Music Scholarships

The Department of Music is proud to offer the following scholarships to music students of outstanding musical and academic ability.

All students are eligible to apply for music scholarships which are awarded annually, including incoming first-year students, incoming transfer students, and continuing students. Scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year students for a period of four years, and to transfer and continuing students for shorter periods, and require students to:

  • declare the Music major (with the exception of the Choral Scholars Scholarship)
  • to make consistent progress towards the completion of the major coursework in the expected time
  • and to remain in good academic standing.

Any undergraduate student at USD may declare the Music major without an audition, however an audition is required for the scholarship application so that we may better understand your individual ability and your choice of emphasis, if any.

Application Process

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Due to COVID-19, the Department of Music will accept remote video applications for scholarships. There are no plans for live, on-campus auditions at this time. All videos are due by Monday, March 15, 2021. Late submissions will not be accepted.

All applicants should:

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Submit two letters of recommendation, at least one from a music professional, to
  3. Submit a screen shot of unofficial transcripts, sent to
  4. Submit a video recording (details below)
  5. Students interested in studying composition may also submit scores and/or recordings of their works 

Instrumental applicants should prepare one significant piece from the repertoire or two shorter, contrasting pieces/etudes. Piano accompaniment is not required. Additionally, include three major scales of your choosing. Percussionists should prepare repertoire for at least one mallet instrument and one to two other instruments (snare, timpani, drum set, etc). Please let us know if percussion instruments are not available due to COVID-19 complications. For more information or questions, email Dr. Jeffrey Malecki,

Vocal applicants should prepare two contrasting pieces from the classical or musical theatre repertoire. At least one of the two selections should be in a foreign language. To find out more, go to the Choral Scholars web page or email Dr. Emilie Amrein,
Please be aware that the application to the University of San Diego itself is a separate procedure. Specifically, materials sent to the USD Admissions Office are not shared with the Department of Music. Visit for more details.
If you have any questions, please contact us at

Adams/Hughes Music Scholarship

Award: $500-$5,000; Number of awards per year: 1-4

The Adams/Hughes Music Scholarships, established in honor of USD President Emeritus Author E. Hughes in the Jack L. Adams Endowed Scholarship Agreement, is offered to a music major who demonstrates financial need and merit in music.

Anne Catherine Swanke Memorial Scholarship

Award: $500-$2,000; Number of awards per year: 1-3

The Anne Catherine Swanke Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a deserving music major who gives evidence by recitals and performances that they intend to pursue a career in music as a performer. Recipients may be chosen from either currently enrolled or incoming music majors.

Choral Scholars Scholarship

Award: $1,200-$10,000 (includes applied lessons); Number of new openings per year: approximately 6

Eligibility for the University of San Diego Choral Scholars Award is contingent upon an annual re-audition, satisfactory completion of coursework for the music major or comprehensive minor, and maintenance of a minimum 3.0 GPA.

For questions and additional information, please email Dr. Emilie Amrein at To learn more about the Choral Scholars, please click the link below.

Go to application

Music Endowment Scholarship

Award: $1,000-$5,000; Number of awards per year: 1-4

The Music Endowment Scholarships were established by a gift from the Philip Y. Hahn Foundation. They are offered to music majors who show outstanding promise and demonstrate a desire to contribute to the USD Music Department in a significant way.

Sister Rossi/James H. Kolar Amadeus Endowed Scholarship

Award: $500-$2,000; Number of awards per year: 1-2

The Sister Rossi/James H. Kolar Amadeus Endowed Scholarship is a combination of the Sister Rossi Scholarship – which was established by Alan and Irene Lund in memory of USD's Sister Rossi and in appreciation of their daughter Victoria Lund, who flourished in the USD Music Department – and the James H. Kolar Amadeus Fund, which was established by Professor Emeritus Henry Kolar in honor of his son, James H. Kolar. The purpose of the Sister Rossi/James H. Kolar Amadeus Scholarship is to promote sacred and classical music at USD. Incoming and continuing music majors may apply for this Scholarship.

USD Music Scholarship

Award: $540-$15,000; Number of awards per year: 1-6

The USD Music Scholarships are available for incoming or continuing music majors who excel in performance, composition, education, or research in music history or culture and show promise of making a strong contribution to the Music Department. Scholarships might also be available to pay for applied lessons on a limited basis for non-majors participating in Chamber Music Ensembles.

von Ehrenberg Scholarship

Award: Varies; Number of awards per year: determined by the department chair.

Provides financial assistance to undergraduate students who have declared a major in art, architecture, art history, music or theatre. The scholarship may be used for tuition, fees, books, room and board, instruments and supplies.

For questions and additional information, please email department chairs:

  • Art, Architecture + Art History -- Jessica Patterson at
  • Music -- David Harnish at
  • Theatre -- Scott Ripley at

See all Scholarship Opportunities