How to Apply to the Berklee College of Music

How to Apply to the Berklee College of Music
  • Opening Intro -

    Among music schools, the Berklee College of Music has a unique place in academia, as it the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.

    Located in Boston and founded in 1945, Berklee is chiefly known for advancing popular music including rock, hip hop, salsa, reggae and bluegrass.


Its alumni include such notables as Melissa Etheridge, Quincy Jones, Trey Parker and Tim “Ripper” Owens, with scores of backup musicians, band members and other contemporary musicians also claiming Berklee status. To get into Berklee you will need to accomplish several steps as outlined as follows.

1. Magnify your talent. Berklee is looking for talented musicians, students that demonstrate musical aptitude. Given that you will be performing a live audition, you should prepare a piece of your choice. Your audition will be approximately 15 minutes longs and the judges will consider your reading selection, improvisation and may conduct various training exercises including rhythmic ear, melodic and harmonic. Begin practicing and fine tuning your piece months before you’re ready to audition. Work with a music professional to critique and hone your piece. The school values diversity, therefore be prepared to showcase your unique talents.

2. Improve your grades. It is true: Berklee does not have a specific GPA or college entrance exam score requirement for prospective students. However, good grades, the ability to speak English and the completion of your high school studies are considerations for admission. Each student is evaluated individually to determine whether acceptance is granted or not.

3. Submit an online application. Prospective Berklee students can make application right online. First, you must create an account with the college, Second, you will need to choose your program of study: undergraduate, graduate or summer programs. You can also request information before applying online and paying your application fee. Follow the college’s instructions to ensure that your application is submitted and accepted according to the school’s requirements.

4. Perform a live audition. Although Berklee reserves one dozen audition dates in Boston, this college holds auditions across the United States, indeed throughout the world. Applicants are invited to their audition and interview about one week after submitting their application. Although the college attempts to accommodate the audition and interview location, students should expect to interview elsewhere including in Boston or in Valencia, if they are European students.  Full percussion students only audition in Boston. Secure the necessary travel documentation to ensure that your audition can be arranged.

5. Submit your supporting materials. Supporting materials do not have to be in the college’s hand at the time of your audition and interview. SAT and ACT scores are not required, but can be sent to show strength in one or more academic areas. Your high school transcripts, a resume, character references and samples of your creative work are among the materials you can send in. Begin organizing your materials as soon as you make application.

Application Notes

Once you have been accepted by Berklee you are required to make your initial $500 deposit to secure your placement. If you are planning to attend beginning with the fall semester, that deadline is May 1. For the summer, your deposit is due April 1 and for the spring, your deposit must be received by October 15. Check with Berklee to confirm this information as it is subject to change. You can delay your admittance for up to three consecutive semesters or you must ask for a full refund in writing or request transfer to a different semester start date.


Berklee College of Music: Admissions Requirements —

Berklee College of Music: Apply —

Derek Sivers: 6 things I wish I knew the day I started Berklee —

Author Information

Justin Miller is a professional blogger that writes for JamPlay is a leading online music educator offering 2,000+ online guitar lesson videos in HD.

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