, deadline extended through December 15.  Prospective students who hold any other bachelor's degree must have a transcript showing at least two years of music theory and music history at the music majors level and have performed recitals on their major instrument. When applying, please complete the "Graduate School Degree Seeking" section. *The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required for MSM applicants. 

    Application requirements include:
          - Curriculum vitae
          - Statement of intent
          - Pre-screening audition materials *see #2 below for more details
          - Three letters of recommendation       
          - Unofficial transcripts (applicants should not send official transcripts until they've been admitted and confirmed)
          - TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language or IELTS International English Language Testing System for international students whose native language is not English, must submit scores to demonstrate language proficiency. Both tests are offered several times each year at sites in the United States and abroad.  For those taking the TOEFL, the university’s institution code is: 1841. The TOEFL IBT minimum score is a total of 80 points, with a minimum of 23 on the speaking section.  The IELTS minimum score is 7.0.
    *The Graduate School will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for non-native English speakers who spent a minimum of two years at an academic institution whose primary language of instruction was English. A letter from the Registrar’s Office (or the office responsible for academic records) confirming English as the language of instruction is required.

  2. PRE-SCREENING MATERIAL: Submit required pre-screening material in either the portfolio section of the graduate school application, web- links by email to or a DVD or CD sent to The Sacred Music Program, 542 O'Neill Hall (Stadium), Notre Dame, IN 46556.  **PLEASE NOTE: Do not send pre-screening material as a .swf attachment.

    a. organ concentration: a major work by J. S. Bach (a Prelude and Fugue; Concerto; Trio Sonata; Major Chorale Preludes from the Leipzig Chorales or the Clavierübung III) and two contrasting pieces of the applicant’s choice. Audio and video accepted.
    b. choral conducting concentration: include at least one selection where you are conducting without interruption, i.e., a performance, and at least one selection where you are rehearsing the ensemble. The two pieces must be different and contrasting in style. You may add other segments to the minimum two, as you see best to represent your work and personal profile. For administrative reasons, online links are preferable.

    c. voice concentration:  Four selections taken from the art song repertory and arias from oratorios and/or operas; must include 3 languages other than English, at least one aria, and show contrasting styles. We prefer that the DVD/CD or web links be a video of a live performance in concert, but if this is not possible we will accept an unedited prepared performances for the recording.

  3. LIVE AUDITION: Selected students will be invited to campus on Sunday, February 9 and Monday, February 10, 2020.  Here they will meet with the faculty and students and proceed through the following audition activities: a basic musicianship test, an audition in the concentration and an interview with the faculty to discuss their background and their artistic and career goals. A small number of these will be admitted to the program. There will be assistance with transportation and accommodations.

    (For organists) Audition in person with the organ faculty. The repertoire for the live audition may contain repertoire from the pre-screening material.

    (For conductors) Applicants will submit two choices of repertoire to be rehearsed and conducted for 10-15 minutes with our Concordia Choir. The faculty at Notre Dame will indicate if either or both pieces can be conducted.

    (For singers) Audition in person for the voice faculty. 4-5 selections taken from the art song and oratorio/opera aria repertories, including at least one aria & four languages (stylistic variety and the inclusion of a piece from the Baroque period or earlier are recommended).  Singers must also prepare to sing a choral excerpt of their choosing (24 measures of their voice part) from the early or contemporary choral repertories.

For further information regarding the Sacred Music Program, contact the Sacred Music office at or by phone (574-631-1300).