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Students learn the history of music and are prepared to craft their own desired sound and style.

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The Creative Arts Scholarship Program is for first-time, out-of-state graduate and undergraduate students, including international and transfer students. Applicants must be accepted to ETSU before they will be considered for a Creative Arts Scholarship.

The Bluegrass, Old Time, Country and Celtic Music Studies offered at ETSU is the first program of its kind established at a four-year institution. The program allows students to learn the history of music and to craft their desired sound and style.

Applicants must apply for admission to East Tennessee State University and demonstrate both performance skills and academic achievement that indicate a strong potential for success in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies.

First-time freshmen should have a 21 ACT (990 SAT) or a 2.75 high school GPA, while transfer students should have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on 12 or more transferable credit hours. Exceptions will be considered.


Application Information

In addition to documentation of the student's academic record and ETSU admission status, a completed application form will include the following:

  • Links to YouTube videos documenting the student's performance skills in three songs or tunes
  • An explanation of the material he/she is performing, what performance skills are featured in each recording, and why the student chose each song or tune
  • A 200-300-word essay summarizing the student's experience with Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, and/or Country Music to date as well as what he/she hopes to achieve musically in the future

Scholarship awardees: 

  • Declare Bluegrass, Old Time, Country & Celtic Music Studies as a major or minor course of study
  • Enroll and achieve passing grades in at least 15 credit hours of coursework per semester (including at least one individual instruction class and one band class each semester)
  • Maintain an overall 2.0 cumulative grade point average as well as a 3.0 GPA in all BLUE courses for each semester
  • If a freshman - live on campus for the first two semesters, participate in public performances, as agreed upon with the faculty of Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies (typically 2-4 performances per semester), and assist with additional public performance-related activities as needed
  • Develop musical and performance skills as well as the ability to work productively with faculty and other students


Timeline for New Applications

Students matriculating in the fall semester are encouraged to apply by March 5 in order to insure a timely response, however, all applications will be considered. Students matriculating in the spring semester are encouraged to apply by November 1 in order to insure a timely response, however, all applications will be considered. Acceptance letters will be sent within a month of receipt of all application materials.