Undergraduate Application & Timeline

In addition to the information below, all undergraduate applicants are encouraged to review these detailed application instructions from the Office of Undergraduate Admission:
View All Northwestern University Requirements

Undergraduate Application Checklist


All prescreening recordings and music program requirements should be uploaded during the Bienen School of Music Audition Registration.

Do not mail any materials to the Bienen School of Music; items that are mailed to the Bienen School of Music will not be returned. Send any application materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admission, Northwestern University, P.O. Box 3060, Evanston, IL 60204-3060.


Fall 2020 Freshman Early Decision Timeline

September 1
Audition Registration available online
October 15
Prescreening (if required) and Audition Registration due
November 1
Common Application due through Northwestern
November 25
Live on-campus auditions must be completed by
December 1
Composition portfolios due
December 15
Northwestern Admission Decision released
February 1
Enrollment deposit due

NOTE: Finalists from the QuestBridge application process applying to the Bienen School must submit prescreening materials by October 18, 2019 and complete their performance audition (or upload a final recording) before November 25, regardless of whether applying Early or Regular Decision.

Fall 2020 Freshman Regular Decision Timeline

September 1
Audition Registration available online
December 1
Prescreening (if required) and Audition Registration due
January 2
Common Application due through Northwestern
February 1
Composition portfolio or audition via recording (if applicable) due
February 6-16
On-campus music performance auditions
Early April
Northwestern Admission Decision released
May 1
Enrollment deposit due

Fall 2020 Transfer Applicant Timeline

March 15
Audition Registration due
March 15
Prescreening materials, portfolios, or recorded final auditions due
March 15
Common Application and all supplemental materials due
Mid-April to Mid-May
Northwestern Admission Decision released

Dual Degree and Double Major Applicants

On the Northwestern University Writing Supplement to the Common Application, there is an option to select that you would like to be considered for the Dual Degree between the Bienen School of Music and one of four other Schools at Northwestern. If you are considering either the Dual Degree, or a Double Major between two schools, you should select this option.

When you apply to the Dual Degree and complete all requirements, you will receive an admission decision from Northwestern University for the Bienen School of Music. Northwestern offers Dual Degrees with the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; the McCormick School of Engineering; the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications; the School of Communication; and the School of Education and Social Policy.

Learn more about Dual Degrees and Double Majors

International Applicants

International applicants to Northwestern include citizens of foreign countries in foreign education systems, citizens of foreign countries in the United States educational system, and United States citizens studying abroad. All applicants to Northwestern, international and domestic, apply using the same process and timeline. Northwestern University requires all undergraduate applicants, whether educated in the United States or abroad, to submit the results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT Reasoning Test) or; American College Test (ACT) with writing.

International applicants must demonstrate a high level of English proficiency. An evaluation of English proficiency includes reviewing all test scores, grades in classes taught in English, writing samples, and comments by recommenders. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). International applicants who complete 3 to 4 years of their secondary school curriculum in English and score 650 or above on the Critical Reading section of the SAT Reasoning Test are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. Northwestern does not accept scores from other English proficiency exams, including the TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (ITP).

See complete requirements for international applicants