The Graduate Performance Diploma program is designed to meet the needs of highly accomplished graduate-level performers who wish to pursue a more performance-intensive goal than represented by the MM or DMA.

Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, current Peabody students who have earned a degree and are transitioning into the GPD program will only be eligible for one year of scholarship. The Graduate Performance Diploma is not eligible for participation in the Federal Financial Aid Programs.  Please contact the Peabody Financial Aid Office for information about non-federal financing options.

Admission Requirements

Students matriculating into the Graduate Performance Diploma program should meet the following criteria:
  1. A Performer’s Certificate, undergraduate degree in music, or equivalent from a recognized institution is a prerequisite for admission to the Graduate Performance Diploma program.
  2. Applicants must perform selections from a full recital program for the applied department at the regularly scheduled audition periods in February and May. Detailed audition repertoire requirements are available from the Admissions office and the Peabody website at Pre-screening recordings are required for some majors.

Diploma Requirements (GPD)


The Graduate Performance Diploma requires four semesters of full-time study. One year of full-time residency — or two continuous semesters of full-time enrollment — is required of all students. Students are expected to complete four semesters of major lessons and two recitals in two years. No GPD student will be permitted to enroll on a part-time basis until they complete four semesters of lessons and successfully petitions the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Through the assessment of an audition and the mechanism of advanced placement, it is occasionally possible for a student to complete the GPD in one year. Such cases, which typically involve a continuing working relationship between a student and a major teacher, must be presented to the Dean of the Conservatory for final approval.

Major Area Study

Each student taking applied music must demonstrate satisfactory progress as determined by the faculty. Study in the major field must continue through the last semester of enrollment.For most students, this will consist of four semesters of lessons.

The progress of each student is monitored by the department at intervals not greater than two semesters. Advancement and assessment is accomplished by individual lessons and departmental hearings. Every performance major must play a recital or a hearing in every semester of study. Lessons and recitals are the essential learning modalities of a conservatory education but are also for-credit classes that require grades of at least a B- for students to maintain satisfactory academic progress. A student who does not play a recital or hearing is not considered to be making satisfactory academic progress.

A minimum of two recitals is required for completion of the program. For an individual majoring in performance, one of the recitals may be a chamber music recital with the permission of the major applied department. For percussion majors, a juried performance of orchestral repertoire will serve as the second recital. Any student not presenting a graded recital in a given year is required to perform at a graded hearing before the department faculty at the end of the spring semester.


Graduate Performance Diploma candidates majoring in orchestral instruments must participate in the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Concert Orchestra, or Peabody Wind Ensemble during each semester of enrollment. Early Music students play in Early Music ensembles. There is no large ensemble requirement for other Graduate Performance Diploma candidates. The regulations for performing in large ensembles, which are set by the Ensembles Office.

Related Requirements

The student may choose electives from music theory, musicology, repertoire studies, Curricular Practical Training, or other music courses at or above the 400 level. With the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, undergraduate courses may be accepted when the student demonstrates its special career relevance. Students are limited to four credits of coursework per semester, in addition to lessons, recitals, and ensembles. Additional course credits or audits carry a per-credit charge. In the areas of music theory and musicology, the student must take the appropriate placement examinations and satisfy any review requirements prior to enrolling in graduate-level courses.

For more information about the Graduate Performance Diploma, see Section 2-7 of the AY 2019-20 Academic Catalog.