A major entrance audition is required for applicants applying for UCSB admission with any Bachelor of Music (BM) programs as their first choice major. 

Students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Art in Music Studies, or taking lessons in a faculty studio are also welcome to audition during our audition days to see if they will qualify for lessons in a faculty studio. Lesson space is only guaranteed for declared BM students.


Step 1

Apply to UCSB.  

If interested, we highly encourage you to choose the Bachelor of Music as your first choice major. If you do not pass your audition, you will have an opportunity to change your preferred major to Music Studies or another offered major. UC applications are due November 30. Once you've applied to the university, you can apply for entrance into the Bachelor of Music degree program. Admissions will be notified whether or not you qualify for the BM after your audition, but prior to your final admission decision.

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Step 2

Submit your musical resume and application info through the appropriate form. For instruments that do not require prescreening, you'll be able to schedule your audition time using a link at the end of the form. 

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Step 3

Perform an audition according to the specific requirements for your chosen major preference. See specifics for Freshman and Transfer applicants.

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Ready?! Use the button below to go to the audition page.
Make sure to reserve some time on audition day to explore the UCSB campus and Santa Barbara community.

Audition for Entrance, Fall 2023

Who should plan to audition?

  • Those applying to UCSB as incoming Freshman and Transfer Students applying specifically for a Bachelor of Music degree.
  • UCSB applicants interested in taking lessons while at UCSB who wish to gauge the likelihood of acceptance into a studio. Lessons are not guaranteed in this group, and often require a second audition once enrolled at UCSB.


Do you prescreen? 

Some instruments, like voice and piano, require a prescreen. Others do not. Information for each instrument will be posted on the audition page.

When will my individual lessons (studio) instructor be assigned? 

For studios with multiple faculty, an additional placement audition will happen during pre-instruction week.

Do I need to take placement exams? 

Yes, at the start of Fall quarter, in music theory and musicianship and class piano.

Does the Music Department make decisions on who will be admitted to UCSB?

No. The results of our auditions/composition portfolios only serve to assess undergraduate freshmen and transfer applicants musical suitability for the BM degree program. All acceptances into the degree program are contingent on acceptance to the University of California by the Office of Admissions.

How long will my audition last?

Audition times vary by instrument and may last  between 5 and 30 minutes, depending on the instrument, the repertoire presented for the audition and committee preferences. Time limits must be observed in order to give each prospective student appropriate time to audition.

May I play my own pieces (composed by myself) for the audition?

Normally, the Faculty will wish to hear the standard required repertoire pieces listed for the audition.

Can I submit a recorded Audition?

Yes. For information on what you will need to perform, please see the appropriate section about your instrument on the page for the level you are applying for, in the freshman or transfer sections, above.

Is it possible to double major in music with another discipline?

Yes. Once you are enrolled at UCSB, you can change your major, or add a double major as early as Spring quarter of your first year. Talk to the undergraduate advisors in both departments to start. Individual circumstances vary, so talk to the advisors for personalized advice.

Is there a minor in music?

Yes, there is a Music Minor option for students not majoring in music. A minor can be added once you are enrolled at UCSB - no audition required.

May I participate in ensembles without being a music major or minor?

Yes, each year we have many students who are studying in other majors across the University, and who participate in many of our Music Department ensembles. A list of ensembles and their audition requirements can be viewed in the Ensembles section. Contact the faculty, or review the information provided on the webpage to get information on how to audition for the ensemble.

Can I take lessons or major in harp, saxophone, or guitar?

Currently, we do not offer private instruction or majors in harp, saxophone or guitar. For students who are interested in playing instruments similar to guitar, we  offer some beginning instrumental instruction in jarana jarocha (MUS A 70Z/170Z), and sitar lessons (starting Winter quarter only). UCSB's Rec Cen offers some guitar and mandolin lessons for a fee.

Students who play these instruments may also wish to reach out to our ensemble directors for opportunities to play within ensembles.

Are scholarships available from the Department of Music?

Yes, each year the Department of Music awards a few scholarships to incoming students majoring in Music based on the results of their audition (no additional application is collected). Scholarship awards from the Department of Music are limited to students who are declared and maintain a “Music Major” as their degree plan emphasis. Other scholarships may be available to particular studios, and studio teachers will advise students on these opportunities.

Are practice rooms with pianos available to anyone?

No. Music Department rooms are ONLY for UCSB students enrolled in Music Department ensembles or lessons (no exceptions). To arrange for access, please make an appointment with Connor Long, or stop by Music 1251 M-W from 1:30 - 2:30 for key hours. A $40 deposit is required, checks, or money order (available at the Post Office in the UCen) only, made out to UC Regents is required at the time of your key appointment.

Lessons and Ensembles include Music 8, 20-33, 88, A34 through A70AA-ZZ*, 108, 120-133, A134 through A170AA-ZZ* and graduate-level performance classes.

If you need a practice room to warm up for an audition for a Music Department lesson or ensemble, please stop by the Music office (1300's) during office hours to see if a space is available. Once you are accepted into a lesson or ensemble, you will need to arrange for your own key.

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Still have questions? Contact the Music Undergraduate Advisor at music-auditions@ucsb.edu.