Application Materials

The admissions process, supplemental materials, and entrance standards discussed in further detail below are the same for Bachelor of Music (BM), Performance Diploma (PD), Master of Music in Performance (MM), Professional Studies Certificate (PSC), and Artist Diploma (AD).

Here’s what we need:

Any application missing required materials by the deadline will not be prescreened for an in-person audition. The Admissions Committee will not consider an applicant without a completed file.

Please click here for a helpful checklist as you gather all the required materials.


Colburn Conservatory of Music students are chosen based on the current instrumentation of the Colburn Orchestra and piano department. We accept applications for instrumental areas with openings for that enrollment period. To see which studios have openings, check out our Current Openings page.

Official Transcripts

All applicants must submit official transcripts from their previous schools. These transcripts must be sent directly from the school, either through an electronic service or by mail. Transcripts should be received by Colburn no later than January 15; they are not required for the December 1 application deadline.

  • Bachelor of Music and Performance Diploma applicants must submit a high school transcript.
  • Undergraduate students wishing to transfer to the Conservatory’s Bachelor of Music program should submit both high school and college transcripts.
  • Applicants to our post-baccalaureate programs—Master of Music, Artist Diploma, and Professional Studies Certificate—must provide transcripts from each college attended.

International applicants who attended schools outside of the United States need to provide documents in original languages along with a certified translation into English. Also, degrees issued by international institutions may have to be verified by an agency in the United States, and applicants are responsible for verification fees.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required of all applicants:

  • Letter No. 1: A recommendation from a current applied (private) teacher (excluding relatives) who can describe your instrumental development and abilities.
  • Letter No. 2: A recommendation from another musician (i.e. a chamber music coach, orchestra director, summer festival teacher) who can attest to your musical abilities. For applicants to the Bachelor of Music or Master of Music, the letter should also address your ability to succeed in an academic degree program.

You can provide us with your teacher’s contact information through the online application, and we will send them a link to complete the recommendation. We will also accept mailed letters of recommendations, sealed by the recommender.


A résumé is your opportunity to let us know about your academic and musical achievements,  including competitions, and community involvement. Keep in mind, a résumé is different from a program biography. If you haven’t created a résumé before, use our sample one as a guide.


Two essays are requested from all applicants; this is another opportunity for us to get to know a little more about you, your goals, and why you want to become a part of the Colburn Conservatory of Music community. You’ll find the essay questions through the online application. The essays should be a minimum of two paragraphs, but no longer than one page, single spaced.

Standardized Test Scores

Although standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) are not mandatory for admittance into the Colburn Conservatory of Music, we do consider them a helpful assessment tool. If you decide to take one of these tests, the scores typically are included with your high school transcripts. They can also be sent to us directly from The College Board. Colburn’s CEEB code is 6918.


If English is not your native language, we ask that you provide an official TOEFL score with your application. TOEFL scores are due on December 1. More information can be found on the International Student Admission page. Colburn’s TOEFL code is 8477.

Prescreening Video Recording

All applicants to the Colburn Conservatory of Music must upload a prescreening video recording through the online application to be reviewed by our faculty. Audio only recordings are not accepted.  For specific prescreening repertoire requirements, please see our Audition Repertoire page.

Mail Us

Any hard copies of supplemental materials should be sent to:

Colburn Conservatory of Music
Office of Admissions
200 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

For more information contact us at or 213-621-4534.