Curtis Institute of Music

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Located in Philadelphia, the Curtis Institute of Music offers programs that lead to a Bachelor of Music, Performance Diploma, Master of Music in Opera, and Professional Studies Certificate in Opera.

Curtis Institute of Music was founded in1924 by Mary Louise Bok, in honor of her father Cyrus Curtis. Under the advisement of some musician friends, including Leopold Stokowski and Josef Hofmann, Bok purchased and combined three mansions in Rittenhouse Square which she then converted into the school’s first campus–which is still in use today. She then hire a faculty of gifted performing artists and provided the school a $12 million endowment.

Several graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music have gone on to participate in the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Curtis Institute also offers programs for aspiring organists, pianists, composers, and singers.

Since only the number of students required to fill a single orchestra and opera company are admitted (between 150 and 170), admission to the Curtis Institute of Music is very competitive–in fact, the institution has a lower acceptance rate than any other university or college making it the most selective university in the country.

Curtis is an equal opportunities educator welcoming all races, though some would argue this was not always the case. In the 1950’s, Nina Simone, an applicant, claims her denile of acceptance was racially motivated, on the grounds that her credentials were impeccable and her audition outstanding.

General Information

Admission Office
1726 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-6187
(215) 893-5262
Fax: (215) 893-7900
[email protected]
Contact: Christopher Hodges
Admissions Officer
Main Address
1726 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 893-5252

Total undergrads: 132
First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 10
Degree-seeking undergrads: 132
Graduate enrollment: 29

Urban setting
Very large city (over 500,000)
Commuter campus

Degrees offered:


Admissions Information

Application Fee

College has an application fee: Yes

Regular application fee: $150
Enrollment Rates

Percent applicants admitted: 11%

Percent of students who return for sophomore year: 100%

College Majors

Arts, Visual & Performing
Music – General Performance B
Music Theory/Composition B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

    A = Associate degree
    B = Bachelor’s degree
    C = Certificate or diploma

*We do 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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