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 artist diploma program the applicant must

  • Have earned the bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and must have an overall GPA of 2.75 (or 3.00 in the last two years of study).
  • 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.  A live audition on the Ball State campus is required for unconditional acceptance into the program; however, a recent videotape, CD, or DVD recording may be submitted for conditional acceptance into the program.  A student admitted conditionally must perform a live audition before the end of the first semester of study in order to continue in the program. All auditions will be evaluated by faculty from the discipline, the performance area coordinator, and two performance faculty from outside the discipline.  The audition committee will be selected by the Graduate Coordinator and the performance area coordinator.

Note:   All diploma students must pass a jury or a recital hearing by the end of the second semester of study.

Application Procedures

The application process is two-pronged:

1a. U.S. citizens should fill in the Graduate School online application and submit the application fee. Locate and highlight the Artist Diploma program in the "certificate" box.  One official transcript from all previously attended schools. Applicants must request the registrar of these schools to send official transcripts directly to the Graduate School, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, 47306; personal copies or photocopies of transcripts are not accepted by the Graduate School.
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 the Center for International Programs. Phone: (765) 285-5422.   When applying for the AD, use the “traditional degree seeking application.”  Under Desired Major 1, enter Graduate Artist Diploma.


2. ALL ARTIST DIPLOMA APPLICANTS should download and print the  Artist Diploma Check Sheet, and send it and a résumé to the Graduate Coordinator. Send an email to the Graduate Coordinator’s secretary to set up an audition time and/or to request additional information. (A CD/DVD audition is permitted for conditional acceptance.)

If a graduate assistantship is requested, applicants must:

  • Present a personal audition (or submit an audition CD/DVD for conditional acceptance).
  • Submit three current letters of professional reference (sent by the writer, not the applicant).
  • Submit the Graduate Award Application (download and print).
  • 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.

More Information

Artist Diploma students may wish to review the disclosure information found at  (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
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