orchestre musique ancienne musique_04 musique_08 musique_03

Admission procedure

Admission to Music Departments

Find here the admission requirements for music entry auditions.


Admission to the Lyon CNSMD is always done through an entrance exam audition.

Auditions for undergraduate degrees are carried out in two rounds (expect for early music disciplines who only have one) called Admissibilité and Admission.
For musical creation and musical culture disciplines the first round is an examination of the application file and the second is an audition and/or a written exam.

Auditions for Masters degrees are only done in one round called Admission.

Auditions for Doctorates and Artist Diploma are carried out in two rounds, the first round being an examination of the application files and the second being an audition.
The Doctorate entrance exam is open to the public.


The entrance exam dates and registration periods can be found HERE.

Registration is done online, through a dedicated platform. No candidate will be allowed to register past the deadline.

All documents must be uploaded on the registration platform (except from music scores, which need to be sent by post).


Undergraduate (Diplôme National Supérieur Professionnel de Musicien) and Master’s degrees :

  • candidates must reach, at minimum, 16 years old during the year of the audition
    (for 2024 auditions, candidates must be born in 2008 or before)
  • candidates must reach, at maximum, 29 years old during the year of the audition
    (for 2024 auditions, candidates must be born in 1995 or after)

If the candidate is under or over the age limits and would still like to apply they can ask for a dispensation. Dispensation request must be sent via the registration platform, along with a detailed curriculum vitae.
The request will be examined by the Director of studies who will take the decision to grant the dispensation or not.

The following courses do not have any age-related restriction: InMICS Master, CoPeCo Master, Doctorate program, Artist Diploma and music teacher-training course (Formation Diplômante au Certificat d’Aptitude)


Undergraduate courses (DNSPM)
No diploma is required to apply to an undergraduate course.
Candidates who already hold a DNSPM or a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the specialisation will not be permitted to apply to study in the same area at undergraduate level (DNSPM) at the Lyon CNSMD.

Master’s courses
Candidates can only be admitted to a master’s courses if they already hold a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in the specialisation. Equivalent qualifications in France include the DNSPM, the DNESM (‘Diplôme National d’Etudes Supérieures Musicales’), the DFS (‘Diplôme de Formation Supérieure’) and certificates corresponding to the highest level of attainment at a university-level music school in the relevant area.

Doctorate-level programmes
Admission to doctorate programmes is by audition. Candidates must satisfy the requirements for university registration for this level and hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in France or abroad;
  • Other master’s level qualification obtained in France or abroad;
  • DFS from the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) or DNESM from the LYON CNSMD plus relevant and officially validated professional experience.


For undergraduate and master’s courses, candidates cannot apply more than three times for the same specialisation (even if the applications are not madeconsecutively). Candidates who have passed the 1st round of the entrance exam at least once are permitted to apply a fourth time.


Candidates withdrawing from audition sessions without notifying the CNSMD at least two weeks before the audition session will not be allowed to apply the following year except in cases of force majeure.


Upon admittance, candidates who are not citizens of French-speaking countries must prove their competence in French in accordance with the Common European Framework Reference scale defined by the Council of Europe (CEFR). The levels required are as follow :


  • A2 at the beginning of the 1st semester
  • B1 at the beginning of the 2nd semester


  • B1 at the beginning of the 1st semester
  • B2 at the beginning of the 2nd semester

Students who do not fulfill these obligations are placed on leave to obtain at own expense the required language certificate; they retain the benefit of their admission for one year and may resume their studies subject to meeting these obligations upon their return from leave.
All language certificates must have been issued by an institution officially recognised by the French government.
During the 1st semester of the year the CNSMD will provide free French classes for those in need.


Doctorate candidats must submit a C1 French language certificate when applying for the entrance exam.


You can find the auditions programs from previous years in French HERE.


The registration fee is set each year by a Ministry of Culture’s decree (Légifrance article 11&12).
The fee is not refundable.
If a candidate chose to register for more than one entrance exam the fee must be paid for each exam.


Candidates from foreign countries can check the France-visas website for more information about visas.

Candidates who are admitted as students are need to validate their VLS-TS (Visa Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour) within 3 months of their arrival in France on the dedicated website.