Apply as a Transfer

Degree Preparation

The Department of Music offers two types of degrees with a major in Music:  the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music Studies and the Bachelor of Music (BM). Each requires some level of degree preparation at your previous college. Please visit FAQs for questions.

Applying to the BA

For applicants interested in the Bachelor of Art or the Music Minor, no additional application materials or audition in necessary during the application phase.

For transfer students, is advised that you enter in with at least some music coursework at your previous college to pursue the BA degree. As a guide, use the degree sheet for your prospective BA . General recommendations for preparation coursework include: one year in Theory, Musicianship and Applied music classes, a class in Music History (Mus10 Series equivalent), and World Music, are the most helpful towards meeting your lower division requirements. It is possible to come in without all, or only some, of the suggested prep work done.

Most Theory and Musicianship classes taken at a previous college do not automatically apply to your degree requirments at UCSB. A placement exam, taken at the beginning of Fall quarter, is required for all incoming Music Majors. Transfer students who have already taken these classes at their college may find that they are placed at an earlier stage of equivalence at UCSB.

To apply to the BA, only step one, below, is necessary. You do not need to audtion or send in any other materials to the Music Department.

Applying to a BM

Entrance to the Bachelor of Music (BM) programs at any level is only by audition to talented performers who meet the required standard.

If you are applying to the BM as a transfer student and wish to enter with upper-division status, you MUST come in sufficiently prepared with much of your preparation work  (listed as 'preparation for the major' on the degree sheet) done at your previous college. As a guide, use the degree sheet for your prospective BM in (instrument).

With the exception of the Music 3 series of courses, most (if not all) of the preparation for the major courses should be taken at your college. Prosepective Bachelor of Music students should take at least a year of Music Theory, Musicianship and Piano to prepare for the placement tests at UCSB. Additionally, they should take at least one year of Music History (Mus10  equivalent), participate in BM degree appropriate ensembles and, in some cases, fulfill a language or two (e.g. Voice majors are required level 3 proficiency in Italian, and German or French). Although the University may grant transfer of all units from most junior colleges and other universities, the Department of Music does some evaluations in the form of placement tests and auditions in many of these lower- division courses: namely musicianship, theory, piano proficiency, and performance courses. In these courses, transfer students who have already done two years of study may find that, after the placement tests in the first week of classes and auditions taken then or at Entrance Auditions, they are placed at an earlier stage of equivalence at UCSB.

It is highly recommended that prospective students have the undergraduate advisor review your unofficial transcripts to give an estimate of what might be missing. Finishing the BM major in two years creates a very tight schedule, with little to no room for electives outside of your requirements, so careful planning, even in the years before a student enters UCSB, is a must.

General Education Preparation: All transfer students from California community colleges are strongly urged to complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Transfer students who have any omissions in the IGETC program at the time of transfer must satisfy all requirements within the General Education program of the College of Letters and Science at UCSB. Please note that one of the separate University Regulations (not a College General Education Requirement) - the American History and Institutions Requirement - is not covered by the IGETC and also has to be met while at UCSB, if not fulfilled earlier.

For students applying to the Bachelor of Music, follow all three of the steps listed below.

How to Apply

Step one - Apply to UCSB

  • Complete the UCSB Undergraduate Application between November 1 - 30. The application fee is $70.
  • Please note: applicants applying simultaneously to both the Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies and the Bachelor of Music with a specific instrumental or vocal emphasis, please select BM as your first-choice major on the UCSB Application.

Step two - Fill out an Audition Form

  • Fill out and Submit the Audition Form. The form will re-open November 1st for Fall 2019 BM applicants. For questions, please email music-auditions@ucsb.edu.

Step three - Schedule an Audition

  • Click on the instrument to see the sign up form for that particular instrument. You will be able to choose your audition day and time based on the availability listed. You will be able to release and re-choose a spot if your availability changes, however it will be limited to the choices still open.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to perform a live audition, but it is possible to audition by submitting a recording that meet the above requirements. More information about how to submit links to your recorded audition will be available soon.

Step four - Perform an Audition

  • Perform an audition according to the specific requirements for your chosen major preference, see below.

Audition Requirements by Instrument

BM Emphases in Voice

Program must include French, German, Italian and English art song performed from memory. Arias from opera or oratorio are permitted, though not required.  Candidate must provide one copy of music for the accompanist.

BM Emphases in Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Trombone, Trumpet, And Tuba

Major repertoire for the instrument.  Consult faculty for specific requirements.

BM Emphases in Double Bass, Cello, Viola, and Violin

Two or three contrasting works from different historical periods. At least one work must be performed from memory.

BM Piano Emphasis

Four contrasting works from different historical periods. One of the works must consist of two or more movements of a sonata from the Classical period, and another must be a Chopin Etude or comparable virtuosic work.

BM Composition Emphasis

Students who wish to audition for entrance into the BM, Composition program, a live audition is not required. Instead, please create a single PDF portfolio with the documents listed below and links to your work, which should be available for viewing online. Submit this as a single package to music-auditions@ucsb.edu. Your portfolio must include:

  • Statement of Objective as composition major
  • Three works, submitted with score (.pdf) and recording (.mp3 or .wav) if available. For works with no or non-traditional notation, alternate documentation is acceptable.
  • Complete List of Works, indicating any performances and recording

Review our FAQs