You can pursue your bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree; professional studies or artist diploma; or artist certificate at CIM, studying with the Institute’s world-renowned faculty. Through each program, you will benefit from CIM’s rich curriculum and extensive experiential opportunities that foster the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition into a professional career.

Your artistic journey starts here, at CIM. We invite you to apply to CIM and get one step closer to pursuing your dreams in music.

Ready to get started? The Admissions team is here to guide you through the application process and answer any questions you may have. Connect with us at

Requirements for All Applicants

All undergraduate and graduate applicants are required to provide the following application materials.

Apply Online

Apply to CIM

The deadline to submit the application and prescreen video 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 are eligible for an application fee waiver. See the Undergraduate Applicants tab below for details. 

Prescreen Video

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

  • Cello, clarinet, composition, double bass, flute, guitar, horn, oboe, orchestral conducting, organ, piano, timpani and percussion (graduates only), trumpet, viola, violin and voice. 

  • All doctor of musical arts and artist diploma applicants must submit prescreening videos. If your area does not have prescreening material, please submit at least 30 minutes of audition repertoire

Resume and 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.


Type a 250-500 word essay, double spaced, about why you want to pursue a career in classical music and how CIM will contribute to your career aspirations.

Introduction Video

Tell us more about you!

Within the application system, you will be required to record a one-minute video introducing yourself, providing the following information: 

  • Your full name 
  • Your area(s) of study (i.e. composition, oboe, violin) 
  • The degree you're seeking (i.e. bachelor's, master's, professional studies) 
  • Your answer to the following question: What is your dream career? 

How to Record Your Video:

In the application, navigate to “Video Introduction.” The video is recorded directly in the application system, and you may re-record your video as many times as needed. More detailed instructions are available within the application. We recommend allowing yourself ample time to test and complete your recording. You will need a computer with video and audio capabilities and access to the supported browsers (Chrome or Firefox) or an Android phone. The video introduction is not currently supported on iPhones or iPads.


Unofficial transcripts are due January 15 and may be uploaded to the application or to the application status page. Mailed transcripts may be sent to:  

Cleveland Institute of Music
Attn: Admission Office
11021 East Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44106 

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. 

International Applicants

International students must submit a translated and notarized transcript. If your school cannot provide a notarized, translated transcript, you must submit your transcript through a NACES organization. Learn more about transcript requirements for international students.

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 been fully enrolled in a college for at least a semester after high school/secondary school graduation, you are considered a transfer applicant. Transcript requirements for first-time undergraduate applicants:

  • 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. 
    • Homeschooled applicants should be aware of their state’s high school graduation requirements, as each homeschool transcript is evaluated on that basis.

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: 

  • 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

Master of Music, Professional Studies Diploma, Artist Diploma Applicants 

  • Bachelor’s degree transcript 
  • The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required 

Doctor of Musical Arts Applicants 

  • Master of Music transcript in the concentration to which you are applying 

Letters of Recommendation

Recommendation letters are due January 15. In the application, you will provide the names and email addresses of those who have agreed to provide recommendations. One recommendation must come from your current private teacher and the second required letter should come from a person unrelated to you who is qualified to attest to your musical ability.


Applicants auditioning for the young artist, bachelor of music, artist certificate, master of music or doctor of musical arts programs will take an online theory examination after prescreening decisions are released in late December. The online theory exam is due February 1.

In addition to the online theory exam, DMA applicants are required to take diagnostic exams in theory and history.

Additional Information for the Following Applicants

Undergraduate Applicants

Application Fee Waiver

We do not want an application fee to be the reason you decide to take CIM off your list. Through CIM's application portal, eligible first-time freshman and undergraduate transfer applicants may request and indicate their intention to apply for a fee waiver through NACAC. Once you've alerted CIM of your intention, you must complete the following steps: 

First-time Freshman:

  • If eligible, fill out the NACAC Fee Waiver Request. Please review the eligibility guidelines to determine if you are qualified to use this form. In addition to these guidelines, if you receive a request from your high school principal, high school counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader, you may be eligible.

Undergraduate Transfers:

SAT/ACT Scores

It is recommended that undergraduates (including transfer applicants) who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents submit an ACT or SAT test report with CIM's application. 

  • ACT: CIM school code is 3250. Call 319.337.1313 to order a score report.
  • SAT: CIM school code is 1124. Call 866.756.7346 to order a score report.

You must upload SAT/ACT test reports separately, even if they are recorded on your secondary school transcripts.

CIM is a fully test-optional school for SAT and ACT scores. Undergraduate applicants are encouraged to submit standardized test scores with their application only if they have taken the exams.

Advance Placement Scores

CIM grants degree credit and placement in advanced courses based on the results of College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, successful completion of International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and CIM-administered admission examinations. Appropriate Case Western Reserve University departments also make credit and placement determinations.

  • AP: College Board Advanced Placement score of 4 or higher may receive favorable consideration. If you wish to take the AP examinations but are enrolled in a high school that does not offer Advanced Placement courses, you may contact your high school counselor for registration information. It is your responsibility to obtain Advanced Placement scores and upload them to your application. Credit must be declared and awarded during your first year of study. To request express shipment of AP scores, phone 888.225.5427.
  • IB: Advanced placement credit can also be awarded for International Baccalaureate courses. To receive advanced placement consideration, you must complete the HL Test for all courses, except languages, for which the SL Test is required. Depending upon test score results, 3-7 credits per subject can be awarded.
Dual-Degree Applicants

Undergraduate applicants interested in the dual degree program between CIM and Case Western Reserve University should only apply to CIM. You may submit additional letters of recommendation (e.g. high school counselor and academic teacher) within the CIM application.

SAT/ACT scores are optional 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 English language test scores within the application, by December 1

Please see the International Applicant page for more information.