General Admissions Procedures
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 Admissions
City College of New York is one of the schools that constitute 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 – Music Courses
We accept students into our program who are in any year of their undergraduate studies. We also accept students who have already completed a degree. Placement into our music classes for entering students is based on the results of a music theory and practicum placement exam and on music courses students have taken at other institutions. Please contact Professor Jonathan Pieslak for the dates of the music placement exam. Sonic Arts students will start the music theory and practicum sequence of classes at the level dictated by the results of the placement exam (not by the level of theory and practicum classes you took at other institutions). Placement into music history, keyboard, etc. may be based on classes taken at other institutions.
Transfer Students and Class Placement – Audio Technology Courses
The audio technology course sequence always starts in the Spring semester each year. In very rare cases we may be able to accommodate transfers into the Fall semester of the second year (skipping the first semester of audio technology courses).
Music and Audio Technology Program Admission – Qualifications
In order to apply to the Music and Audio Technology program all candidates must possess the qualifications found below. Our program is directed toward prospective candidates that have this modicum of music and audio experience.
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 that 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 sequence of audio technology classes.
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.
This experience can be obtained through audio technology courses at an educational institution, internships, 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.
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.
Music and Audio Technology Program Application – Deadlines
We have two application rounds, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. Successful candidates in the Spring application round will begin their music classes in the Fall semester of their first year. They are also encouraged to take Music 21700 Basic Audio Concepts. Students will then begin the audio technology course sequence in the Spring semester of their first year. Students starting the audio technology sequence must able to register for Music Theory I and Practicum I or higher. Students can’t begin the audio technology sequence unless they have meet this requirement.
Successful candidates in the Fall application round begin their music and audio technology classes in the Spring semester. Students starting the audio technology sequence must able to register for Music Theory I and Practicum I or higher. Students can’t begin the audio technology sequence unless they have meet this requirement.
Students may be fully accepted into the program or may be provisionally accepted. A provisional acceptance means that the accepted student must maintain a B- average or better in their music or music and audio technology classes they are taking in their first semester. Students will be fully accepted if they fulfill this provision. If this provision is not meet the student may be terminated from the program.
Fall Semester Admission Deadline
Accepting Fall Applications starting January 15
Deadline for Fall Applications – March 15
Decisions made by April 10
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.
Music and Audio Technology Program Application Description
The on-line application process consists of four basic components: the Application Form, Transcripts, Recorded Examples, and Evaluations written on your behalf.
Make sure that you fill out the Application Form completely. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.
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. Transcripts must be submitted as a single PDF in the on-line procedure found below. We will not accept transcripts sent to us by your high school or college(s).
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 of these 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. We do not accept Mashups. Audio file examples must be posted on SoundCloud. Video file examples must be posted on YouTube. File formats employed should provide high quality playback. You will provide links to these files in the Application Form.
A minimum of two evaluations must be provided. However, we will accept up to four evaluations. Evaluators must be teachers or mentors who have observed your work and can provide an accurate assessment of your skills. All evaluators must be provided the link outlined below in order to submit an Evaluation on your behalf. We strongly suggest that one of the evaluations should be from a music instructor/mentor 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 person and student, or a mentor/supervisor from an audio technology facility. The other two evaluations can be from anyone who has observed your work in a classroom, workshop, or internship, etc.
Instructions – Preparing The Application Form:
1. The Application Form must be filled out using Adobe Acrobat. Due to formatting inconsistencies, do not use Apple’s Preview.
2. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat. Then Install.
3. Click here to download Sonic Arts Center Application Form.
4. Complete the Application Form.
5. Save the completed Application Form as a PDF with this naming format: “lastname_firstinitial_application.pdf”
– Example “jones_d_application.pdf”
Instructions – Preparing the Transcript(s):
1. Save your transcript to a PDF file. If you are providing more than one transcript make sure they are all in a single PDF file.
2. Name the completed Transcript PDF with this naming format: “lastname_firstinitial_transcript.pdf”
– Example: “jones_d_transcript.pdf”
Instructions – Evaluation Letters:
1. All persons writing an evaluation for you must use the Evaluation Form found in the link below. Make sure the Evaluators have this link. Remember, you must have a minimum of two evaluation letters submitted on your behalf. The maximum number of Evaluations is four.
2. Click here to go to the Evaluation Letter Page.
Instructions – Submitting:
*Accepting Applications from October 1 to December 1, 2015
1. Enter Name
2. Upload Application File
3. Upload Transcript File