Popular Music at William Paterson University

Viewing the world of Popular Music through the study of Songwriting,  Industry Studies, and Social Media

Entrance Requirements

Start: the admissions process by completing the William Paterson University General application. Be sure to select BA Music Popular Music as your desired major.


Next: once you are assigned a student ID number (855xxxxx) complete the Music Department Application.  Below are some suggestions to help you through the process.

The Qualities the Popular Music student should possess:


  • High academic achievement
  • A broad sense of what popular music is in terms of historical perspective and diversity in musical genre
  • Sophisticated engagement in various social media beyond simply connecting with friends and acquaintances
  • Musical experience as a performer,
  • Some experience in musical composition arranging, producing, and/or songwriting.


As you assemble your audition materials - written statement and audition video - please be mindful of clearly presenting all of the mentioned qualities you possess.

Helpful Audition Info

Getting Started

The Essay

The Video


A few things to keep in mind as you complete the music department application:


Note: Read these requirements very carefully! Review of completed auditions will begin November 15 for Spring acceptances and February 1 for Fall acceptances. Incomplete audition materials will not be considered.


Complete details regarding the audition requirements can be found here. Be sure that you include all of the required content. Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed.


Do your best to present yourself and your audition material in the best possible manner. Proof-read your essay and listen carefully to your video to be sure there are no mistakes and check for completeness.


If you are unsure of the requirements please contact the music admissions office for clarification.      973.720.3466     musicadmissions@wpunj.edu

Provide a 300 word or less narrative that includes the following:


  • Explain your career goals and describe how this major might help you attain these goals. Try to be very specific.
  • Describe your musical background. We are interested in all of your recent musical endeavors. However we aren't so interested in how you got started in music.
  • If for some reason your main career goal was not possible what would be your "plan B"?
  • Include examples of involvement in social media or music on the Internet.  Include links to your website, Twitter page, Facebook page, blog, or other other online presence.
  • Include links to examples of your composition, songwriting or arranging activities.

Complete details regarding the content for the video can be found here. If you don't include any of the requested and required content your application WILL NOT be evaluated.


Submit a link to a web-based video in which the applicant performs the required musical scales and work(s).


Applicants will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Evenness of tempo, intonation, pitch accuracy, musicality, performance ability, musical diversity, and the like.
  • The video should not contain edits within individual scales or during the recording of the performed piece.
  • The video image and the audio should be clear without distortion and without excessive environmental noise. Be sure you can be heard above any accompaniment.
  • It is imperative that the submission shows your abilities in the best possible light.

The Rest


You will need TWO letters of recommendation.  In the application you will notify two individuals who know you well both musically and personally to comment on your potential for academic success.  These letters must be received before your application is considered complete!.


Feel free to give us links to as many related videos, recorded music, and documents that will help show us all of your related abilities. We would like to see multiple musical genre represented or any musical arrangements, performances, etc.


Our Popular Music Majors are musicians, artist, writers, actors, composers, songwriters, arrangers, choral directors, teachers. They are interested in the business of music, social media, performing, collaborating, journalism, writing album reviews, promotion, music licensing, learning, web design, graphic arts, music industry law, tour managing, audio engineering, and so much more.