Frequently Asked Questions

About Bloomington

Where is Bloomington, Indiana?

Bloomington (pop. 80,405) is nestled in the wooded hills of southern Indiana. Bloomington is a one-hour drive south from Indianapolis, the state’s capital. With its central location in the heart of the Midwest, Bloomington is easy to get to by car, bus, or plane.  Bloomington is also within close driving distance to Chicago (4 hours); Cincinnati, Ohio (less than 2.5 hours); Columbus, Ohio (3.5 hours); Louisville, Kentucky (less than 2 hours); and, St. Louis, Missouri (4 hours).

What is there to do in Bloomington?

Music, art, dance, sports, outdoor recreation, ethnic food…it’s all here, in a serene Midwest city surrounded by natural beauty. You will find coffeehouses, live music, festivals, bookstores, open-air markets, historic architecture, lakes, parks, museums, and theaters. You will get all the activities and conveniences of a major metropolitan area without the complications of a large city. Bloomington, Indiana is the quintessential college town, and has been named one of the Best Small Towns in America, and one of the country’s best college towns.

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About the IU Jacobs School of Music

Is the Jacobs School of Music too large? Will I get lost?

Size is often a consideration in choosing a college. There are many advantages to choosing a large institution. Indiana University offers 134 different undergraduate majors; 328 degree programs; 19 libraries with more than 6 million books; thousands of courses; hundreds of clubs, sports, and special activities; and, an abundant social life.

The Jacobs School of Music has over 1,600 students (approximately half undergraduate and half graduate), with 180 faculty in residence, and state of the art performance and research facilities. The Jacobs School of Music has 200 practice rooms; 7 recording/production studios and 2 electronic labs; a music library housing more than a half-million cataloged items; five music buildings; and presents more than 1,100 concerts and recitals a year, including 6 fully-staged operas and 3 ballets. Performing groups include 6 orchestras, 13 choral ensembles, 4 bands, 4 jazz bands and various chamber ensembles.

How large are the classes?

Our courses average 34 students per class and fewer than 6% of the undergraduate classes at IU have more than 100 students (most of those being introductory classes). Many courses include small discussion groups and/or labs for more personal attention. Every music major studies privately with a member of our faculty.

I’ve heard the Jacobs School of Music is really just a graduate school. Are there many performing opportunities for undergraduates?

With approximately 1,600 students enrolled at the Jacobs School of Music; half being graduate and half being undergraduate; with 6 orchestras, 4 jazz bands, 4 bands, 13 choral ensembles, 6 operas a year, etc., there are numerous performing opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate and graduate students perform together in ensembles, assuring that students learn from each other while maintaining the highest level of musical excellence.

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Applying and Auditions

Do I need advanced training in order to apply?

Yes. The Jacobs School of Music is a conservatory within a university and offers pre-professional training in its programs, with a highly competitive applicant pool.

How do I apply?

To access our online application and complete instructions, please visit our Application Procedure page. There is a different process for undergraduates and graduates and also for international and domestic students. 

Please note that undergraduate applicants must apply by November 1 and graduate applicants must apply by December 1 in order to be considered for fall admission.

You can find explanations of all degree and diploma programs on our web site. Since there are different requirements for the various departments, it is important to carefully review the requirements for the department or instrumental area for which you intend to apply.  Visit the Audition and Interview Requirements page.

Do I have to be admitted by the university before applying to the Jacobs School of Music?

Undergraduate applicants must complete both an Indiana University application and the Jacobs School of Music Supplemental application. Graduate applicants must complete both a University Graduate School application and a Jacobs School of Music Supplemental application. Both undergraduate and graduate applicants must complete the university application before the Jacobs School of Music Supplemental application.

When are applications due?

The application deadline for fall admission consideration is November 1 for undergraduate applicants and December 1 for graduate applicants. Supplementary materials and pre-screening materials need to be received by the deadline date.

Auditions are scheduled once we have received a complete application. In many cases, there is a pre-screening process before auditions are granted.  Refer to our audition requirements for your specific area/instrument.

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation if I am a prospective student?

All undergraduate applicants to the Jacobs School of Music must submit at least one teacher recommendation and all graduate applicants must submit at least three teacher recommendations. Your teacher recommendation must be received by the Jacobs School of Music Office of Admissions by the application deadline of December 1 via our online system.

How do I schedule an audition/interview?

When you complete the Jacobs School of Music application, you will indicate your preferred audition weekend.  You will receive written confirmation of your audition date and audition/interview time by email.  We make every attempt to schedule you during the weekend you request, although we cannot guarantee which day it will take place.  Applications are processed in the order they are received.

In many cases, there is a pre-screening process before auditions are granted.  Please refer to the Audition and Interview Requirements page for more information.

How do I change my audition date?

All requests to change audition dates must be received in writing by the Jacobs School of Music Office of Admissions. There is a fee for changing your audition date ($90). Please follow the instructions on our website for requesting a change to your audition schedule.

May I send a recorded audition or do I have to come to campus to audition?

You may send a final recorded audition by December 1. Be sure your audition recording adheres to the audition requirements listed on the Audition and Interview Requirements page. For detailed instructions on submitting your recording online please click here.

What happens during the audition weekend besides my audition? Do I need to be available the whole day?

You will receive your audition time and detailed information about the audition weekend by email before your audition.  We offer tours of campus, tours of the music facilities, and information sessions for students and families. Also, specific departments offer additional activities that are advertised in your audition packet or by the department directly.  There are also many recitals and performances that are often presented during audition weekends, including a ballet and/or opera.  Please see the Prelude Calendar for more information.  We will also provide a list of classes and ensembles for observation at check-in.  You are only required to be present at your audition and/or interview (if applicable). 

Should I bring an accompanist?

No. Instrumental auditions will be held without accompaniment, with the exception of the following: DM strings, DM woodwinds, and jazz. These applicants and all voice applicants will have a piano accompanist provided by the JSOM department.

Do I need to reserve a practice room for audition weekend?

No. When you check-in, we will provide you with a list of the available practice rooms.  Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

When will I know the admissions decision?

Assuming your file is complete at the time of the audition, you should expect a decision between 3 weeks of the date of your audition and May 1 (April 15 for graduate applicants).  

How many applications do you receive a year? What is the acceptance rate?

On average, we receive 1,600 undergraduate applications of which approximately a quarter are admitted and 1,200 graduate applications of which approximately one third are admitted.

When is orientation?

Freshmen have the option of coming during one of the summer programs for orientation or the week before classes begin in the fall.  Graduate students have orientation and proficiency exams the week before classes begin.

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Scholarships and Financial Aid

What scholarship opportunities are available?


The Jacobs School of Music offers merit-based scholarships.  They are all based on a combination of talent, academic achievement and department need.  You do not need to complete a separate application to be considered for scholarship through the Jacobs School of Music.


The Jacobs School of Music offers merit-based scholarships, including graduate assistantships and associate instructorships.  They are all based on a combination of talent, academic achievement and department need.  You do not need to complete a separate application to be considered for scholarships or assistantships.

If awarded an AI or GA, what does this cover?

You will receive a monthly stipend and a portion of the cost of tuition. However, none of the mandatory fees will be covered. Please see the website for the Office of the Bursar.

How do I apply for need-based financial aid?

You may apply for need–based financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The application can be accessed by visiting the FAFSA Website.  Feel free to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance with any questions.

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Performing Opportunities

Will I get a chance to perform?

Yes.  All music majors must enroll in an ensemble every semester (except doctoral students).  Students can choose from 4 symphony orchestras, a chamber orchestra, baroque orchestra, 4 concert bands, 4 jazz ensembles, 13 choral ensembles, New Music ensembles, Early Music Institute ensembles, amongst others.  There are many opportunities for playing chamber music, as well as performance opportunities available within the Bloomington community.

What performance opportunities are there outside of the university and the Jacobs School of Music?

There are several regional orchestras in which Jacobs School of Music students hold positions.  Some of the orchestras hold auditions at the Jacobs School of Music while others post information about upcoming auditions in various areas around the school. 

What opportunities are there for non-music majors?

You may register for secondary lessons on your instrument/voice with a graduate student, take various music classes and participate in ensembles, some of which require an audition.  You may also minor in music.  Please check with your advisor for more information, or visit the Minor in Music page.

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Faculty and Lessons

Will I take private lessons with a graduate assistant?

No.  All music majors study privately with one of our 180 faculty in residence.  You may study with a graduate assistant only if you enroll in secondary instrument lessons.

May I take trial lessons from faculty members?

Yes, depending on the policies of individual faculty members, individual lessons may be scheduled directly with faculty members. The Jacobs School of Music Office of Admissions will be happy to provide faculty contact information, or you may find faculty emails and phone numbers listed on the Faculty Profiles page.

When will I know who my teacher is?

Teacher assignments are based largely on space availability in faculty studios. Every effort is made to place students with their first choice of instructor, as indicated on their application for admission, but there is no guarantee of placement.  Assignments are made over the course of the spring by the Academic Advising Office, and are finalized during the first week of classes in the fall.  Students may be in direct contact with professors and/or the Office of Music Admissions for information.  All music majors will study with a faculty member. 

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Visiting the Jacobs School of Music

May I tour the university and the Jacobs School of Music?

Yes.  We offer music information sessions and tours of the music facilities throughout most of the year, Monday - Friday.  The information session begins at 10:00 am, and the tour will end at approximately 12:00 pm. Please make sure to arrive by 9:45 am in order to complete a brief questionnaire before the start of the information session.  Please email us at or call 812.855.7998 to be added to our calendar for a particular date.  To tour the Indiana University campus, please refer to the IU Admissions website or contact IU Admissions at or 812.855.0661.

When I come to visit, may I observe classes and ensembles?

Yes.  Please feel free to contact the Office of Music Admissions at or 812.855.7998 for weekly class and ensemble schedules.  Please note that due to performance schedules not all ensembles may be available for observation.

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International Students

My native language is not English. Do I need to take the TOEFL?

Yes. All applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit an acceptable score (see TOEFL requirements) by March 1, 2019 in order to receive full consideration for Fall 2019 admission. The minimum TOEFL result required for the bachelor's degree program is a paper-based score of 560, a computer-based minimum of 223, and an internet-based minimum of 84. There are no exceptions to these requirements. To ensure timely processing of your TOEFL score, please mail your score directly to the Jacobs School of Music (score report can also be faxed or scanned and emailed), rather than through your agency. For more information about the TOEFL exam please refer to the Application Procedure pages and Educational Testing Service (ETS).

NOTE: DM applicants in piano, all voice applicants, and all graduate applicants in choral conducting, orchestral conducting and music education who are required to submit a TOEFL score, must do so by the December 1, 2018 deadline.

The IU Bloomington campus has a testing center on-site. Please visit the IUB Evaluation Services & Testing website for more information.

How do I apply?

Undergraduate applicants will complete one application to IU and the Jacobs School of Music. Graduates must apply to the Office of International Admissions and the Jacobs School of Music. Please refer to our Application Procedures.

When will I receive the I-20?

You will receive an I-20 after your application has been received for final review and processed by International Admissions.  Proof of funding is required before an I-20 can be created.  Please contact the Office of International Services, or 812-855-9086 with questions and/or concerns.

Am I eligible for scholarship if I am an international student?

Yes.  You are eligible for merit-based scholarships. All scholarships are based on talent, academic achievement and department need.