Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship for Entering Students

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship is available for applicants to the college who wish to have their music-writing abilities taken into consideration for scholarship, in addition to their participation in the live audition and interview process.
  • Applicants should submit three original compositions accompanied by written scores as outlined in the submissions guidelines below.
  • We appreciate that composers come from various music backgrounds. Therefore, we recommend that you submit compositions that will best display your skills as a composer.  If you write in a variety of styles or instrumentations, choose pieces that demonstrate your versatility. If you write in a single style, choose the best of your works for submission.
  • Applicants must complete an online admissions application before they are eligible to apply for this scholarship opportunity.
  • Applicants may only submit a Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship application once per year while they are actively applying for admission to the college.
  • Currently enrolled continuing or returning students are not eligible to submit for this scholarship opportunity.
  • The Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship is not applicable to any Berklee summer programs, Berklee Online courses, or Berklee graduate programs.
  • The maximum award amount through the Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship is $10,000 per year.

Submission Periods

Applicants should submit their original compositions accompanied by written scores to the Office of Scholarships via the online application under their account at apply.berklee.edu, following the corresponding deadlines of their application for admission:

Fall (September) Semester: November 1 (early action deadline):

  • Complete Berklee Writing and Composition applications received on or before November 1 will receive a scholarship decision on January 31 along with the admissions decision.

Fall (September) Semester: January 15 (regular action deadline):

  • Complete Berklee Writing and Composition applications received on or before January 15 will receive a scholarship decision on March 31 along with the admissions decision.

Spring (January) Semester: July 1:

  • Complete Berklee Writing and Composition applications received on or before July 1 will receive a scholarship decision on September 15 along with the admissions decision.

Summer (May) Semester: December 1:

  • Complete Berklee Writing and Composition applications received on or before December 1 will receive a scholarship decision on March 1 along with the admissions decision.

Submission Guidelines

  • Please submit three URL links to recordings of your original compositions and three accompanying scores. URLs must be to streaming sites only (e.g., Soundcloud, personal website, etc.). Links to direct downloads or FTPs are not accepted.
  • PDFs of your scores must be submitted via a digital dropbox. The link to the dropbox can be found on the online form page at apply.berklee.edu.
  • Please be sure to fill out the online form completely, indicating each composition’s title, your role(s) on each piece, and a short description of how your recording was produced (e.g., live performance, MIDI-generated, multi-track recording, etc.), when and where the pieces were recorded, and who is performing each composition.
  • Compositions may be for any size ensemble and scores should reflect the needs of the ensemble. For example, a pop song would require a lead sheet with chord changes, lyrics, style and tempo indications; a big band score would also include horn and rhythm section arrangements; an orchestral piece would require a full score. At minimum, each score should contain a written melody and chord changes.
  • Home, live, or studio recordings are acceptable. Recording quality is not a factor in our evaluation.
  • Recordings of the composition should be recent (within a year).
  • To allow sufficient time for an evaluation of your material, please ensure that your application for the Berklee Writing and Composition Scholarship is submitted by the corresponding deadline above.
  • Incomplete scholarship submissions will not be evaluated.
  • If you have any questions, please contact our office by phone at 617 747-8681, or by email at scholarships@berklee.edu.