The college and the Sonic Arts program in Music and Audio Technology have their own admissions procedures and application forms. You must be accepted to both the college and the Sonic Arts program to begin your studies. You may submit both applications simultaneously or one followed by another. The choice is up to the applicant.
City College of New York is one of the schools that constitutes the City University of New York (CUNY). Therefore, all applications for admission to the college are submitted to CUNY. Please use code number 0151 (BFA Music) in the CUNY application to indicate the program you want to attend at City College.
Transfer Students and Class Placement
We accept students into our program who are in any year of their undergraduate studies. However, we only place students into our audio technology sequence of classes up to the first semester of the second year of classes. Placement into our music theory and musicianship sequence for all entering students is based on the results of a placement exam. Please contact Professor Jonathan Pieslak for the dates of the music placement exam. Consult the Contacts page for the Music Department information and any questions about Credit Transfers. All students accepted into the program must take a music placement exam and be exempted from our prerequisite music classes. Students must be able to register for Music Theory I and Practicum I or higher to begin the program.
In order to apply to the Music and Audio Technology program all candidates must possess the following qualifications:
Minimum Background In Music Theory and Musicianship
Qualified students must be able to write, sing, and recognize basic intervals, triads (major, minor, etc.), scales/key signatures, and rhythm/time signatures. In addition, you should be able to sight read a piece at the keyboard which involves simple triads in the left hand and a simple melody in the right. This minimum background would be commensurate with the abilities of students entering Music Theory I and Practicum I at City College. All students accepted into the program must take a music placement exam and be exempted from our prerequisite music classes. Students must be able to register for Music Theory I and Practicum I or higher to begin the program.
Minimum Background as a Creative Musician
Since our program will require students to create original work in music, candidates must have some experience as an arranger and composer/song writer in any style of music. Creating a song/composition using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) with Midi synths, samples, and recorded acoustic instruments and voice is considered arranging as well as its more traditional meaning of creating original instrumental and vocal parts for a song/composition. Creating an original song, beat, or instrumental piece is considered songwriting or composing. Samples of your work in these areas will be required in the application.
Minimum of Two Years Experience in Audio Technology
This experience can be obtained through audio technology courses at an educational institution or through self initiated exposure to audio technology software, hardware, and practices. Sequencing songs/compositions with MIDI and/or audio, recording instruments and voices, and mixing multiple tracks to a two-track master in a digital audio workstation (DAW) are considered appropriate audio technology experiences. Samples of your work in audio technology will be required in the application.
A Minimum of Four Years of Experience in Computers
Students must possess a basic background in computer technologies including an understanding of computer components (hard drives, RAM, ROM, etc.), operating systems, file management, etc. Since the Sonic Arts Center only uses Apple Computers, experience on this platform is preferred, though not required.
The application procedure outlined below is for the Music and Audio Technology major only. It does not replace the application procedure for the college. Make sure you have followed each step of the Admission Procedure below and that you are submitting a complete packet. All of the forms found below must be opened with Acrobat Reader in order to operate properly. The application forms can be downloaded with other PDF readers. However, you will need to print them out and fill them in by hand. If you are using Safari and get a black window when clicking the links, simply hold down the “control” key and click the blue link. Next, select “Saved Linked File As” from the menu and it will download.
A minimum of two evaluations must be provided. However, we will accept up to four evaluations. All evaluations must use our Evaluation Form. One evaluation should be from a music instructor or someone who can accurately assess your musical abilities. A second evaluation should be from one of the following: an audio technology instructor, an instructor who is familiar with your general abilities as a student, or a mentor/supervisor from an audio technology facility. Additional evaluations can be from any of the above mentioned mentors. Evaluations must be sent to us by the instructor/mentor to insure confidentiality. We will not accept any evaluations that are submitted by the applicant.
All evaluations should be sent to the address below.
The Sonic Arts Center @ The City College of New York
160 Convent Ave.
Shepard Hall, Room 72
New York, NY 10031
Evaluation For: (applicant’s name)
Provide a copy of your academic records. CUNY does not share transcripts with us, so you must provide us with a separate copy. High school seniors and high school graduates with less than two years of full time college credit should submit their high school transcript and their college transcript(s) (when applicable). Students with at least two years of full time college credit should submit transcripts from all attended institutions. Unofficial transcripts or transcript copies are acceptable. If your school(s) is sending a transcript directly to us it should be directed to the address provided above in the Evaluations section.
Download the Application Form and fill it out completely.
Create a Short Resume using the format provided in our Short Resume Format Form. We will not accept resumes that are in other formats.
Provide a short essay that will describe yourself, your background and interest in music and audio technology, and the reasons you want to attend the Sonic Arts Center’s program. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the Selection Committee and to create a positive impression on them.
You must provide four recorded examples of your work. Each example should be no longer than four minutes in length Select examples that will showcase your skills in the following areas: performer, arranger/composer/songwriter and audio engineer. Examples can demonstrate one or more of these skills. Audio engineering credits will only be accepted if you are the primary engineer at the session. Assistant engineering examples are not acceptable. At least three examples must demonstrate your creative work in music as an arranger, composer, or songwriter. Since our program is production driven it’s important for you to showcase your ability to put together a piece of music by creating and recording parts (arranging) and writing original songs and/or scores. These three examples may also include your work as a performer and/or engineer. You must be the sole arranger, composer, or songwriter for these examples. Examples with partial credits will not be accepted. Examples of sound design for picture are not acceptable. However, music written for picture (underscore) will be accepted if it is submitted as a video in the MOV or MP4 format. We do not accept Mashups. Recorded examples must be submitted as an Audio CD. Make sure your name is on the CD. We do not accept thumb drives.
Download our Examples Form and use it to describe your contribution to each example. This form provides a description of the various skills that can be demonstrated in the Examples as well as a place to document your contributions.
Assemble all materials and submit to:
The Sonic Arts Center @ the City College of New York
160 Convent Ave.
Shepard Hall, Room 72
New York, NY 10031
Application For: (applicants name)
Candidates may apply to begin the music and audio technology program in the Fall or Spring semester. Students applying while attending their senior year in high school should always apply for the following Fall semester. Candidates transferring from another college/university can apply to either the Fall or Spring semesters. Students who come to City College in the Fall semester to take prerequisite classes will apply for Spring semester admission.
Fall Semester Admission
Accepting Fall Applications starting January 15
Deadline for Fall Applications – March 15
Decisions made by April 15
Evaluations accepted between January 15 and March 29.
Spring Semester Admission Deadline
Accepting Spring Applications starting October 1
Deadline for Spring Applications – December 1
Decisions made by January 10
Evaluations accepted between October 1 and December 15.