Thinking about applying to a graduate program? Here are some tips ahead of the Dec. 1 deadline

By Katherine Evans, Admissions Manager

Photo: Paul Joseph/UBC

Photo: Paul Joseph/UBC

The graduate application deadline is approaching! Dec. 1st is the last day to submit your application to the UBC School of Music for MMus, MA, PhD or DMA programs.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to apply — if, for example, you’re not sure you’ll be ready to audition in time, don’t know your prospective advisor well enough, and so on — I encourage you to reach out to us!

You can contact me and I can help you get in touch with faculty members if you have program-specific questions. We want to help you know that you are well matched with a program here and make sure that you have all the information you need.

Our graduate admissions system is generally very quick and reliable, but as with any system, there are occasionally quirks that can cause confusion for a few applicants each year. Below are a few things to be aware of:

References: “Why hasn’t my reference received a notification to fill out a reference form and letter for me?”

There are a few reasons why that could be the case. The most common reason is this: the graduate application system will ask you for the email addresses of three references. Those email addresses cannot be free email services like Gmail or Hotmail. In order for your references to be able to submit their letters online, the email address you give for them has to be from a paid service — an address hosted by their university, company of employment, or a company like Shaw or Telus. If a reference only has a free email address, they can post a hard-copy reference form directly to the School of Music (see our address in the website footer) to be received by Jan. 3rd (which is also the eReference deadline).

Here are the detailed requirements for both forms of reference. Please note that for a hard-copy reference the envelope has to be “sealed and endorsed.”

If your reference has an institutional email address, but still has not received their invitation to fill out a reference for you, please contact our Graduate Admissions Secretary, Juliet O’Keefe.

Supporting documents: “Why is there a document deadline of Dec. 15, separate from the application deadline, and what documents do I need to submit by that date?”

I am so glad you asked! Between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, you can upload transcripts and English proficiency test scores. The admissions system will send you an automatic checklist of any items missing from the UBC graduate application system, but might not remind you about program-specific requirements such as repertoire lists, academic writing samples, etc.  Those need to be uploaded with your application by Dec. 1st. (If, however, you realize that you omitted something from your application and have already submitted it, there is still hope!  Contact Juliet. She can upload most documents into your application after the deadline).

Video auditions: “How can I submit my video audition and what is the deadline? I see different deadlines on the web site.”

If you are applying into a performance program and cannot audition in person, you will need to upload video files of your audition onto the CLAS platform. Our CLAS platfrom here at UBC ensures that your video audition materials can be submitted securely. Please note that ALL applicants to the Composition program must submit their portfolio online as video or audio files. 

The audition/portfolio submission deadline is Jan. 3 for most programs, but for applicants into any of the Conducting programs, the deadline is Dec. 1. Extensions are sometimes possible. Upload instructions will be sent to Composition and video-audition Performance applicants between now and Dec. 4.  If you run into any technical issues when submitting, please contact me directly.

Thanks and good luck!