Columbia-Juilliard Exchange

In addition to the thriving music community at Columbia - which includes  the renowned Music Performance Program and the Columbia University Arts Initiative - exceptionally talented Columbia College students may have access to instrumental, jazz, composition or voice instruction and other resources, at The Juilliard School through two distinct programs:

Columbia-Juilliard Exchange

Columbia College students can be invited to cross-register for weekly instrumental, jazz, composition or voice instruction with the Juilliard faculty after successfully applying to the Exchange via Juilliard. At the end of each academic year, annual juries are held to determine eligibility to continue in the program. Most candidates admitted to the Exchange are incoming first-year students but current students within Columbia College may apply. The program is designed for up to three years of study with the option for students in their junior year to apply for the Joint Program or petition for a fourth year of study in the Exchange.

Columbia College applicants interested in applying to the Exchange must indicate this interest on both the admission application and the Juilliard application and follow the appropriate directions to complete each application for admission. The Juilliard application is due December 1. Admission to the Exchange is most selective, with approximately 15 candidates admitted each year.

The Columbia-Juilliard Exchange is an incredible opportunity to study at two preeminent institutions and it is the leading program of its kind in the world today. In addition to weekly instruction with Juilliard faculty, Exchange participants may:

  • access nearly all practice facilities at both Columbia and Juilliard
  • participate in chamber music at Juilliard, coached by Juilliard faculty
  • observe master classes in their area of instruction (generally 8-10 offered each academic year)
  • compete in Juilliard’s annual concerto competitions
  • apply to Juilliard’s Master of Music program early (prior to earning an undergraduate degree) - an opportunity not available to any other candidates, not even Juilliard undergraduates.

Meet some of the current Columbia-Juilliard Exchange students here. Prominent Exchange alumni include Emanuel Ax ’70CC and more recently Alisa Weilerstein ’04CC, who has been called by New York Magazine, “Yo-Yo Ma’s heiress apparent as sovereign of the American cello.”

The Joint Program: Bachelor of Arts/Masters of Music

Columbia College students can participate in a joint degree program that offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College and Masters of Music from Juilliard in five years. Voice candidates for the Masters of Music may need 6 years of study to complete the Joint Program depending on preparation. After successfully applying to Juilliard, students admitted to the Joint Program enter Juilliard for their fourth and fifth years of study. Once attending Juilliard, students will be subject to Juilliard’s financial aid and housing policies.

To apply to the Joint Program, Columbia College students must:

  • consult with their Advising Dean
  • have completed (or be on track to complete) 94 points of course work at Columbia College, including the Core Curriculum requirements and major or concentration requirements
  • have participated in the cross-registration program (see above) for at least one year.

Advice from Students

It is important to find the college that best suits you, academically and socially. You should try and figure out what you are looking for, and what different schools have to offer (size, setting, majors available, student-faculty ratio, emphasis given to undergraduate education, and so forth). Although it seems daunting trying to find your home for the next four years, anywhere you go there will be some positives and negatives, it’s all about finding the place that has the most positives for you.”

Once you’ve compared financial aid opportunities, the majors available, the curricula, the requirements, and the activities, go with your gut. Just in the way that you should be authentically yourself in your application, let colleges be authentically themselves when you visit so you know the match is real.”