Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Westminster College of the Arts?
Westminster College of the Arts is the college of music, fine and performing arts of Rider University. There are two schools in Westminster: the School of Fine and Performing Arts and Westminster Choir College.
- Where is Westminster College of the Arts located?
The School of Fine and Performing Arts is located at Rider’s main campus in Lawrenceville, NJ and Westminster Choir College is located in Princeton, NJ.
- How many undergraduates are enrolled at Westminster?
There are approximately 4,000 undergraduate students at Rider University. The School of Fine and Performing Arts has approximately 110 undergraduates and Westminster Choir College had approximately 375 undergraduates.
- What is the difference between the School of Fine and Performing Arts and Westminster Choir College?
Westminster Choir College is the school of music in the College of the Arts. All of the undergraduate degrees offered at Westminster Choir College are Bachelors of Music. The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Fine Arts with tracks in dance, music, theater and art, arts administration, and music and a Bachelor of Music in music theater.
- What instruments can I study at Westminster?
Three primary instruments are offered at Westminster Choir College: voice, piano and organ. Students interested in the Bachelor of Arts in Music may choose voice, piano or organ, or any instrument from the wind, brass or percussion families.
- Is an admission audition required?
All students applying for a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Arts in Music must audition.
- When are the auditions?
Auditions are offered beginning in November and will take place through February. Click here for a complete audition schedule.
- What if I can’t come to campus to audition?
Although we strongly encourage all students to attend an on-campus audition we realize that not every student can make the trip to campus to audition. If you live beyond a 250 mile radius of Princeton you can submit a recorded audition. Video recordings are preferred. Westminster also hosts several regional auditions. Check the audition schedule for locations and dates.
- How should I submit a recorded audition?
Students submitting a recorded audition must follow the same requirements for the on-campus auditions. Performance majors must submit a video recording. Applicants will be asked to upload the recorded audition directly through a secure server on Westminster’s web site. This service will be available by mid-October.
- What are the audition requirements?
Each major has different audition requirements. Click here for a complete listing of requirements and check them carefully.
- How do I schedule an audition?
Auditions are all scheduled online. Please see the Audition Dates and click the link next to the date you would like to audition.
- Are interviews required?
Music Education majors are asked to submit a video interview. Contact the Office of Admission at 1-800-962-4647 highlighting for specific instructions on the video interview. Sacred Music, and Theory and Composition applicants are also required to interview. These interviews are scheduled on the same days as the audition. Students attending a regional audition or submitting a recorded audition will be scheduled for a phone interview.
- How do I apply?
Applying to Westminster is a two step process. First, you must complete the Rider University undergraduate application. Second, you must register for the admission audition. You must submit the application and register for your requested audition date at least three weeks in advance.
- What are the application deadlines?
Westminster is on a rolling admission schedule. We must however receive the application at least three weeks in advance of your requested audition date.
- What else is required besides the audition?
Undergraduate students must have their official high school transcripts sent from their high school along with official SAT or ACT results. Students must also submit two letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from someone who knows you artistically (music teacher, theater director, choral director, art teacher, etc.)
- What is the Educational Opportunity Program?
The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is a state-sponsored program that provides access to college for New Jersey residents who show strong potential for success but who come from backgrounds of educational and economic disadvantage.
- How do I know if I qualify for EOP?
To be eligible for admission through EOP you must be a US citizen or permanent resident and a New Jersey resident for at least one year prior to enrollment. You must have a high school diploma or equivalent and be admissible to Rider University. You’ll need to demonstrate historical background of financial and educational disadvantage and meet the state mandated income guidelines. Students admitted through EOP must enroll full-time and attend the EOP Summer Program preceding their freshman year.
- What is the EOP Summer Program?
The five-week residential summer program is intended to help familiarize students with the rigors of academic life and the University environment. Students are required to take courses in Speech Communications, College Writing, and Logic. In addition, students participate in socially enriching activities and leadership workshops. The summer program helps to orient students to the Rider University campus EOP students The summer program is an integral part of the EOP and is, therefore, required of all freshmen admitted through the EOP program.
- Does Rider University accept advanced placement test scores?
Rider will accept a score of three or better on most advanced placement tests. Credit may vary from 3-8 credits depending on the exam. Click here for the AP policy.
- Does Rider University offer services for students with learning disabilities?
Yes. Although there is not a specific program for students with learning disabilities, Rider offers many support services to help students succeed at the college level. The Education Enhancement Program can be contacted at 609-896-5244.
- What do I do once I have been admitted?
The packet that accompanies your letter of admission contains important details about the next steps you must take in order to secure your place in the entering class, register for courses, and obtain on-campus housing. If you plan to enroll, you will need to make a non-refundable tuition deposit and, if you plan to live on campus, a non-refundable housing deposit.
About Transfer Credits
- Can I apply as a transfer student?
Student wishing to transfer to Westminster should follow the same application process as any undergraduate student. You must also submit the following: Official transcripts from every college and university attended and official high school transcripts and SAT/ACT scores if you have less than 30 college credits.
- Will my music credits transfer?
In most cases music credits from any other college or university will not be accepted for major credit. Student may receive elective credit for music courses taken elsewhere.
- How can I receive credit for music courses I have taken at another school?
All entering Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts in Music transfer student take a series of placement examinations. Based on the results of those exams, student may be exempted from any graduation requirement. Credits exempted by examination must be replaced with Arts and Science or music electives as appropriate.
About Costs and Financial Aid
- How do I apply for financial aid?
A student must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. The FAFSA can be picked up in high school guidance offices in mid to late December or at the institution to which the student is applying. The form cannot be sent in until after January 1 of the year you plan to enter college. After the form is complete, it is read and processed by a federal processing agency and the information is forwarded to the institution. Rider encourages that this information be furnished to the agency prior to March 1.
- Will my chances for admission be affected by my application for financial aid?
No. Rider University has a need-blind policy.
- Does Rider University offer any merit-based scholarships?
Rider University offers a considerable amount of merit-based scholarships. The minimum requirements to be eligible for a scholarship are a 3.0 grade point average and a 1000 (critical reading and math sections only) SAT or a 21 ACT(composite score). Dollar amounts range from $6,000 to $18,000 with a few scholarships at full tuition. Full time students in good standing are guaranteed Rider's merit-based scholarships for four years based on maintaining a minimum grade point average. There is no separate application for scholarship. Simply by applying to Rider University by the January 15th scholarship deadline, you are considered for a merit-based scholarship. Qualifying GPA's are based on a 4.0 scale and should reflect at least a college preparatory level of study. Cumulative GPA through the seventh semester, December ACT and December SAT will be the latest academic information considered for awards. To qualify for a Rider University scholarship you must be regularly admissible to the University's Lawrenceville campus as a full-time student and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Students awarded scholarship must deposit by May 1st in order to receive the scholarship award. Potential scholarship recipients who deposit after May 1st will forfeit their scholarship eligibility.
- Does Rider University offer athletic scholarships?
Yes. Rider is a Division I NCAA institution and offers athletic scholarships. Rider has 20 intercollegiate athletic teams. Athletic scholarships are given by the discretion of the coach.
- Why are you requiring my family’s income tax forms for EOP consideration?
In order to determine that you qualify for EOP, Rider must certify that your family’s total income meets state income guidelines and historical disadvantage. All documents sent to Rider are considered confidential.
- How do I pay the tuition and housing deposits?
The easiest way to pay your deposits is online via our web site. To do so, you will need a valid credit card and your Rider I.D. number, which is included in your admission packet. If you prefer to mail a payment, you may return the Admission Decision Form that accompanied your admission letter along with a check or money order made payable to “Rider University.” Please be sure that the check includes your name and Rider I.D. number.
- What is the deadline for depositing?
For Fall enrollment, Rider subscribes to the National Candidate’s Reply Date of May 1. To guarantee freshman housing and to secure your seat in the entering class, your deposit must be received by May 1. If you were admitted through Early Decision, your deposit must be received by February 15.