Berklee School Of Music Admissions Essay

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Admission Requirements

Thank you for your interest in pursuing a bachelor’s degree with Berklee Online. The board of admissions takes all elements of your application into consideration, including your academic record, personal and professional goals, as well as intention for music-related studies. Our comprehensive analysis of each applicant is designed to objectively assess your ability to succeed with Berklee Online.

Applying with Berklee Online is a simple process, and we’re here to help. Once you start your application you will be paired with an Academic Advisor, who will help guide you through the entire admissions process. If you have questions before starting your application, please contact our advising team at (617) 747-2146 option 1, or email us at advisors@online.berklee.edu.

Required Application Materials

Berklee Online requires that you apply online - start your application now . We operate on a rolling admission system; once your application is submitted and completed, you should receive a decision within two weeks.

Applicants must have proficiency in the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking, and must have completed high school/secondary school by the time they enroll with Berklee Online’s undergraduate degree programs.

Please see below for details on our required application materials.

Application Checklist:

  • Application form
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Guitar Degree, Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games Degree, and Songwriting and Producing Music Degree only: Demonstration of Musicianship
  • International applicants only: Evaluated transcripts
  • Optional supplemental material

Application Form

Please click here to start your application. The non-refundable $75 fee is due at the time of application submission.


Personal Statement

This is your opportunity to tell us about yourself and why you would be a great fit for our Online Degree Programs. You can submit either a video presentation or a written essay. Both are weighed the same, and you can choose whichever format you are more comfortable with.

The written essay should be between 500-750 words and uploaded as a Microsoft Word file (.doc, .docx) or a PDF. Please include your name and your desired major in the header.

The video presentation should be a 3-5 minute video uploaded to YouTube as an unlisted video, with the link included on your application.

Topics for Personal Statement:

  • Tell us about your background, particularly experiences with music and/or the entertainment industry.
  • Tell us why you chose Berklee Online, and why our programs are the right fit for your goals.
  • Discuss your career aspirations. What do you envision for your future in music? What do you want to achieve through our school and after you graduate?
  • Demonstrate how a degree from Berklee Online will help you to achieve your personal, professional, and creative goals.

Letters of Recommendation

Please choose two recommenders: one professional/academic and one personal, who can describe to us your work ethic, character, creative potential, collaborative ability, and why you would succeed with Berklee Online.

  1. One Academic/Professional Letter written by someone who has observed your work in an educational, employment, or community service environment, and can attest to your academic and/or professional work, such as a current or former employer, military superior, teacher, or mentor.
  2. One Personal Letter written by someone outside of your immediate family who can attest to your personal character such as a friend, band mate, colleague, co-worker, religious leader, or counselor.

Official Transcripts

Berklee Online requires official high school or equivalent transcripts, in addition to official transcripts from all past or currently attending institutions of higher education. These transcripts are used both for admissions and transfer credit purposes. You must have completed high school/secondary school, or obtained your GED to be eligible for admission.

  • One official copy of a high school transcript or official GED with scoring results. If you have more than 24 college credits completed, a photo/scan of a high school diploma or transcript will be accepted. Please note that we require proof of high school graduation for all applicants.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education past attended or currently attending.
  • A transcript is considered official if it is sent directly from your institution to Berklee Online.
  • We can accept transcripts electronically through services like Parchment and eScrip.
  • All documents must be in English. International applicants should review their specific guidelines here.

Transcripts should be mailed to:
Berklee Online Admissions
855 Boylston St, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02116

Fax number for official transcripts:
(617) 747-2149
(for use by official institutions only)

Official transcripts can be emailed to:
materials@online.berklee.edu


Demonstration of Musicianship

Applicants to our Guitar, Songwriting and Producing Music, and Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games degrees are required to submit a Demonstration of Musicianship.

Guitar Degree Audition Requirement:

A recorded video audition in which you perform a prepared piece (original or cover) on an electric or acoustic guitar. The performance must be in a single, unedited take, approximately 2-4 minutes in length, in any style, demonstrating your proficiency and overall musicianship on the guitar. We are looking for the foundations of musicianship: rhythm, technique, feel, intonation, in addition to your unique ability on the instrument. The video should be uploaded to a website like YouTube, with a link provided on your application's audition requirement field.

Songwriting and Producing Music, and Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games Requirement:

Please submit ONE of the following:

  • A portfolio of at least two original compositions with notation. Please submit MP3s, or links to sound recordings of each composition posted to a website like YouTube or SoundCloud, in addition to musical notation for each composition as PDF files. It is acceptable to submit MIDI reproductions of your music. You will not be evaluated on the production quality of the recordings, rather on the compositional ideas expressed in the recordings.
  • OR: A recorded video audition of a performance of a prepared piece (original or cover) on your principal instrument. The performance should be an unedited take, approximately 2-4 minutes in length, in any style, which demonstrates the your proficiency and overall musicianship on your principal instrument. The video should be uploaded to a website like YouTube, with a link provided on your application's audition requirement field.

International Applicants

International applicants and those applicants who have studied outside the United States must submit official transcripts for evaluation by an accredited credential evaluation agency before they are submitted to Berklee Online, such as the Education Credential Evaluators. Ask for a course-by-course evaluation with grades. If you attended school in Canada you are exempt from evaluation if you can provide us your transcript in English. All other international transcripts will not be accepted unless evaluated by a credential evaluation agency.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

Because our classes are taught and presented in English, applicants must have demonstrated proficiency in the English language, including reading, writing, and speaking, in order to be successful in our program. Applicants to the degree program whose first language is not English are required to submit a PTE Academic, TOEFL, or IELTS score to complete their application for admission.

Berklee Online recommends the following scores:

  • TOEFL: iBT (Internet-based): 100; Computer-based: 250; Paper-based: 600
  • PTE Academic: 68
  • IELTS: 7.5 or higher

Evaluated transcripts should be sent to:
Berklee Online Admissions
855 Boylston St, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02116


Supplemental Materials

Please feel free to upload any supplemental materials you might have. These can include awards, music, video, credentials, or anything else you feel demonstrates your ability to succeed as a Berklee Online degree student. Please note that while these materials will be weighed less than the primary application materials, we do encourage you to upload any materials you feel support your application.


If you have any questions please contact your advisor, or reach out to our admissions team at: advisors@online.berklee.edu, or by phone at (617) 747-2146 option 1.

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