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Music Theory Placement Exam

All students applying for admission as a music major must take a Music Theory Placement Exam whether or not they have taken a theory course in high school or in another college program. Results of the exam determine the music theory course the student will be placed into if accepted as a music major. Results of the theory placement exam are not generally a factor in the decision as to whether or not a student will be accepted as a music major.

The exam for entering freshman or those who have never taken a college theory course consists of basic music theory, such as: identifying key signatures, intervals, chord types, major and minor scales (natural, melodic and harmonic), and rhythm. Transfer students who have taken theory at the college level will be given a more comprehensive exam that includes analysis, writing four-part harmony or more advanced skills and knowledge depending on their level of previous theory study.

Music Theory 1 (T113) is not a beginning level course for musicians. Therefore, students not achieving a score on the exam to suggest a sufficient foundation of basic knowledge in theory to succeed in T113 will be required to enroll in MUS-T109 Rudiments of Music before being eligible to enroll in MUS-T113 Music Theory I. Students may NOT substitute MUS-E241 Intro to Music Fundamentals for MUS-T109. Transfer students from other college music programs may have taken one or more music theory classes. Even if the university grants general transfer credits for those classes, transfer students will be placed into the theory course reflected by the results of their placement exams.

Students may take the exam at the IU Southeast Student Success Center, located in room 203 in University Center South (US 203), during the Center's normal hours of operation. The exam must be taken within 4 weeks after the audition. Students wishing to be a music major must not register for any Music Theory course (MUS-T113, T114, T115, T116, T109, etc.) until they have taken this exam. When requesting the exam at the Student Success Center, students must specify if they are an incoming Freshman with no previous college experience, or if they are a student transferring from another college/university. For the Student Success Center's hours of operation, location, and other information, visit the Student Success Center or call (812) 941-2312.

Students who are auditioning for scholarship consideration only — and not to be admitted as a music major — are not required to take the exam.

Music minors and students opting to enroll in Music Theory as an elective (majoring in a field other than music) should take the exam.

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