Although we believe it necessary to provide a full profile of Boston Conservatory, you should be aware that as of June 1, 2016, Boston Conservatory and Berklee School of Music merged and are now officially one institution.

If you’re interested about learning more, you can read the details of the merger here.

Recognized world-wide, Boston Conservatory is known for its specialized training in dance, music, and theater set against the backdrop of the historical, cultural, and educational hub of Boston.

Located just across from the Boston Common, Boston Conservatory opened its doors in 1867 as a result of Julius Eichberg, its founder. She believed all music students deserved superior education regardless of gender and race.

photo by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

Quick to implement her vision, Eichberg established the first-ever all-female string quartet: the Eichberg Quartet. After Eichberg’s death, the school floundered financially until Agide Jacchia, conductor of the Boston Pop’s, revitalized the Conservatory by establishing the first-ever department of grand opera and hiring top-notch faculty to train the next generation of performing artists and entrepreneurs.

With an excellent faculty, deep historical roots, and a location in the vibrant city of Boston, aspiring music students should certainly place Boston Conservatory at the top of their list.

The school is determined to support its students and provide them with the courage and creativity they need to perform at their highest levels. Now a part of Berklee, the two schools combined create what is arguably the most complete and comprehensive performing arts institution in the world.

Acceptance Rate 

According the school’s website, the acceptance rate for Boston Conservatory is 39%. However, keep in mind that some programs, such as their world-renowned musical theatre program, are far more difficult than this number would represent.

Other key numbers are the student-to-faculty ratio, which is a respectable 5:1.

Keep in mind sometimes the numbers just don’t work to your advantage.

For example, teachers can only take on a certain number of students for a given instrument each year. In these cases, musicians who apply for maxed-out studios are usually refunded their application fee and told no one who plays their instrument will be accepted that particular year.

Tuition & Fees

The cost of attending Boston Conservatory for undergraduates is $43,860 per academic year. Other expenses include room and board, which typically cost $11,820 annually (unless you want a single room at a higher cost) and for $6,360 you get 265 meals per semester (cheaper meal plans are available for a lower cost with less total meals).

You can find a helpful breakdown of the cost of attending Boston Conservatory here.

If you do need financial help to pay for additional costs at Boston Conservatory, we recommend you apply for support through FAFSA, which can also be used to cover expenses above and beyond tuition costs.

Requirements and Admissions Tips

 Boston Conservatory offers the following programs: Dance, Contemporary and Musical Theater, and Music Programs in: Brass, Choral Conducting, Collaborative Piano, Composition, Contemporary Classical Music, Harp, Music Education, Orchestral Conducting, Percussion & Marimba, Piano, Strings, Vocal Pedagogy, Voice & Opera, and Woodwinds.

Further, they complement each program with a liberal arts education to nurture musicians as both writers and thinking artists.

 To apply to Boston Conservatory, you must submit an online application, supporting materials, and perform an audition and/or interview. Please note some programs also require a pre-screening audition. You can find more information and helpful list of application steps here.

Dance audition requirements include participation in two technique classes and presentation of a 90 second solo, music audition requirements include a pre-screen and recorded audition submitted online, and theater auditions include a live audition in Boston or regionally.

If you are accepted to audition at Boston Conservatory, I would recommend you schedule a lesson with a faculty member in the department you are interested in enrolling into at Boston Conservatory prior to your audition. Knowing how a specific teacher works with you is critical for determining if a school is a good fit. Also, if they like you and your playing in your lesson together, your chance for getting in might be higher. Keep in mind this is only a recommendation and not a fact in every instance.

If you work with Music School Central in our college consulting program, we can help facilitate a meeting with you and a member of the faculty at Colburn, or nearly any other program in the world.

Notable Alumni

Alumni of Boston Conservatory are extremely impressive and include: Jack Noseworthy, an American actor known for his roles in Event Horizon and Barb Wire; Katharine McPhee, pop singer, song writer, and actress who gained her fame by becoming the runner-up on the fifth season of American Idol; and American dancer, choreographer, director, and author Thomas Joseph “Thommie” Walsh III who received a Tony Award in 1983 for Outstanding Choreography for the musical My One and Only.

You can find an impressive list of detailed Boston Conservatory alumni organized by each decade here.


Boston Conservatory has a deep and talented core of excellent faculty members. All faculty members come from impressive backgrounds and are committed to teaching their students solid techniques to advance their musical talents. There are far too many faculty members to list in full, but here are a few.

Marilyn Bulli (Professor of Voice teaching classical voice, opera, and musical theater) has received numerous awards including: first place in the Nebraska District Metropolitan Opera auditions, finalist placing in the Oratorio Society of New York Competition (Carnegie Hall), and first place in the Bel Canto Regional Artists Competition (Wisconsin); Theatre Professor Maureen Brennan (specializing in musical theater performance) was nominated for a Tony Award for her debut in the 1974 revival of Candide on Broadway (she played the role of Cunégonde); and Cello Professor Rhonda Rider (founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Lydian String Quartet) has been nominated for several Grammy Awards.

Talk about some impressive faculty!

You can find a complete list of Boston Conservatory faculty here.