This new certificate program allows Northeastern University students to receive musical performance experience and credentials from New England Conservatory, bringing the assets of one of America’s top conservatories to students at one of America’s top schools for experiential learning. The program is designed for students who wish to continue their development as a musician as they pursue a career path in their primary area of study. An individualized curriculum allows students to express the entrepreneurial spirit common to both Northeastern and NEC students.


Students of the certificate program can supplement their Northeastern degree with credentials from New England Conservatory.  Like Northeastern, NEC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and is a founding member of the National Association of Schools of Music, the accrediting body for American music schools.

The two campuses lie within proximity of each other, and the timing of NEC lessons and classes have been designed not to interfere with normal times for Northeastern classes in order to fit into Northeastern students’ daily schedule.

For the most up-to-date information on curriculum requirements, please visit the Northeastern catalog website, found here .

Costs for Northeastern University students:

Full-Time enrolled Northeastern students double count their Northeastern
University credits toward the certificate program resulting in lower total

Total cost of the General Certificate of Merit = $18,980 (figures for 2016-17; costs
increase incrementally year to year)

Total cost of the Professional Studies Certificate = $37,960 (figures for
2016-17; costs increase incrementally year to year)

How do I apply to the NEC/NU Joint Certificate in Music Performance?

  1. Fill out an application form.
  2. Provide two video recordings of pieces contrasting by style or tempo.
  3. Submit a one-page statement describing your musical background and why you are interested in participating in the program.
  4. After NU faculty review these materials, they will be forwarded to NEC faculty for appropriate placement. NEC faculty will arrange an interview and/or live audition to discuss program goals specific to the student.
  5. Students will be notified of acceptance decisions by NU and NEC faculty.

Do I apply for the Certificate program when I apply to Northeastern University?

  1. CAMD (College of Arts Media and Design) applicants are encouraged to submit the videos to slideroom as part of their portfolio, in addition to following the application directions. Students are encouraged to do this even if they are not applying specifically to the Music Department, e.g. if they are applying to the Department of Art.
  2. Non-CAMD applicants can submit materials directly to certificate program coordinators at any given point during their application year.

Must I declare whether I apply for the general or the professional studies certificate from the outset?

  1. Students should declare whether they will opt for the professional studies certificate or the general certificate. The professional studies certificate requires 2X as many credit hours and students are expected to play at a more advanced level. Students may petition mid-program to transfer from one to the other.
  2. During the evaluation process, applicants might be recommended to transfer from one program to the other. Similarly, applicants might be accepted into one program but not the other.

Can I apply for the Certificate program after I matriculate to Northeastern University?

Yes. Deadlines for admitted and current students are August 15 (for enrollees starting in the Fall) and December 1 (for enrollees starting in the Spring). Applications received after the deadline will be given consideration on a case-by-case basis.

How does course selection and registration work?

  1. NEC will provide a list of courses before the semester starts for current Certificate enrollees to choose from. Each NEC course has been assigned an NU course codes with the prefix MPNC.
  2. Students are required to register for a full complement of NU courses in addition to any courses taken at NEC in a given semester.  The number of NEC credits a student signs up for should be determined in consultation with the Program Coordinator and be based on the student’s long-term plan of attendance towards fulfilling degree requirements.
  3. Students will fill out a cross registration-declaration form.
    1. For NEC courses, students should list NU (MPNC) course codes.
    2. Students should also list NU-only courses which count towards the Certificate. Students should still continue to register for NU courses as they normally would any other NU course.

Can I take courses at NEC while on co-op, or in the summer?

Yes to both. Co-op students, and summer student, based in Boston, should complete the cross registration form as usual. Note that the selection of courses available in the summer is smaller than in Fall and Spring, and not all private instructors are available in the summer.

Is a final recital required at the end of the program?

For general certificate candidates, a 45-minute live program performed for an NEC jury (TBD) is required. This performance is required, but doesn’t carry any credit hours. For professional certificate candidates, a 1-hour live program performed for an NEC jury (TBD) is required. This performance is required, but doesn’t carry any credit hours.

How much does the program cost?

Each MPNC credit unit is charged the standard per-credit overload rate. For academic year 2016-17 this rate is $1,460. Current rates can be found at Billing is handled by Northeastern’s Financial Services Office.

Interested students should submit the following materials via email to the program coordinators:

  • YouTube or Vimeo recordings (links can be made private) of two compositions (in contrasting style or tempo)
  • One-page statement describing your musical background and why you are interested in participating in the program
  • Program Application Form (for new applicants)

The program coordinators will get in touch with the student applicants regarding their applications shortly after receiving the materials.

For admitted NU enrollees:
NEC Course Registration Form