Artist Diploma

The artist diploma is a highly selective non-degree graduate program for the specialized training of the gifted and accomplished performer.  The program focuses on the practical aspects of music performance: private instruction, solo performance, participation in musical ensembles, chamber music, and musicianship skills.  It may include non-performance supportive music courses.

Admission Requirements

To be accepted into the Artist Diploma program the applicant must

  *Have earned the bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with an overall GPA of  2.75 (or 3.00 in the last two years of study).

*Be accepted by the Ball State Graduate School and the Rinker Center for International Programs, where applicable.

*Present an audition demonstrating a high level of performance ability.

All audition requirements will parallel the graduate-level audition requirements used in existing graduate degree programs.  For specific audition requirements, see the Graduate Auditions page on the School of Music website.

A live audition on the Ball State campus is required for admission into the program; however, a recent (within one year) LIVE, un-edited DVD recording of a full recital (such as a degree recital or professional recital) may be submitted for admission evaluation.  The DVD should be a complete recording of an event with the printed program attached.  Faculty from the discipline or the sub-area will evaluate all auditions; a minimum of three should comprise this audition committee.  (In the case of an audition on campus, an accompanist fee may be applicable.) Recommended audition repertoire is listed on the School of Music website under Graduate Admissions, Graduate Auditions.

NOTE: All students admitted to the Artist Diploma program must present a juried recital by enrolling in MUSP 610 (or MUSP 600 and 640) by the end of the second semester of study.  Failure in this recital will result in dismissal from the program.  In the event this recital is not successfully completed before the end of the second semester (because of scheduling conflicts, postponement, partial pass), the student will be given an incomplete grade for the MUSP enrollment. The “I” must be successfully removed within 6 weeks of the second semester’s end.

Application Procedures

The application process is two-pronged:

1a. Send application materials and fee to the Graduate School per the instructions at this website:

Graduate School

OR (see also below)

1b. Non-U.S. residents must apply for admission through Ball State’s Rinker Center for International Programs. International students must meet all of the university’s regular admission requirements. All credentials from foreign secondary schools, colleges, universities, and their equivalents are evaluated by WES for the Center for International Programs. Phone: (765) 285-5422.  Visit


2. ALL ARTIST DIPLOMA APPLICANTS should download and print the Artist Diploma Check List (see page 52 of the Handbook or request a copy from the graduate secretary), and send it and a resume to the Graduate Coordinator’s secretary. Send an email to the graduate secretary, Kathryn McPherson ( ) or call (765-285-5502) to schedule an audition time and/or to request additional information. (A LIVE, UN-EDITED DVD recording, as outlined above, is allowed in lieu of a live audition.)

If a graduate assistantship is requested, applicants must:

  • Present a personal audition with an interview (see below regarding an exception).
  • Submit three current letters of professional reference (sent by the writer, not the applicant).
  • Submit the Application for Graduate Assistantship (see form on page 51 of the Handbook or request a copy from the graduate secretary).
  • Write a letter to the Graduate Coordinator detailing educational and work experiences, educational and career objectives, the suitability of the applicant for the requested assistantship, and any additional skills that may be of value to the School of Music in teaching, performance, research, and administration.
  • A LIVE, UN-EDITED DVD recording, as outlined further above, is allowed in lieu of a live audition.  In lieu of a personal on-campus interview, the applicant and their major teacher or sub-area coordinator will arrange for a real-time video conference interview or a conference phone interview.  Those present at this interview may include the Graduate Coordinator and faculty from the discipline or the sub-area. A minimum of three should comprise this assistantship committee.
  • For assistantship consideration, it is helpful to have all application materials needed by the School of Music submitted by February 15—February 1 is preferable.  Materials also should be sent to the Rinker Center and/or the Graduate School as early as possible.  (See above.)

Paper items may be scanned and sent as attachments to the Graduate Secretary ( .

More Information

Artist Diploma students may wish to review the disclosure information by clicking on this link (as required by the U.S. DoE).

For questions and complete information on graduate student requirements consult:

School of Music
Hargreaves Music Building (MU) 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-5400
Fax: 765-285-5401
View E-mail Address