Ph. D. Vocal Pedagogy - How to Apply

All materials must be submitted by December 15 for priority consideration.


Students who are fully admissible will meet the following criteria:

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.5 of higher on a 4.0 scale for any previous graduate work is expected.
  2. GRE scores (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing; not more than 5 years old; no minimum score required)
    and for international students, a paper TOEFL of 600 or an internet TOEFL score of 100 or an IELTS score of 7.0
  3. Fit between the applicant's goals/interests and the department's ability to address those goals/interests.
  4. Evidence of writing abilities.
  5. Evidence of voice performance.
  6. Evidence of teaching skills.

No one criterion is more important than another. The application file is reviewed as a total package. 


Application Checklist

Begin by applying online at

  1. Create an account.
  2. Complete your application.
  • You will be asked to upload scanned copies of your transcripts showing all postsecondary coursework completed, including all studies for which credit was granted (e.g. summer institutes such as Aspen or Interlochen). Further information can be found at We require:       MM GPA = 3.50/4.00 scale.
  • Students whose native language is not English or who have not previously earned a degree from an institution at which English is the official medium of instruction must enter their TOEFL or IELTS score and upload a copy of their score report. Official scores should be sent directly to UNL. Further information can be found at We require: TOEFL iBT 100 or IELTS 7.0 overall band score.
  • You will need to provide contact information, including an email address, for each person from whom you wish a reference. For each recommender, click the Submit Recommendation Request button to send a letter request to your reference writer. A minimum of three letters of recommendation is required; four recommendation letters are recommended.
  • You will need to submit any “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirement” marked with an asterisks (*) below as part of the initial application process.
  1. Submit your application and pay the application fee of $50 ($25 if you are currently an active student at UNL). After you’ve clicked “Submit,” validated your information, and paid the application fee, you’ll receive a confirmation email indicating that the application was successfully submitted, and providing you with a link to submit information regarding your audition video and graduate assistant preferences.
  2. Submit required “Prepared Creative /Scholarly Materials Requirements” (see below) marked with a bullet (•) via SlideRoom, a resource manager of The Common Application. A SlideRoom account can be created by going to and clicking on “Apply Now.” Once the account has been created, scroll down on this page and select “GKSOM-Priority GA Graduate Application Material Submission (2022).”

Prepared Creative/Scholarly Materials Requirements:

* Cover letter of Application

*  Vitae/Resume

* Statement of Purpose (500-700 words; Times, 12-point font; Word, rtf or pdf format; double-spaced). Statement should be written by the applicant describing his/her future goals and how the PhD can help attain those goals. (This statement will help the Committee evaluation the fit between the applicant’s goals/interests and the School’s ability to address those goals/interests.)

* Writing Sample: (A 5-10 page double spaced discussing some topic in Vocal Pedagogy): academic paper, thesis, journal article, or grant proposal. This sample should demonstrate appropriate scholarly attribution using an accepted citation style. Applicants' essays will be subjected to random plagiarism software checks. Any evidence of plagiarism will result in the candidate's application portfolio being withdrawn from further consideration. (This may be the same topic as the teaching/research presentation)

• Video of your teaching: 15-minute edited video recording demonstrating excellence in vocal teaching (may be private or group instruction, or combination thereof).

• Singing audition (In-person audition preferred.) Criteria for a successful audition will be demonstrated acceptable musicianship, artistry, proficiency of diction, and ease of vocal production  – Level of acceptability need not reach that of a MM or DMA applicant depending on prior experience and training. An audition, a 20-25 minute program, should consist of the following:

    • Art Song (minimum of one selection in each of the four major languages, Italian, French, German, and English)
    • 1 aria (may be from oratorio, opera, a cantata, or operetta)

• Video of research presentation - A 20 minute presentation on some topic in the area of Vocal Pedagogy.

The Interview:

• Schedule the interview by contacting Dr. Kevin Hanrahan (