Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music College of Communication and Fine Arts Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
Music Industry Admissions Process


Acceptance into Music Business or Recording Technology degree programs depends on the following: acceptance by The University of Memphis, achievement of Music Industry (MUID) academic standards, provision of ACT and GPA documentation if necessary, an essay, participation in Orientation on an Audition Day, and acceptance by MUID faculty.

Admission to The University of Memphis does not guarantee a student placement into MUID programs. Prospective students must be accepted by the University of Memphis and by the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. To provide each student with the highest quality instruction, the faculty maintains a small, select enrollment of mature students who endeavor to become active, involved and contributing members of the music industry. All students must successfully complete all components and conditions listed in the paragraph above to be accepted into the program.

Academic Standards

Students who have 0-30 hours of college credit (Incoming Freshmen and most Transfer students) must have a qualifying score of 74.4 or higher calculated on the ACT, or a qualifying score of 3410 or higher calculated on the SAT. A qualifying score is determined by multiplying a student’s ACT or SAT score by his/her high school GPA. If you meet the qualifying score, you are ready to schedule your MUID Orientation/Audition Day. After completing a successful orientation/audition and being accepted into the program, you must maintain a 2.8 Quality Point Average (QPA) and earn a C or better in General Education English, Natural Science requirements and Music Industry Calculus within two academic years after orientation/audition.

Students who have 31 hours or more of college credit and students who have 0-30 hours of college credit but do not have a qualifying score of 74.4 or 3410 or higher must accomplish the following academic standards before registering to do the MUID orientation/audition in order to be accepted into the program. Students must have a cumulative 2.8 Quality Point Average (QPA) including satisfaction of the U of M General Education English and Natural Science requirements, and the Music Industry Calculus requirement. You must have earned a C or better in each of these courses. (See MUID degree outlines).

As soon as students who have 31 hours or more of college credit are accepted by The University of Memphis, they should make an appointment with Ms. Laurie Snyder for transcript evaluation. Call 901.678.2350 or email Transcript evaluation must be satisfied so that you know where you stand within the program curriculum.

Students who have not been accepted into the MUID program may take U of M classes to fulfill academic standards and prepare for MUID orientation/audition but are not entitled to take MUID Core Requirements.  Students who have not been accepted into the MUID program are advised by Laurie Snyder. Students who have been accepted into MUID programs are advised by School of Music faculty.

Scheduling Your Music Industry Orientation/Audition Day

Music Industry Orientations are held on Audition Days. To schedule your MUID Orientation/Audition Day, apply to the School of Music at

All Music Industry applicants are required to submit an essay to the School of Music. If you are not prepared to submit your essay by uploading it with your School of Music application, email it to at least two weeks prior to your audition/orientation day.


A limited number of scholarships are awarded to Music Industry students who demonstrate scholastic and leadership excellence and are currently active in the program. Prospective students who are outstanding performers will want to apply for School of Music talent-based/performance scholarships. You may indicate that you are a talent-based/performance scholarship applicant on the online School of Music admissions application. See Undergraduate Admissions and Placements Information; Audition Dates; Scholarships; Assistantships; and Audition Requirements.

Academic Common Market

Participation in the Academic Common Market allows qualified students to pay in-state tuition while pursuing certain degree programs at the University of Memphis. This arrangement is available only for students whose home states do not offer the designated program. The state in which the student resides determines which of the programs offered by the University of Memphis it will make available for its students. Degree programs which have been supported by Academic Common Market states in the recent past include Jazz and Studio Music, Music Business, and Recording Technology. The Academic Common Market is sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). States that may participate with the U of M are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Florida and Texas grant access for graduate level programs only. Current SREB common market guidelines may be found on the web at: A list of the state coordinators with their addresses and telephone numbers is on the website. Prospective students are responsible for contacting state coordinators about degree program support. You may contact your state department of education and inquire about their Academic Common Market.

Essay Information

Write an essay on the appropriate topic given on the following page. Seek and study a variety of sources to reach your own conclusions in order to express your own topical thoughts. Cite references to avoid plagiarism. Essays must be electronically submitted as attached Word documents no later than two (2) weeks prior to Audition/Orientation Day. Essays must be single spaced and created with 12-point Times font with 1” margins on all sides. Essays must be a minimum of 750 words and no longer than 1,000 words. All reference sources must be cited and are not included in the word count of the written essay. Put your name, date, and essay title at the top of your essay.


Plagiarism is a serious violation. It is academic misconduct and will disqualify you from acceptance into the program. The University of Memphis Code of Student Conduct states that “plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full or clear acknowledgement”. Read about academic dishonesty at To prevent plagiarizing someone else’s work, credit for the words and ideas must always be given. Quotation marks are used to indicate another person’s exact words. Paraphrasing is summarizing a passage or taking the idea of the sentence and constructing a new sentence in your own words. The original sentence must be substantially altered by you for it to be your work. Citing the source is still necessary because you took the idea from the source.

Essay Topic for Music Business Applicants

“For the past decade, sales of recorded music released by the three major companies in the field (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group) have been undergoing significant declines. Some say this slowdown in growth can be attributed to either the phenomenon of widespread file sharing on the Internet, to a lack of quality music, to the rise of streaming delivery services, or a combination of these and other factors. In the current environment, some are predicting that independent musicians and independent labels will have a better opportunity to thrive because they are smaller and more flexible than the majors and can take advantage of the Internet and other new technologies to promote their music. Yet these same musicians and labels are facing some of the same issues and pressures that the major labels are. In your essay, discuss your views on the future of the music industry, making your argument for who you think will benefit from the recent changes in the business (e.g., major or independents) and how they will still be able to generate revenues given the widespread availability of free music.” ​

Essay Topic for Recording Technology Applicants

 “Digital delivery systems of audio (i.e. the Internet) have forced the entire music industry to rethink the methods involved in the recording and distribution of recorded material. At recent audio conventions there has been much discussion regarding digital audio watermarking. Relying on your own research, provide information regarding the fairly young history of digital audio watermark technology as well as how you anticipate the technology will continue to develop and be utilized in the future.” See all current essay topics online at

Placement Tests

MUID applicants need placements in theory, class piano, and an applied instrument or voice to determine skill level and consequent class registration designation. While these placements do not affect acceptance into Music Business or Recording Technology, they are relative to basic program content and time sequence to complete the curriculum. The MUID curriculum requires 3 semesters of written and aural theory, 2 semesters of class piano, and 4 credit hours of study on an instrument (or voice) of choice.


All applicants take the theory diagnostic test. You are highly advised to prepare for the theory test by studying the sample test, answers and references on the School of Music website. Those who do not place into Theory I (MUTC 1008/1010) will be advised to prepare, then retake the test or take Basic Theory (MUTC1001) on campus during the summer. The goal is to place into Theory 1 as your degree program outlines.


Regarding undergraduate class piano placements for music majors: Students who have taken formal lessons should prepare a piece that represents their level of playing; sight reading keyboard theory, harmonization and scales will also be assessed.  Students with no piano experience will not be asked to play.


Applicants having no formal training on an instrument or voice are encouraged to complete the class piano requirements and continue with applied piano lessons. Those having had private instruction on an instrument or voice, are comfortable reading music, or have had extensive band or choral experience may audition for applied lessons. Although many of our music industry students are highly skilled players, a strong performance background is not a requirement by the School of Music for music industry programs.

The Music Industry Orientation

Your MUID Orientation includes: Roundtable Discussion and Tour of Facilities. It occurs on Audition Days in the College of Communication and Fine Arts Building, Room 105 and begins around 10:30 AM. During MUID Orientation prospective students meet Music Business and Recording Technology faculty. All applicants must sign an Attendance List. A detailed discussion of the career and major takes place and applicants participate in a roundtable discussion on music industry essay topics. No advance preparation is required but student participation in the roundtable discussion is important in that it is an admissions influencing component. Friends and family of students participating in MUID Orientation are welcome to attend.

Evaluation and Acceptance

The Music Industry faculty assess each applicant by reviewing the student’s academic record, essay, and roundtable discussion participation. There is a high and increasing number of applicants for the Music Industry program. Students meeting the standards at the highest level as determined by the faculty will be accepted. Applicants are notified by mail regarding Acceptance or Non-Acceptance following audition/orientation days within two weeks after auditions.


A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for graduation by students pursuing the Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in Music Business or Recording Technology. A minimum grade of “C” and a quality point average of 2.5 are required of all courses in the core and concentration.

Grades and Quality Points

Students registering for college courses seek to earn “credit hours.” Achievement in a particular course is measured in “quality points.” Letter grades awarded by instructors at the conclusion of each course are converted into quality points for this purpose. The grade of “A” generates four quality points for each hour earned, “B” -three, “C” -two, “D” -one, “F” -zero quality points. To compute a quality point average (QPA) for the purpose of seeking admission to a major in this division, the total number of credit hours attempted will be divided into the quality points earned from all courses. Only those courses resulting in letter grades of “A” through “F” will be used to compute the QPA. Grades of I, T, CR, DP, W, AD, S, and U will not be included in the calculation. HMSE, PHED, HPER, DANC, military science, and similar courses approved to satisfy general education requirements for health and fitness are not used in the calculation of Music Business and Recording Technology admission and QPA. In the case of a repeated course, only the last grade received will be used. General information on grades and quality points is available in the Undergraduate Bulletin.



Admissions into the Music Industry program is a 7 step process. Follow these steps to become a part of the Music Industry program at The University of Memphis.

Step 1

Apply to and be accepted by The University of Memphis.

Step 2

Determine that you have satisfied the academic standards required by the Music Industry (MUID) program. If you have, proceed to Step 3.

If you have not satisfied the academic standards, you may decide to complete the academic standards and then schedule a MUID Orientation/Audition. To get on track, schedule an appointment with Ms. Laurie Snyder,, 901-678-2350. She will be your advisor while you satisfy the academic standards.

Step 3

If you have met the academic standards, schedule a MUID Orientation/Audition Day by completing the online School of Music entry/audition application.

Step 4

If you have not been fully accepted by the University at least one month prior to your audition day, you must submit documentation that verifies your ACT or SAT and GPA at least two weeks before your MUID Orientation/Audition Day.

Step 5

Submit a Music Business or Recording Technology essay at least two weeks before your MUID Orientation/Audition Day.

Step 6

Attend MUID Audition/Orientation Day.

Step 7

Attend The University of Memphis Orientation Day in the summer to become more acquainted with the University and register for fall classes.

School of Music Overview

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
College of Communication and Fine Arts | 901/678-2350 | Contact us
Last Updated: 12/2/14