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: “The application system says my reference hasn’t arrived yet.”

a.     Please confirm with your references individually and make sure that they received an email from the UBC graduate system inviting them to submit a reference for you.  If they have not, there could be a typo in the email address you provided to the graduate system. Contact Juliet O’Keefe to resolve this issue.

b.     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, NOT a free email service like Hotmail or Gmail or QQmail.  If a reference only has a free email address, they will receive an email from our graduate system that invites them to can post a hard-copy reference form directly to the School of Music, to be received by December 15th.

c.     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.”

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 central graduate application system, but might not remind you about Music-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 that different programs have different deadlines!”

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. UBC’s CLAS platform ensures that your video audition materials can be submitted securely. Composition applicants please note: after sending hard-copy scores to the School of Music, you must also submit corresponding audio/video files of your portfolio online through CLAS. 

The audition/portfolio submission deadline is Jan. 3 for most programs, but the deadline for applicants to the Conducting program is Dec. 15th  for submission of the pre-screening video. Extensions are sometimes possible. Upload instructions will be sent to Composition and video-audition Performance applicants between Dec. 1 and Dec. 10.  If you run into any technical issues when submitting, please contact me directly.

Thanks and good luck! 


Updated from a blog post originally dated Nov. 28, 2017.