University of North Texas College of Music: Ranking, Acceptance Rate, Tuition, and More

The University of North Texas has outstanding programs all around and is one of the largest music conservatories in the world. The first music school to offer a jazz degree in performance, the school is home to the premier jazz ensemble, One O’Clock Band, which has been nominated for six Grammy Awards!

Although the music program is large, this is offset by over 1,000 performances per academic year, giving music students ample opportunities to participate in ensembles and concerts. Because the UNT College of Music is a comprehensive music school, they offer something for just about everyone from bachelor’s degrees to the doctoral level.

The school is founded on innovation, from the first jazz degree program developed in the 1940s, the school has gone on to create a unique Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia.

Proving, once again, the school offers the chance to develop as a musician and the opportunity to collaborate and learn from various musical genres.

UNT’s Beautiful Performing Arts Center – photo by Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture via Wikimedia Commons

Past alumni include Pat Boone, Kristopher Carter (Emmy Award winning composer for the Batman Beyond series), and Jeff Coffin (saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band).

In addition to talented musicians, UNT has a solid focus on academics and is home to one of the nation’s largest music libraries with seven full-time librarians and approximately thirty full- and part-time staff!

The school offers a somewhat modest amount of scholarship per year. In 2016, the College of Music awarded $945,512 in merit scholarships to over a third of its students; however, don’t let the scholarships offered deter you.

The UNT College of Music has a very reasonable cost when you consider tuition and room & board runs $31,363 for out-of-state students and $22,003 for in-state students.

As a result, $10,000 in scholarships at UNT will go a lot further when compared to other schools where the approximate cost of tuition and room & board can be as high as $65,000 per year!

You can find a helpful list of scholarship opportunities at UNT here.

The University of North Texas opened its doors in 1890 and music was part of the school’s curriculum from its founding; however, the School of Music restructured in 1995.

Although they considered restructuring a conservatory, they believed the college model allowed them to combine academic research, performance, composition, and musical training to best suit its students and preserve a cross-disciplinary approach across all areas within the College of Music and the University.

Because the College of Music is a comprehensive music school, one of the top traditional jazz performance schools in the country, provides ample performance opportunities, and has an extremely reasonable cost, we regard UNT very highly at Music School Central.

Acceptance Rate

According to the admissions department, the acceptance rate at the UNT College of Music varies from year to year and by each department. On average, the University of North Texas admits approximately 61% of its applicants; however, the College of Music is much more selective and the acceptance rate is one in six students according to the North Texas Daily, which makes the acceptance rate at the UNT College of Music 16.6%.

As with all applications to music school, 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

Because the UNT College of Music is a state university, the tuition varies for Texas residents and non-residents.

For undergraduate non-residents, the cost of tuition is $19,090 per year and the cost for residents is $9,730. For both residents and non-residents, the cost of room, board, and other expenses is approximately $12,273.

For graduate students, the out-of-state cost is slightly over $10,000 per year and $5,000 for residents; however, keep in mind the UNT College of Music provides its graduates with ample funding through teaching assistantships and fellowships.

You can find a helpful breakdown of the UNT College of Music expenses and a wonderful comparison of the cost of music school by institution here.

You can apply for in-state residency at UNT, but there is no loophole for residency for tuition purposes and you must prove conclusive evidence of your intent to live and work in Texas. You can find more information about applying for residency here.

Keep in mind, for both residents and non-residents, the cost of tuition at the UNT College of Music make the school extremely attractive. Here, you’ll receive an excellent music education while avoiding significant debt after you graduate.

Requirements and Admissions Tips

To apply to the University of North Texas College of Music, you must first apply and be accepted by the university before you can join the UNT College of Music. In the general application, you must submit SAT or ACT scores.

To begin your application to UNT you can apply online directly through the school or you can apply using the common application.

Once you apply to UNT, you will receive an EUID and pin, which allows you to move to the next step of applying to the College of Music. Note: the process takes several weeks, so make sure you start early as the UNT College of Music gives preference to applications received by the first Monday in December.

Once you have your EUID and pin, you can apply to the College of Music here. To see if your department requires you to upload screening samples to your application, you can find more about each department here including contact information.

Not all departments require students to submit screening material; however, all departments require an in-person audition or interview if your application is selected. You can find a list of audition requirements by department here.

The UNT College of Music offers the following undergraduate majors: Performance, General / Choral and Instrumental Music Education leading to teaching certification, Composition, Music Theory, Music History, Bachelor of Arts, and Jazz Studies.

Further, they offer training in the following instruments/voice: Bassoon, Cello, Clarinet, Double Bass, Euphonium, Flute, Classical Guitar, Harp, Harpsichord, Horn, Oboe, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Saxophone, Trombone (Bass), Trombone (Tenor), Trumpet, Tuba, Viola, Violin, and Voice.

While the school does not have a dedicated electronic music program, students accepted into the composition department have access to the Center for Experimental Music & Intermedia, which focuses on the realm of electroacoustic music.

For students wishing to pursue higher degrees, you can find details about the application to the Graduate School here.

If you are accepted to audition at the UNT College of Music, I would recommend you schedule a lesson with a faculty member in the department you are interested in enrolling into at the UNT College of Music 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.

Notable Alumni

The list of UNT College of Music alumni is impressive.

Graduates from the College of Music can be found on prominent orchestras and opera companies such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House.

Grammy Award winners including Don Henley of The Eagles, singer/songwriter Norah Jones, and composer Michael Dougherty one of the most commissioned, performed, and recorded composers on the American concert scene.

You can find an detailed list of UNT College of Music alumni here.


The faculty at the UNT College of Music are internationally recognized performers, composers, and scholars dedicated to providing students with a rich musical environment through private lessons, large and small ensembles, and highly interactive classes.

The more the 100 full-time faculty and 200 adjunct faculty include: Richard DeRosa of the Jazz Department and Grammy Award nominee for Best Instrumental Composition for Neil; pianist, recording artist, and composer Anthony Molinaro winner of the Naumburg International Piano Competition with his performance of the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3; and visiting Opera and Stage Director David Ward known as one of America’s leading basso buffos.

You can find the complete directory of UNT College of Music faculty here.

Similar Schools & Ranking

A school similar to the University of North Texas College of Music would be a large music school with a reasonable tuition cost. My picks for schools similar to the UNT College of Music in the US would be top jazz programs in major universities – Michigan, USC, and Indiana all come to mind.

At Music School Central, we rank the UNT College of Music among the top 10 – 15 schools in the country for music overall.

Recently, we ranked it among the very best “bang-for-your-buck” colleges here.

Please keep in mind, music school rankings are subjective. Although a school might be highly ranked, only you and your preferences will allow you to make the right choice and, of course, we can help you make the right decision here at Music School Central.

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