Application/Audition Questions

Do I have to audition live?
  • We highly recommended that you audition live to experience CIM’s vibrant culture, and the opportunity to play for the faculty.
  • Some areas do require live auditions in Cleveland.
Does my instrument require prescreening?

It depends on your instrument. Please visit the prescreening page on our website for specific prescreening requirements. 

How do I sign up for an audition?

Once prescreening decisions are released, all areas of study (including those without prescreening) will be able to sign up for a specific audition day through the status page of your application portal. You will be notified via email if you have passed the prescreen.

To find local and regional auditions, visit our Audition page.

Can I apply for the spring semester?

Yes. There are two ways to enter in the spring semester. 

  • Fill out an application for spring and submit all required materials including recommendation letters, transcripts, videos and the non-refundable application fee by October 1.
  • You may also defer your entrance if you have enrolled for the fall semester.
Is there an early decision option?

No; since admittance to CIM is based on auditions, we require all students to audition at the same time of year.

When can I apply to CIM?
  • Our application is available on September 1.
  • The application (including recordings) is due December 1 for the fall entry.
Do I need to know piano?
  • Yes, some knowledge of piano will be very useful if you are admitted to CIM.
  • You will take a placement exam during orientation to determine your level of piano proficiency.
Do I need to take AP Music Theory?
  • No, but we highly recommend it. CIM does not accept AP music theory scores for credit.
  • Theory placement is determined by the music theory exams taken online before the audition.
  • If you are planning to take music theory before coming to CIM, we recommend taking classes that include both aural skills and written theory. Whether the class is AP, dual credit or through a private instructor, it is always helpful to get a head start.
Will my AP/College credits transfer to CIM?
  • Yes, many AP courses will count toward your degree if you receive 4 or 5 on the AP test, but our Registrar will evaluate which courses specifically when we receive your final transcripts and scores. CIM does not accept AP music theory scores.
  • College credits also need to be evaluated by our Registrar to see if they will transfer.
What are the minimum SAT/ACT scores needed to be admitted to CIM?
  • The SAT/ACT exams are not required for admission, but we highly recommend that you take one of the two. The scores are evaluated for placement into your CWRU general education classes. 
What is the essay for the application?

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? 
When are my materials due?

For spring entry, all materials, the application and the application fee are due October 1. 

For fall entry, the application, application fee, essay, resume, recordings and IELTS/TOEFL scores (international applicants) are due December 1. Recommendation letters, AP/IB and ACT/SAT scores, and unofficial transcripts are due January 15, 2020.

International Students

Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS if I have studied in the U.S.?

TOEFL/IELTS waivers are not guaranteed; however, applicants with three or more consecutive years in an English speaking institution are eligible to apply. TOEFL/IELTS waivers are not accepted or reviewed for doctor of musical arts applicants. 

Waivers are reviewed on a case-by-case basis after a complete application for admission is submitted. It is advised to turn in the waiver request and application prior to the December 1 deadline. Materials must be uploaded to the completed application and received before the December 1 deadline.

Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS if English is the native language of my home country?

No; if you are from a country whose native language is English, you are not required to take the TOEFL/IELTS.

Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS exam if I have LPR status (green card holder)?

You may need to take the TOEFL/IELTS exam, but that will be determined at your live audition when you interview with our English Language specialist.

CIM Academics

Can I major in two instruments?

Yes, but you have to audition for both separately and be accepted to both departments.

Can I minor in another instrument at CIM?

Yes, you can minor in another instrument with the permission of your principal instructor.

Does CIM offer majors in other subjects?

Yes! CIM offers double majors in Composition, Eurhythmics and Music Theory.

Are there Teaching Assistants at CIM?

There are no Teaching Assistant positions at CIM; all of our courses are taught by CIM faculty.

What work study opportunities are there at CIM?

Students can work for Admissions, Concerts and Events, the Robinson Music Library, Recording Arts and Services, and more. There is a job fair held at CIM during the first week of school where you can learn more about opportunities. All open work study jobs will be posted on CIM's career page.

Does CIM have a dorm?

In summer 2020, a new, state-of-the-art student housing complex is scheduled to open, which will include 22 acoustically isolated practice rooms. Learn more about our new student housing complex.

CIM's upperclassmen and graduate students live in the Cleveland community. Learn about off-campus housing options.

Does CIM have a dining hall?
  • CIM students usually go to Leutner Commons, a two-minute walk from CIM. CIM students on the meal plan can meet Case and Cleveland Institute of Art students while eating at one of the two dining halls on Case’s campus.
Are there performing opportunities other than at CIM?
  • Yes, many of our students are employed with nearby orchestras such as Akron, Erie, Toledo and Youngstown.
  • Many of our CIM students perform locally at weddings, parties and other events in the community.

Partnership with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU)

Do I have to apply to both CIM and CWRU for the Dual Degree program?

No, you will apply to CIM only and we will take care of the rest. Make sure you select the ‘Dual Degree’ option on your application and note your intended second major.

Can I be accepted into CWRU but not CIM if I apply for the Dual Degree Program?

No, to attend only CWRU you would need to apply separately.

If I attend only CWRU, can I study with the CIM faculty?

Through our partnership, the faculty in the Joint Music Program teaches music students at CWRU.

How long will it take to graduate if I enroll in the Dual Degree program?

5 years maximum, but it can be completed in 4 years depending on your choice of major.

Can I minor in something non-musical at CWRU?

Yes, as a CIM student you will have access to take classes from CWRU’s entire course catalog

Can I participate in CWRU clubs and organizations?

Yes! All CIM students may participate in CWRU’s clubs and organizations.

If I enroll in the Dual Degree Program with CWRU, do I have to pay tuition to both schools?

No, but there is a fee to enroll in the program (approximately $5,000)

CIM by the Numbers

How much is tuition at CIM?

Currently, our tuition is frozen at $40,000. 

How many students attend CIM?

In the fall of 2019, we will have 375 students, and in the fall of 2020, our student population will sit at 350 students.

What is the Undergraduate/Graduate student ratio?

Approximately 55% undergraduate to 45% graduate.

How many students are international?

About 30% of our students are international, 65% are from other U.S. states, and 5% are from Ohio.