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Academics / B.A. World Music / FAQ

FAQ World Music

When is the application deadline?
Every year on April 30. Upload until 23:59.

Is there a numerus clausus?
No. There is no numerus clausus for the World Music programme. However, your final grades will be taken into account during the application process.

Are there tuition fees at the Popakademie?
The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg is a public university of the state of Baden-Württemberg. There are no tuition fees for your first course of study at the Popakademie. However, there are tuition fees for some international students as well as those pursuing a second undergraduate degree.

Is the World Music degree accredited?
Yes, the degree in World Music is accredited through ACQUIN.

Degree Information

How many students are accepted?
Approximately 12 students are accepted per year.
How long does the degree programme take?
Three years, i.e. six semesters.
Can I enrol at any time?
You can only enrol for the winter semester.
Which musicians should consider the World Music programme?
Talented, creative instrumentalists and vocalists open to other music cultures or with an interest in transcultural musical and pedagogical content.
Do I have to play multiple instruments to apply?
No, but you will have to learn a second instrument, either guitar, keyboard or producing during your studies.
Can I teach music in schools with my World Music degree?
Within the programme, special focus can be placed on transcultural music education. This does not replace the training as a music teacher for public schools. The music pedagogy skills acquired in the World Music degree programme enable you to teach in music schools, special programmes of all-day schools, in out-of-school facilities and for group and individual lessons.
Are there mandatory internships?
Yes, currently there is one mandatory internship of 12 weeks in the fifth semester.
Will I be assigned an internship?
The students are generally responsible for arranging their own internships. Offers from our cooperation partners and other institutions are posted for the students on our internal WebBoard.
Can I study abroad?
Students can take a semester abroad at one of our partner universities, e.g. Turkey, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In addition, our Band Camps offer the chance to make music with musicians from our partner institutions over a shorter time period (one week).
Can I also do an internship abroad?
Yes, of course!
Can I get credits from a different degree programme counted?
For general subjects such as Popular Music History, Music of the World or Music Theory/Ear Training, it is possible. For subjects very specifically oriented toward the music industry, other credits will not be counted.
Is there an Open House?
Yes, our Open House day usually takes place in February. The exact date will be posted on our calendar.


How can I apply?
Applications are accepted online and will be available starting after the Open House in February.
Is there an age limit for applicants?
Do I definitely need the A-level exams (university entrance qualification)?
To enrol in the World Music programme you must have a general or subject-specific university entrance qualification. Without this qualification, you must take an additional exam. The additional exam takes place as an oral exam as part of the entrance exam/audition.
What kind of practical experience do I need to apply?
Several years of musical experience.
How important is the technical recording quality of the demos I send?
Only your artistic abilities count towards the application - we understand that not everyone has access to a professional recording studio!
How important is the technical recording quality of the videos I send?
Only your artistic abilities count towards the application - we understand that not everyone has access to high-end video recording equipment! You must be visible in the video, as the focus is on your playing and/or singing. The audio track must be identical to that of the recording and not edited or replaced. The file must be under 200 MB.
What can I do if I don’t have my graduation diploma yet?
In place of your graduation diploma (general or subject-specific university entrance qualification), please attach your most recent report card to your application. You can deliver your graduation diploma at the time of the entrance exam or upon enrolment.

International Applicants

Can I apply as an international student?
Yes, of course! In order to apply, you need to get your (foreign) diploma recognised and show evidence of sufficient German language skills if you did not graduate from a German-speaking school.

For refugees, more information can be found on the website of the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst).
Where can I get my foreign diploma recognised?
The State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart is responsible for the recognition of educational qualifications. Click here to apply for the certificate of recognition for foreign applicants.

Studiensekretariat der Akademie der Bildenden Künste
Am Weißenhof 1
70191 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 711 284400

For German citizens with foreign secondary school degrees, please contact:

Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart
Abt. 7 Schule und Bildung
Postfach 103642
70031 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 711 904 17170
How do I prove my German language skills?
German language skills at level C1 are required for studying at the Popakademie. The following certificates are recognised: DSH-exam from a German university, assessment test from the Studienkolleg, German Language Diploma Level II (Deutsches Sprachdiplom Stufe II), Goethe Institute’s Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (KDS) or Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS), Goethe Institute’s Central Upper Secondary Exam.

Entrance Exam

When do the entrance exams take place?
The date for the entrance exam for the World Music degree programme will be posted under Facts.
What does the entrance exam entail?
The entrance exam consists of two main parts:
  • The first part is a written exam. This includes tasks in Turkish-Arabic or West African as well as Western music theory, ear training, general music theory and an essay on a current topic in music business, world music or popular music. Intervals, three-voice chords, and scale types have to be heard and classified. Other exam elements of the Turkish-Arab or West African part are a single voice melodic dictation and a rhythm dictation.
  • The second part consists of the practical exam, which is the audition. This begins with a public, live performance, either with an ensemble or accompanying band (up to 3 accompanying musicians) or solo with playback. Here you have a total of 15 minutes to perform up to 3 titles (either your own compositions or your own versions of other compositions). After that, an ad-hoc exam will take place in private, during which you will be asked about your musical abilities. The exam ends with an interview on musically relevant questions and your personal motivation.
How can I prepare for the entrance exam?
What are the requirements for the live audition?
The following areas are especially important: stylistic confidence, good sound and intonation, musicality, having fun playing, good timing, groove, technique, flexibility and spontaneity.
Will all applicants be invited to audition?
Unfortunately we are not able to invite all applicants to an entrance exam/audition, which is why we do a pre-selection based on your submitted application materials.
How often can I take the entrance exam?
You can take the entrance exam twice.
Can you recommend useful materials to prepare for the music theory exam?
For harmony
  • Mike Schönmehl: Jazz und Pop Musiklehre
  • Frank Sikora: Die neue Jazz-Harmonielehre
  • Markus Fritsch, Andreas Lonardoni, Peter Kellert: Harmonielehre und Songwriting: Professional Music Musikarbeitsbuch

For popular music history (see also subsequent point)
  • Larry Starr, Christopher Waterman: American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MP3
  • Reebee Garofalo: Rockin Out: Popular Music in the U.S.A.
  • Peter Wicke: Rock und Pop – Von Elvis Presley bis Lady Gaga

In addition, we recommend the programme Earmaster to prepare for ear training.
Can you recommend materials for preparing for the additional exam for applicants without a university entrance qualification?
The additional exam for applicants without a university entrance qualification requires the applicant to have a sound knowledge of current and past popular music as well as world music history and is not limited to the applicant’s favoured music genre. Knowledge about influential artists and groups is required, as is the ability to classify them within an overall historical context and to recognize developments and connections between them. The following books (among others) are suitable for studying popular music history:
  • Peter Wicke, Kai-Erik Ziegenrücker: Handbuch der populären Musik
  • Peter Wicke: Von Mozart zu Madonna: Eine Kulturgeschichte der Popmusik
  • Peter Wicke: Rock und Pop – Von Elvis Presley bis Lady Gaga
  • Larry Starr, Christopher Waterman: American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MP3
  • Reebee Garofalo: Rockin Out: Popular Music in the U.S.A.
  • Martin Büsser: On the wild side: Die wahre Geschichte der Popmusik
  • Martin Büsser: Popmusik

Studying at the Popakademie

How high are the student union fees?
The student union fees are currently 107,80 € per semester.
Can I apply for BAföG funding as a student at the Popakademie?
Yes, as a Popakademie student you are entitled to funding through BAföG.
Is there a semester ticket for public transport?
The Popakademie is a member of the Mannheim Student Union. Since our students pay student union fees, they are entitled to a discounted semester ticket.
Is there a student dormitory at the Popakademie?
The Popakademie does not have its own student dormitories. However, through membership in the Mannheim Student Union, our students can take advantage of its housing referral service. One of the largest student dormitories is located very close to the Popakademie.
Can I attend a lecture as a guest?
Unfortunately it is not possible to attend a lecture as a guest. However, we offer open lectures during our Open House, which is usually in February - this is a good opportunity to see what a lecture is like.