The CIM Admissions Office looks forward to meeting you in person or online and receiving your application. The Admissions team is readily available to guide you through the application process and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to email the team at

Requirements for All Applicants:

Apply Online

Apply to CIM

The deadline to submit the application is December 1.  

If you are interested in Spring entry, the deadline is October 1.  

Application Fee

A $110 nonrefundable application fee is submitted online with the application. 

  • The application fee increases to $160 at 12am on December 2. 

  • Eligible First-time Freshman and Undergraduate Transfer applicants may request an application fee waiver with applications submitted before 12am on December 2. 

Prescreen Video

Repertoire for pre-screening and audition may differ. Applicants in the following areas must upload prescreening videos to the application: 

  • Cello, clarinet, composition, double bass, guitar, oboe, orchestral conducting, organ, piano, trumpet, viola, violin, voice 

  • All doctor of musical arts applicants must submit pre-screening videos as well. If your area does not have pre-screening material, please submit approximately 30 minutes of audition repertoire 

Resume & Essay


All applicants must upload a performance resume within the application. 

  • Performance resumes include education, activities, organizations, competitions, masterclasses, and any relevant experience that would strengthen your candidacy for admittance to CIM


The essay must be 500-750 words. Please choose one of the following essay topics that best exemplifies who you are as a future member of the CIM community: 

  • Describe how an important musical experience has led you to consider CIM for further study and how it will influence your study at CIM. 
  • Describe an important lesson learned from a challenge in your musical life. How does it continue to influence you today? 
  • Describe how CIM will contribute to your educational and professional goals. 
  • If you couldn't pursue music, what career would you work toward and why?

All unofficial transcripts should be uploaded to the application. If you mail your transcripts, the Admissions Office must receive the documents by January 15. Each transcript must provide a listing, year-by-year, of all courses taken and the grades or marks received for each. Records must also provide the grading scale for each institution and graduation date (projected or conferred). If grades are not yet posted, submit a transcript showing coursework in progress. This also applies to applicants who are homeschooled. 

Undergraduate Applicants 

You can apply to CIM as a first-semester freshman if you have received or will receive a high school/secondary school diploma, GED or IB diploma by the summer before your freshman year of college. If you have taken college courses since the summer after high school/secondary school graduation, you must apply as an undergraduate transfer applicant. Transcript requirements for first-time undergraduate applicants are as follows: 

  • Transcript(s) from any high school/secondary school attended  
  • Transcript(s) from any college where you have taken dual credit courses or credits that may transfer  
  • Homeschool transcripts, if applicable

Transfer Applicants 

Your class status is determined by your audition, transcripts, and admission examinations. Exams in music theory and ear-training are administered online before February 1. Piano proficiency is evaluated for class placement during the orientation week before classes begin. Transcript requirements for transfer applicants are as follows: 

  • Transcript(s) from any high school/secondary school attended  
  • Transcript(s) from any colleges attended

Graduate Applicants 

  • Current college or university  
  • Any previously attended college or university 
  • The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required

International Applicants

  • Please submit transcripts that are either notarized and translated by your school or translated by a NACES certified organization. Translated transcripts must include degree-earned (if graduated), GPA, dates of attendance/graduation and a grading scale.

International applicants can find more information around admission requirements, here.

Letters of Recommendation

Your application must include two letters of recommendation from persons unrelated to you who are qualified to attest to your musical ability. In the application, you will provide the names and email addresses of the persons who have agreed to provide recommendations. Recommendation letters must be submitted by your references by January 15. 


Applicants auditioning for the bachelor of music, artist certificate, master of music or doctor of musical arts programs will take an online theory examination. 

In addition to the online theory exam, DMA applicants must take DMA diagnostic exams in theory and history. These exams occur on the Monday following the DMA audition days.

Live Audition

Audition dates vary by area of study and some areas of study require auditions in Cleveland. Audition sign-ups are available in December once prescreening decisions are released. Regional auditions are recorded by a representative from the Admissions Office for faculty viewing. 

Additional Requirements for the Following Applicants:

Undergraduate Applicants

Undergraduate applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are encouraged to submit SAT/ACT scores for placement in general education classes at Case Western Reserve University. Only home-schooled applicants are required to submit ACT or SAT scores. 

  • ACT: School Code – 3250 

  • SAT: School Code – 1124 

Dual-Degree Applicants

Undergraduate applicants interested in the dual degree program with Case Western Reserve University should only apply to CIM. To strengthen your application for the dual degree program, check out the application requirements for Case Western Reserve University. You may submit additional letters of recommendation (e.g. high school counselor and academic teacher) by asking your school to send them to CIM. SAT/ACT scores are required for dual degree applicants. 

Doctor of Musical Arts Applicants

DMA applicants must submit the following with the application: 

  • Prescreening videos, regardless of area of study 

  • DMA writing sample: a music history or music theory paper that represents your best academic writing 

International Applicants

Applicants from countries where English is not an official language must submit TOEFL or IELTS English language scores with the application on December 1. 

To be considered for prescreening or an audition, applicants must have the following minimum score: 

  • Bachelor of music and master of music: 61 (iBT-TOEFL) or 6 (IELTS) 

  • Artist certificate, artist diploma and professional studies diploma: 61 (iBT-TOEFL) or 6 (IELTS) 

  • Doctor of musical arts: 100 (iBT) or 7.0 (IELTS) 

Please see the International Applicant page for more information.