You can pursue your bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree; graduate or artist diploma; or artist certificate at CIM, studying with the Institute’s world-renowned faculty. Through each program, you will benefit from CIM’s rich curriculum and extensive experiential opportunities that foster the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition into a professional career.

Your artistic journey starts here, at CIM. We invite you to apply to CIM and get one step closer to pursuing your dreams in music.

Ready to get started? The Admission team is here to guide you through the application process and answer any questions you may have. Connect with us at

Dates for Fall 2024 Entrance 

  • September 1, 2023  |  Application opens 
  • December 1, 2023  |  Application & prescreening video deadline  
  • February 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2024  |  In-person auditions
  • Late March 2024  |  Admittance decisions & scholarship awards announced 
  • April 15, 2024 |  Graduate decision deadline 
  • May 1, 2024  |  Undergraduate decision deadline  

Requirements for All Applicants

All undergraduate and graduate applicants are required to provide the following application materials. Read through CIM's official Admission Policy here.

Apply Online

Apply to CIM

The deadline to submit the application and prescreen video is December 1. If you are interested in Spring entry, the deadline is October 1.  

Application Fee

A $125 nonrefundable application fee is submitted online with the application. 

  • The application fee increases to $175 at 12:00am on December 2. 

  • Eligible first-time freshman and undergraduate transfer applicants are eligible for an application fee waiver. See the Undergraduate Applicants tab below for details. 

Prescreen Video

Repertoire for prescreening and audition may differ. Applicants in the following areas must upload prescreening videos to the application: 

  • Cello, clarinet, composition, double bass, flute, guitar, horn, oboe, orchestral conducting, organ, piano, timpani and percussion (graduates only), trumpet, viola, violin and voice. 

  • All doctor of musical arts and artist diploma applicants must submit prescreening videos. If your area does not have prescreening material, please submit at least 30 minutes of audition repertoire

Resume and Essay


All applicants must upload a performance resume within the application. 

  • Performance resumes include education, activities, organizations, competitions, masterclasses, and any relevant experience that would strengthen your candidacy for admittance to CIM.


Type a 250-500 word essay, double spaced, that responds to the following question:

  • What does a successful career in classical music look like to you? What are your career goals and how will CIM help you attain them?
Video Introduction

Tell us more about you!

Within the application system, you will be required to record a one-minute video introducing yourself, providing the following information: 

  • Your full name 
  • Your area(s) of study (i.e. composition, oboe, violin) 
  • The degree you're seeking (i.e. bachelor's, master's, artist diploma) 
  • Your answer to the following question: What would a successful career in music look like to you?

How to Record Your Video:

In the application, navigate to “Video Introduction.” The video is recorded directly in the application system, and you may re-record your video as many times as needed. More detailed instructions are available within the application. We recommend allowing yourself ample time to test and complete your recording. You will need a computer with video and audio capabilities and access to the supported browsers (Chrome or Firefox) or an Android phone. The video introduction is not currently supported on iPhones or iPads.


Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable during the application process and must be submitted by January 15. They may be uploaded to the application or submitted through the application status page. Transcripts may also be sent via postal mail to:

Cleveland Institute of Music
Attn: Admission Office
11021 East Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44106

Each transcript must provide a listing, year-by-year, of all courses taken and the grades or marks received for each. Records must also provide the grading scale for each institution and graduation date (projected or conferred). If grades are not yet posted, submit a transcript showing coursework in progress. This also applies to applicants who are homeschooled.

International Applicants

International applicants must submit a translated and notarized transcript. If your school cannot provide a notarized, translated transcript, you must submit your transcript through a NACES organization.

Undergraduate Applicants 

You can apply to CIM as a first-semester freshman if you have received or will receive a high school/secondary school diploma, GED or AP/IB diploma by the summer before your first year of attending college full-time. If you have been fully enrolled in a college for at least a semester after high school/secondary school graduation, you are considered a transfer applicant. Transcript requirements for first-time undergraduate applicants are as follows:

  • Transcript(s) from any high school/secondary school attended
  • Transcript(s) from any college where you have taken dual credit courses or credits that may transfer
  • Homeschool transcripts, if applicable
    • Homeschooled applicants should be aware of their state’s high school graduation requirements as each homeschool transcript is evaluated on that basis.

Transfer Applicants

Your class status is determined by your audition, transcripts, and admission examinations. Exams in music theory and ear-training are administered online before February 1. Piano proficiency is evaluated for class placement during the orientation week before classes begin. Transcript requirements for transfer applicants are as follows:

  • Transcript(s) from any high school/secondary school attended
  • Transcript(s) from any colleges attended

Graduate Applicants

  • Current college or university
  • Any previously attended college or university
  • The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required

Master of Music, Graduate Diploma, Artist Diploma Applicants

  • Bachelor’s degree transcript

Doctor of Musical Arts Applicants

  • Master of Music transcript in the concentration to which you are applying
Letters of Recommendation

Recommendation letters are due January 15. All conservatory applications must include two confidential recommendation letters from people unrelated to you who are qualified to attest to your strengths and weaknesses as a musician. In the application, you will provide the names and email addresses of those who have agreed to provide recommendations.


Applicants auditioning for the Young Artist Program, Bachelor of Music, Artist Certificate, Master of Music, or Doctor of Musical Arts programs will take an online theory examination after prescreening decisions are released in late December. The online theory exam is due February 1.

In addition to the online theory exam, DMA applicants must take DMA diagnostic exams in theory and history.

Additional Information for the Following Applicants

Undergraduate Applicants

Application Fee Waiver

We do not want an application fee to be the reason you decide to take CIM off your list. Through CIM's application portal, eligible first-time freshman and undergraduate transfer applicants may request and indicate their intention to apply for a fee waiver through NACAC. Once you've alerted CIM of your intention, you must complete the following steps: 

First-time Freshman:

  • If eligible, fill out the NACAC Fee Waiver Request. Please review the eligibility guidelines to determine if you are qualified to use this form. In addition to these guidelines, if you provide a letter of request on your behalf from your high school principal, high school counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver.

Undergraduate Transfers:

SAT/ACT Scores

CIM is a fully test-optional school for SAT and ACT scores. Undergraduate applicants are encouraged to submit standardized test scores with their application if they have taken the exams.

Submission of SAT/ACT scores is highly recommended for homeschooled applicants.

  • ACT: CIM school code is 3250. Call 319.337.1313 to order a score report.
  • SAT: CIM school code is 1124. Call 866.756.7346 to order a score report.

NOTE: SAT/ACT test reports must be uploaded to the application separately, even if they are recorded on your secondary school transcripts.

Advance Placement Scores

CIM grants degree credit and placement in advanced courses based on the results of College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, successful completion of International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and CIM-administered admission examinations. Appropriate Case Western Reserve University departments also make credit and placement determinations.

  • AP: College Board Advanced Placement score of 4 or higher may receive favorable consideration. If you wish to take the AP examinations but are enrolled in a high school that does not offer Advanced Placement courses, you may contact your high school counselor for registration information. It is your responsibility to obtain Advanced Placement scores and upload them to your application. Credit must be declared and awarded during your first year of study. To request express shipment of AP scores, phone 888.225.5427.
  • IB: Advanced placement credit can also be awarded for International Baccalaureate courses. To receive advanced placement consideration, you must complete the HL Test for all courses, except languages, for which the SL Test is required. Depending upon test score results, 3-7 credits per subject can be awarded.
Dual-Degree Applicants

Undergraduate applicants interested in the dual degree program between CIM and Case Western Reserve University should only apply to CIM. You may submit additional letters of recommendation (e.g. high school counselor and academic teacher) within the CIM application.

SAT/ACT scores are optional for dual degree applicants.

Doctor of Musical Arts Applicants

DMA applicants must submit the following with the application: 

  • Prescreening videos, regardless of area of study 
  • DMA writing sample: a music history or music theory paper that represents your best academic writing 
International Applicants

Applicants from countries where English is not an official language must submit English language test scores within the application, by December 1.

Please see the International Applicant page for more information and minimum score requirements.