The Juilliard School

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School Overview

Juilliard Alice Tully Hall

Established in 1905 and located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, Juilliard School is one of the most prestigious and competitive performing arts conservatories in the United States. The school is often referred to simply as “Juilliard,” and it currently has over 800 graduate and undergraduate students who study drama, dance, and music. Julliard trains and graduates some of the world’s most successful and renowned performing artists and musicians. Several graduates of Juilliard have gone on to win Pulitzers and Tony, Emmy, Academy and Grammy awards.

Juilliard academic programs are broken out into three specialized performing art departments: Dance , Drama (acting and playwriting), and Music (classical, jazz, historical performance, and vocal arts).

At Juilliard, students are pushed hard to become the best performing artists in the world. Consequently, and as you can imagine, students in the Juilliard dance, music and drama programs can become consumed with their education. Student life at Juilliard is an extension of the school’s education programs. In their free time, a student often attends many of the world’s most exceptional musical, theatrical and dance performances that take place in Juilliard’s renowned Lincoln Center. In addition to on-campus activities, students also have the benefit of living in one of the most culturally diverse and artistically vibrant cities in the world. Students have the opportunity to visit such places as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera, Broadway shows and a variety of musical and entertainment establishments.

Admission into Juilliard is extremely competitive, with only 6% of applicants being accepted. . While previous academic performance is a consideration, Juilliard faculty members are looking for ability and talent. The most important aspect of the admissions process is the audition.

Tuition assistance and financial aid programs are available to eligible students in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. Certain programs, including The Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, offer fellowships that cover the cost of tuition and other expenses.

Juilliard is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Pre-college Program

Other academic offerings include Juilliard Pre-College, program for elementary, junior high, and high school students. Classes are held every Saturday from September through May in The Juilliard Building at the Lincoln Center.

In addition to learning a primary instrument, students enrolled in the pre-college program also learn solfege and music theory. For those focusing on vocal performance, study diction and performance are also taught. Pianists study piano performance and all students playing a string, brass or woodwind instrument (including percussionists) are provided the opportunity to play with the Juilliard Orchestra. Orchestras in the pre-college division include the Pre-College Symphony (PCS) and the Pre-College Orchestra (PCO).

The pre-college program at Juilliard began in the Institute of Musical Arts as the “Preparatory Department” and later morphed into what today is known as the Pre-college Division. Since its inception, students in the pre-college program have the received training from many of the same teachers as teach in the college division. The pre-college program has its own commencement ceremony and offers diplomas as well. The first director of the Juilliard Pre-college Division was Olegna Fuschi, a renowned American musician. The current director, who is also the chairperson of the piano department at Juilliard, is pianist Yoheved Kaplinsky.

Juilliard College Division Programs

The school has three primary academic and performing arts divisions: Dance, Drama, and Music. The dance division, most commoning referred to as “Juilliard Dance”, was created in 1951 by William Schuman, 46 years after the school was first established. The dance program offers students a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), or student can earn a diploma instead. The drama division, Juilliard Drama, was established by actors Michel Saint-Denis and John Houseman in 1968. Students participating in Juilliard’s acting program can earn a four-year BFA or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Acting students can also earn a diploma upon request.

By far the largest of the school’s divisions is music. Juilliard Music offers students the ability to earn a wide variety of degrees including Undergraduate Diploma, Artist Diploma, Bachelor of Music, Graduate Diploma, Master of Music,, and Doctor of Musical Arts.

Juilliard also offers non-credit performing arts appreciation courses for New York City residents.

Juilliard Dance

The Juilliard Dance Division (“Juilliard Dance”) offers students one of the best, most reputable contemporary dance programs in the world. The mission of Juilliard Dance is to develop contemporary dancers that are equally capable in classical ballet as they are in modern dance.

In addition to full-time instruction by some of the top dance teachers in the industry, Juilliard Dance students are privileged to be instructed by guest choreographers and artists who help the dancers to explore new possibilities. Graduates of Juilliard Dance often go on to pursue professional dancing careers in the United States and abroad, work throughout the world as directors of companies, and some launch careers in choreography.

The main program offered via the dance division at Juilliard is a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. However, the dance division also offers a diploma program in dance. The dance diploma, like the BFA, is a four-year program but unlike the BFA degree it does not have and liberal arts curriculum requirements.

Whether an applicant wants to pursue the BFA degree or a diploma, the application and audition process is the same. On average the dance program at Julliard accepts only 24 students per year (12 men and 12 women) and they do not distinguish between applicants based on their choice of program.

To get into Juilliard Dance applicants are not required to take any standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT, except for students who are homeschooled. Students are required to submit an an essay, an official high school transcript, one academic letter of recommendation (such as from a teacher, preferably in English, history or language), and one artistic letter of recommendation (such as from a dance teacher).

Most importantly, applicants must be able to dance. The most important part of the application process is the audition. In the audition, applicants must demonstrate superior strength and stamina, a high level of potential for a career in dance, and an understanding of body alignment and technical dance language. Prospective students can audition in Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami and New York.

The audition is broken down into five components: Ballet Technique Class, Modern Technique Class, Solo Performance, Coaching, and Interview. All five components take place on the same day. After each audition, the judges call back those dancers that qualify to participate in the next component of the audition.

Juilliard Drama

The Juilliard Drama Division, more commonly called Juilliard Drama, offers students two program choices, the Acting Program and the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. At Juilliard, the theater is considered an art, a craft, a profession, a business, a political act and even a calling. The mission of the drama program is to provide aspiring theater artists with the artistic and personal tools necessary to excel in all aspects of the performing arts landscape in the 21st century.

Within the drama division Juilliard offers several programs including the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Drama, the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Drama and the undergraduate Diploma.

The B.F.A. in Drama is a four-year conservatory degree program in actor training. The curriculum includes in-depth training and courses in voice, acting, movement, as well as the ability to interpret an array of dramatic repertoire. In several areas, such as performance, both B.F.A and M.F.A. students work together.

Like the B.F.A., the M.F.A. in Drama is a four-year conservatory program in actor training. Both the B.F.A. and M.F.A. programs are highly prestigious and highly selective, with only eight to 10 students accepted in each degree per year.

M.F.A. students received advanced instruction in all aspects of theater and drama. Topics covered in this program include directing, production, playwriting, pedagogy, and trends in American and World Theater.

Diploma programs at Juilliard are similar in all aspects to B.F.A. programs with the exception that students earning a diploma are not required to fulfill the Liberal Arts courses required of the B.F.A. Diploma programs are not open to all students and are only made available with special permission from the Juilliard Office of Admissions.

Juilliard Music

Without a doubt, Juilliard’s Music Division (“Juilliard Music”) is the largest, most diverse and most distinguished of the school’s three performing arts divisions. Juilliard Music accepts over 600 students from countries worldwide each year. Faculty at Juilliard Music are some of the most renowned and qualified musicians, leading pedagogues and scholars in the world and include several Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, and Academy Awards recipients.

Students in the Music program at Juilliard work closely with the faculty and participate in a challenging and diverse curriculum that includes coursework in a plethora of music specialties and areas. Majors within Juilliard Music include Brass, Collaborative Piano, Composition, Guitar, Harp, Historical Performance, Jazz Studies, Orchestral Conducting, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Voice/Opera, and Woodwinds.


Juilliard was first established as the Institute of Musical Art to meet the need for a national music school in the United States. At the time, many aspiring U.S. musicians were traveling to Europe to receive a higher education in music. The institute was originally located in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue and 12th street and then relocated to Claremont Avenue five years later in 1910. Fifteen years after the foundation of the Institute of Musical Art, the Juilliard Foundation, named after Augustus D. Juilliard, a wealthy donor to the advancement of musical arts in the US, was created. A few years later the Juilliard Foundation launched the Juilliard Graduate School. In 1926 the Juilliard Graduate School partially merged with the Institute of Musical Art under the direction of Columbia Professor John Erskine. While the two schools maintained their individual identities and separate deans for many years, in 1946, under the direction of William Schuman, the first winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the two schools merged to become The Juilliard School of Music. In 1951, the school expanded its education sphere to include a dance division, which was headed by Marth Hill, one of the most influential dance instructors in American history.

William Schuman, one of Juilliard’s first presidents, launched his career at Juilliard as a summer school student from 1932 and 1936. During his years as a Juilliard student, he developed an aversion toward traditional music theory and a strong dislike of the formal ear training methods of the time. He also determined that dictation and counterpoint were antiquated techniques and of little value to students. When selected in 1945 as president of The Juilliard School of Music, one of the first things Schuman did was to replace the formal theory and ear training curriculum with a new curriculum which was to be taught by composers and was known as “The Literature and Materials of Music” (L&M). Many faculty and professors questioned the effectiveness of Shuman’s new approach to teaching music and when Schuman resigned in 1962 significant changes were made to the L&M program.

Following William Shuman’s resignation, Peter Mennin, a composer with leadership experience, was selected as the new president of Juilliard School. Mennin removed all ear training and music history education from the curriculum. During his term as president, Mennin added several new faculties including Renae Longy (well-known pedagogue) to teach solfege and John Houseman in 1969 to head up Juilliard’s Drama Division. During this same time period, Juilliard relocated to the Lincoln Center (where it resides today) and changed its name to The Juilliard School.

Royal Albert Hall

In 1984, following the death of Peter Mennin, Dr. Joseph Polisi was elected president of Juilliard School. Polisi has accomplished much on behalf of Juilliard, including expansion of the school’s curriculum, development of a jazz performance training program and construction of new student dormitories. In 2005, under the direction of Colin Davis, a renowned English conductor, the Juilliard Orchestra and the Royal Academy of Music in London performed at the Royal Albert Hall at The BBC Proms. In 2008, the Julliard Orchestra performed throughout China, including the Cultural Olympiad in the city of Beijing. Juilliard is one of only a few schools to have received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor conferred by the United States to a school of the arts.


Admission to Juilliard School is highly competitive. Out of the thousands of applications received each year, Juilliard only accepts about 160 students. In 2015-2016, Juilliard’s acceptance rate was 6.4%

Juilliard admits students to its pre-college division and degree program. For admittance to its music programs, applicants must perform a live audition in front of a panel made up of the Juilliard faculty. For admittance to any Juilliard program (dance, drama or music) applicants must provide an audition video that is then pre-screened by administration and program faculty.

The Juilliard School Highlights

School Information

Phone Number: (212) 799-5000
Type of School: 4-year, Private non-profit
Apply Online:
Address: 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-6588
Setting: City: Large
Campus Housing: Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population: 960
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's): 95%
Student-to-faculty Ratio: 5 to 1
Distance Learning Programs:
Distance Learning Students*: 960 (100% of total students)
Degree Levels Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate

* Students taking at least 1 distance learning course

Tuition & Financial Aid*

In-state Tuition: $47,370
Out-of-state Tuition: $47,370
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 90%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded: $33,494

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

The Juilliard School Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at The Juilliard School.

Degree Name Cert Assoc Bach Mast Doct
Visual and Performing Arts 2610118
Grand total 2610118

* Based on programs that produced 2019-2020 graduates

Tuition & Financial Aid

See what it costs to enroll at The Juilliard School and how many students are receiving scholarships, grants, or loans as financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition.

Undergraduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $47,370
Out-of-state $47,370
Books and supplies $740

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $47,370
Out-of-state $47,370

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2018-2019

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid 109 90%
Grant or scholarship aid 106 88% $33,494
Student loan aid 31 26% $5,774

All Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid 438 75% $33,346
Federal student loans 189 32% $5,192

Admissions & Enrollment

See the admission requirements for The Juilliard School. Find out how many students apply and how many are accepted. View a graphical breakdown of the gender, age, and ethnicity of currently enrolled The Juilliard School students.

Undergraduate Admissions, Fall 2020

Total Male Female
Number of applicants 2,704 1,125 1,579
Percent admitted 100% 9% 5%
Percent admitted who enrolled 4% 5% 4%

Admissions Considerations

Required Recommended Optional
Secondary school GPA
Secondary school rank
Secondary school record
Completion of college-preparatory program
Formal demonstration of competencies
Admission test scores
Other Test (Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language

The Juilliard School Enrollment, Fall 2020

Total Enrollment 960
Undergraduate enrollment 588
Graduate enrollment 372

Undergraduate Attendance

Undergraduate Gender

Undergraduate Age

Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Undergraduate Distance Education

Undergraduates taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Graduate Distance Education

Graduate students taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

The Juilliard School Accreditation

This institution is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Specialized institution accreditations:

*General information for this school has been gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Education. does not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

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