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Performer's Certificate|Areas of Study



The Performer’s Certificate is a specialized course of study designed for outstanding performers who, by their performance and credentials, demonstrate they have serious potential for a career as a professional musician.  The program is designed to provide students with the maximum amount of time and flexibility for intensive study and performance opportunities under the guidance of master teachers.

The Performer’s Certificate is a two-year, post-baccalaureate program. Admission requirements are detailed below.  Please also see the Performer's Certificate course requirements.

stringsAdmission Requirements

Admission to the Performer’s Certificate program requires acceptance by both the UW Graduate Admissions AND the UW Department of Music.

UW Department of Music Admission

To be considered for admission to the Performer’s Certificate program, students must have completed an undergraduate degree in music or equivalent, and demonstrate through an audition the potential for a career as a professional performing musician.

All students applying for the Performer’s Certificate program must audition in person or send a high quality compact disc, DVD or web-based recording showing a variety of technical skills and music styles. Students wishing to audition for the Performer’s Certificate in the Vocal Arts Area are encouraged to submit a video/DVD recording.

Vocal audition requirements: four selections in differing styles including a work in English, French, German, and Italian; only one operatic or one oratorio aria is permitted and one selection must have been written after 1940.

String audition requirements: one movement of a standard concerto or equivalent, and two movements of a solo Bach suite or equivalent.

Piano auditions must include repertoire from at least three style periods, including one etude of virtuosity.

Audition requirements for all other instruments must be obtained from the appropriate Area Coordinator.

The TOEFL is not required for the Performer’s Certificate program, but some proficiency in English is expected.


UW Graduate Admission

UW Graduate admission is contingent upon meeting the following requirements (the GRE is not required):
  • A bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution of higher learning.
  • A Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher (A = 4.0) on all previous work.
  • Three letters of recommendation sent by persons knowledgeable of the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study.
  • Personal Statement, which includes why you are applying and what you will do with your degree.
  • Submission of original transcripts of all previous work.

Information for International Students 

In addition to the criteria stated for U.S. applicants, international applicants must provide a Financial Statement and a copy of their passport. Please see the University Catalog, or visit the Graduate Admissions website at

For VISA information or other immigration regulations, please see the International Students and Scholars website at

Change of Degree Status

Students who wish to change from the Performer’s Certificate to the Master’s of Musical Arts degree program must submit the appropriate application to the Admissions Office. Classes taken at the graduate level (5000 or above) while studying as a Performer’s Certificate student may be counted towards a master’s degree with prior approval of the Department Chair and Registrar’s Office.  PLEASE NOTE: International students must pass the TOEFL exam with a minimum paper exam score of 540 (207 on the computerized exam, or 76 on the Internet-based test TOEFL iBT) before being admitted to the Master’s Program.

Recital Requirements

All instrumental and voice majors in the Performer’s Certificate Program must present two full-length (minimum 60 minutes) recitals.

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The Performer’s Certificate is a two-year, post-baccalaureate program geared toward the professional musician.

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