Music Direction | How to Apply

Typically, applicants already have experience in aspects of music direction and are looking to refine and improve their knowledge base and experience in conducting, vocal coaching, rehearsal techniques, composing, arranging, and producing.

Excellent keyboard skills (including sight-reading), basic orchestra score-reading and conducting skills, and an understanding and passion for music theatre as a genre are expected of applicants.


The application deadline, including all required materials and letters of recommendation has been extended to MARCH 1.

To apply to the MFA program in Music Direction, a completed application and application fee ($135 for U.S. Citizens and lawful U.S. Permanent Residents, and $155 for all other applicants) is required. The application fee must be submitted online (checks will not be accepted). All graduate applications are submitted electronically and must be supported by appropriate academic transcripts from each college/university attended, three letters of recommendation, and resumé. Unofficial transcripts must be submitted online with the graduate application. Official transcripts must be provided only after a candidate has been accepted by the program and formally admitted to the university. All letters of recommendation must be submitted online. Music Direction resumés should be uploaded to the electronic application.

Submission of the Statement of Purpose is mandatory. Submission of the Personal History Statement is optional. The Department of Drama has no word/character minimum or maximum length requirements for these statements.

The GRE exam is not required.

Please be sure to specify Music Direction as your specific area of interest on the online application.

In addition to completing an online application, applicants are asked to send a resumé plus weblinks (ex. youtube, vimeo, website) to video clips that show:

  • keyboard skills in 2-3 contrasting styles
  • coaching or rehearsing an actor and/or an ensemble in musical theatre repertoire from the keyboard
  • basic conducting skills with an ensemble or by yourself using an accompaniment track.

Following submission of applications and supporting materials, finalists will be contacted to schedule an audition/interview. Only persons who have submitted applications, fees, and resumes can be considered for an audition/interview.


Applicants invited for an interview/audition will be asked to:

1. Prepare two contrasting musical theatre accompaniments of your choosing. Selections should indicate piano skills and understanding of styles/genres.

2. Sight read from the piano.

3. Coach several actors (vocally, musically) on material in their books that the committee selects.

4. Demonstrate basic conducting skills, reading from a score of the faculty’s choice.

5. Q&A

International Applicants:

For those international applicants that are required to successfully complete an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL or IELTS) to be considered for admission, please know that:

The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

  • Please select institution code 4859 to have your official score sent to UCI. No department code is needed.
  • We only accept scores submitted electronically by ETS.
  • Test results that are two years old or older are not acceptable.
  • We do not accept MyBest scores; you must submit all individual test scores.
  • Results of institutional (non-ETS) administrations of the TOEFL are not acceptable.
  • We will accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test.  The same minimum score applies.
  • We do NOT accept the TOEFL ITP Plus test for China or the TOEFL Essentials test.
  • For more information, please visit their website at

TOEFL Score Requirements for Admission Consideration:
An overall minimum score of 80.

As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

  • We only accept scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted.
  • Test results that are two years old or older are not acceptable.
  • We will accept the IELTS Indicator test.  The same minimum score applies.
  • An institutional code is NOT required. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution. 
  • For more information, please visit their website at

IELTS Score Requirements for Admission Consideration:
An overall minimum score of 7 for admission, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module.

Find out more:

          :: Apply Electronically
          :: Graduate Division website
          :: Graduate Housing
          :: Financial Aid
          :: Information for International Applicants
          :: Application Fee Waivers