Royal College of Music Partnership

A semester of music immersion in a conservatory setting for highly talented performance students, with the possibility of an accelerated Masters of Music degree from the Royal College of Music. 

Program History

The partnership between Princeton University and the Royal College of Music, London was established in 2009. Program in Music Performance Director Michael Pratt was seeking a collaboration with a top International conservatory that would provide the opportunity for a semester of music immersion for highly talented students in an invigorating climate, and that would provide access to an accelerated Masters of Music degree. Princeton found an eager partner in the Royal College of Music, which has been recently rated as the top conservatory in Great Britain. 

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About the Program

Qualified students spend the Fall semester of their junior year in London as full-time participants at the College. The program of study at the Royal College is tailored to fit each discipline, whether vocal, instrumental or, in a few cases, composition. The Principal Study for all is studio lessons with Royal College faculty. Courses in other areas include music literature, aesthetics and criticism, ear-training, stylistic studies, diction and language (for singers), ensemble work and master classes. At the end of the term students play a jury exam. Depending on the grade, they may be highly encouraged or outright invited to come back to work towards a Master’s degree, possibly finishing in as little as 12 months. All of this is in the context of the incomparable cultural and intellectual life of London. A feature article about the Princeton University-Royal College of Music Partnership can be found here.

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Students should contact Program Director Michael Pratt by December 1 of the sophomore year for information on auditioning. Auditions are with Princeton Performance Faculty, sometimes in video consultation with Royal College of Music faculty. 

The program is open to majors in all departments. When planning for this intensive program, students should keep in mind that any departmental requirements for Fall term of the junior year must be attended to either before or after that semester. Permission is required from the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the student’s concentration (with the exception of Music Major).

Students seeking a boost into graduate study in performance find this an ideal platform from which to work. Students who are considering going for a Masters in performance, but who are not yet sure of taking that step, often find clarity through this program. And gifted students who have no career aspirations in, but no less passion for music, use the experience as a joyous immersion as a pre-professional musician. 

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"This program enabled me to experience the best of both worlds: to both enjoy the incredible liberal arts education that Princeton has to offer, and to try out a conservatory setting in one glorious, music-focused semester. I spent an unforgettable few months at the Royal College of Music, and my time there only confirmed that I absolutely want to devote my life to music, in whatever shape that might take."

Dasha Koltunyuk '15, Participant in the Royal College of Music Exchange
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