Degree Admissions Information
Degree Admission Requirements
The Board of Admissions takes into consideration your academic record, professional experience, as well as aptitude for music-related studies. Applicants must have proficiency in the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking, and must have completed high school/secondary school by the time they enroll at Berklee Online. Our comprehensive evaluation of each applicant is designed to assess an applicant’s ability to succeed at Berklee Online.
Table of Contents
- Application form
- Application fee
- Video presentation or essay
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts
- Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games; Songwriting and Producing Music Degrees only: Demonstration of Musicianship
- Guitar Major only: Recorded Audition
Berklee Online requires applicants to apply online . The non-refundable fee is $75, to be paid by credit card at the time of the application submission.
Supporting Application Materials
Video presentation or 500-750 word essay
- Tell us about your background, particularly experiences with music and/or the entertainment industry.
- Share your goals for pursuing a degree program.
- Discuss your career aspirations. What do you envision for your future in music?
- Describe how a degree from Berklee Online will help you to achieve your personal, professional, and creative goals.
NOTE: The Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games, and Songwriting and Producing Music degree majors also require applicants to submit a Demonstration of Musicianship. Guitar degree majors are required to submit a Recorded Video Audition. Please see below for details.
TIP: When submitting a 500-750 word written essay, please use 12 point font and write your name and desired major in the header. We accept Microsoft Word Document (.doc, .docx) or PDF file formats.
TIP: When submitting a video as part of your application, please mark the video as "Unlisted" in YouTube's Privacy Settings. We are unable to review videos that are marked as private.
Two Letters of Recommendation
- One Academic/Professional Letter that is written by someone who can attest to your academic and professional work, such as an employer, co-worker, colleague, teacher, or mentor.
- One Personal Letter that is written by someone who can attest to your personal character, such as a co-worker, religious leader, or counselor. Recommendations from immediate family and spouses are discouraged.
TIP: In the online application, you will be asked to provide email addresses for the two people from whom you will be receiving a letter of recommendation. We will email a link to your recommenders, and they will be able to submit the letter directly to Berklee Online.
- One official copy of a high school transcript or official GED with scoring results. For applicants with more than 24 college credits completed, a copy of a high school diploma or transcript will be accepted.
- Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education past attended or currently attending.
- AP and/or CLEP test scores, if applicable. Please use Berklee Online's school code 6774 for AP test scores and 6283 for CLEP scores.
- TOEFL or IELTS score for applicants whose first language is not English.
Transcripts should be mailed to:
Berklee Online Admissions
855 Boylston St, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
TIP: All documents must be in English. International applicants should review additional guidelines below.
TIP: A transcript is considered official only if it is sent directly from a college/university to Berklee Online in a sealed, unopened envelope. We also accept electronic transcripts via official services such as Parchment and eScrip.
International Applicants & Students Who Have Studied Outside the United States
International applicants and those applicants who have studied outside the United States must submit official transcripts for evaluation by an accredited credential evaluation agency, such as the Education Credential Evaluators. Ask for a course-by-course evaluation with grades. International transcripts, including high school, will not be accepted unless accredited by a credential evaluation agency.
Applicants to the degree program whose first language is not English are required to submit a PTE Academic, TOEFL, or IELTS score to complete their application for admission.
Berklee Online recommends the following scores:
- TOEFL: iBT (Internet-based): 100; Computer-based: 250; Paper-based: 600
- PTE Academic: 68
- IELTS: 7.5 or higher.
Mail application materials to:
Berklee Online Admissions
855 Boylston St, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
Demonstration of Musicianship
Students applying to the Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games and the Songwriting and Producing Music degree programs are required to submit one of the following:
A portfolio of at least two original compositions. Students should submit musical notation for each composition as PDF files. Students should also submit a sound recording of each piece posted to a website like YouTube or Soundcloud. It is not required to be a live recording; MIDI is acceptable. Students will not be evaluated on the production quality of the recordings, but rather on the compositional ideas expressed in the recordings.
A recorded video audition, in which the student performs a prepared piece (original or cover) on his/her principal instrument. The performance should be an unedited take, approximately 2-4 minutes in length, in any style, which demonstrates the student's instrumental proficiency and overall musicianship. The video should be uploaded to a website like YouTube, with a link provided for review by the Board of Admissions.
TIP: When uploading your Demonstration of Musicianship video, please mark the video as "Unlisted" in YouTube's Privacy Settings. We are unable to review videos that are marked as private.
Recorded Audition Requirement
Students applying to the Guitar degree program are required to submit a recorded video audition, in which the student performs a prepared piece (original or cover) on guitar. The performance should be an unedited take, approximately 3-5 minutes in length, in any style that demonstrates the student's instrumental proficiency and overall musicianship. The video should be uploaded to a website like YouTube, with a link provided for review by the Board of Admissions. Here are some examples that may help when selecting the prepared piece:
- A tune from a well-known artist or band (any style)
- A standard or jazz tune (which may include blues and rhythm changes) with your own improvisation
- A composition from the instrumental/voice repertoire or a movement, sonata, concerto or etude
- A transcription of a well-known artist's solo
If you require accompaniment for your prepared piece, you can use an accompanist, CD, or MP3 player. Do not use the original tracks of artists or bands as backing tracks. If you are playing to a track, it is preferred that you use standard play-along/music-minus-one or karaoke tracks, so that you are not playing your part along with the part on the recording.
TIP: Do not choose a piece or a style of music you think the Admissions team wants to hear. Rather, select a piece that puts your "best foot forward" and highlights what you feel represents your best playing.
TIP: When uploading your recorded video audition, please mark the video as "Unlisted" in YouTube's Privacy Settings. We are unable to review videos that are marked as private.
I paid the $75 application fee; why doesn't my application say “Submitted”?
Paying the application fee is a separate step from submitting your application. Once your payment is received, click the green “Submit” button on your application homepage in the right column under your application requirements.
Do I need to submit a transcript if I'm not attempting to transfer credits?
Yes. Admissions requires your full enrollment history for an application to be considered complete. Applicants will need to send all transcripts from all previous schools. For additional questions regarding transfer credits, please consult our Transfer team: firstname.lastname@example.org.