MM & DMA Frequently Asked Questions

Applications Top

What are the English language test requirements/minimum scores for graduate applicants?

Master of Music

TOEFL: 85iBT ||| IELTS: 6.5 ||| Duolingo English Test: 115

Doctor of Musical Arts

TOEFL: 95iBT ||| IELTS: 7.0 ||| Duolingo English Test: 120

See more information about English language proficiency requirements.

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Does Northwestern waive the English language test requirement for international applicants who have received a bachelor's degree in the United States?

If English is not your first and primary language, you will be required to submit an English language test score or apply for an English proficiency waiver.

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Do you accept MyBest TOEFL scores?

MyBest TOEFL scores are not accepted.

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Are GRE scores required for the graduate program (MM/DMA)?

GRE scores are not required to apply to the MM or DMA program. There is no minimum score requirement.

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Financial Aid Top

Is there financial aid available/how do I apply for financial aid?

All admitted MM applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships, graduate assistantships, and work-study assignments. The most aid an MM student can receive in financial aid is equivalent to the full cost of tuition.

All DMA applicants offered admission are automatically offered a full-tuition scholarship, stipend, and subsidy for the Northwestern University Student Health Insurance Plan. This package will be renewed for the second year of coursework.  

For domestic students with U.S. citizenship, we recommend completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for student loans to supplement aid provided by the Bienen School.

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Is there financial aid for international students?

There is no difference in the merit-based scholarship process for international applicants. International students are ineligible to apply for federal student loans through FAFSA, however. There are some options for international students to receive a private loan, however many of them do require a U.S. citizen to act as a co-signer. More information can be found here.

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How much does it cost to attend Northwestern University/the Bienen School?

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Are there graduate assistantships?

Yes. All admitted applicants are considered for graduate assistantship positions.

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