3.0 Academic Information

3.1 Course Prefixes & Numbers


Course Title
Note the course title above. Sometimes there's a longer full course title that gives a better sense of the course. Check the undergraduate or graduate catalog.

Course Reference Number (CRN)
The 5-digit course reference number is the unique identifier assigned to every course and section. This is the number used to register for specific courses.

Course Prefix 
The course prefix indicates the department or program offering the course. Music courses have the following prefixes:

  • MUAP.....Applied Studies
  • MUHL.....History
  • MUID..... Industry
  • MUTC.....Theory
  • MUSE.....Music Education
  • MUS...... General Music

Course Number 
The course number following the prefix gives some information about where a course falls in the School of Music's program curriculum. Music courses generally fall into the following categories:

  • 1000/2000-level: Introductory courses
  • 3000/4000-level: Mid and upper-level courses, likely to be narrower in scope, and might require a lower-level introductory course as a prerequisite.
  • 4000/6000-level: Some 4000-level courses are cross-listed at the 6000-level for which graduate students may earn a limited amount of credit for.
  • 7000-level: Master's level courses
  • 8000-level: Doctoral level courses
  • 9000-level: Doctoral dissertation

Section Number 
Courses are sometimes taught with more than one "section" or class, usually by different faculty and at different times. This is noted by a courses similar prefix and course number, but a different section number.

3.2 Course Syllabus 

At the first meeting of a class, faculty should discuss the specific objectives of the course; outline the topics to be studied; announce the number and nature of required assignments and explain the means that will be used to evaluate students' work. This information should be included in a course syllabus distributed to the class. All part-time instructors and graduate assistants should submit their syllabus for approval to the Area Coordinator.

As you prepare syllabi for courses, it is important to review criteria that faculty are expected to include in each syllabus. The School of Music provides a sample syllabus that includes required fields (student expectations, office of disability services, etc.). The sample word document can be downloaded here: SOM Course Syllabus Template.

3.3 Student Advising

Our Centralized Advising Unit provides advising for all graduate and undergraduate students. PINS and permits are issued by our professional advisors.  All course recommendations are stored by the Advisors in Navigate. Advisors complete a final review of Navigate academic plans in conjunction with final grades and transcripts. Advisors will guide students regarding utilizing advising resources such as umDegree, degree outlines, and Navigate planning tools.

Advising roles are as follows:
The Undergraduate Studies Program Manager advises all Performance, Music Education, and Composition majors. 
The Graduate Studies Program Manager advises all Commercial Music and Music Industry majors, in addition to all graduate students.     

Undergraduate Advising
All music majors are required to schedule an advising appointment each semester within the four weeks prior to the registration period.

Students should come to their advising appointments having discussed with their studio professors which level of lessons and which ensembles they should register for, knowing that the ensemble placement could change after placement auditions are held. Students should also discuss any concerns regarding their course plans. The advising office takes lesson/ensemble assignments from faculty and if the student does not come with that information, administrative staff will reach out to faculty.  

Graduate Advising 
To learn about the graduate advising process, see 3.1 Advising in the Graduate Student Handbook. In addition, specific faculty responsibilities are defined below. Schedule an appointment with the Graduate Studies Program Manager here

Course of Study Changes
If a student informs a faculty member regarding either of the following scenarios, please contact the Graduate or Undergraduate Office immediately as determined by the student’s current degree level:

  • If a student is taking time off from their studies, whether for an undefined amount of time or a semester.
  • If the student wants to change their course of study to a different degree as this affords another opportunity to review the program requirements and help alleviate concerns that may have been identified. Both the Assistant Director for Graduate Studies/Undergraduate Coordinator and the Program Managers may be aware of additional circumstances for the student that could be successfully addressed. In addition, there will be paperwork required in each of these scenarios. If taking time away from the program, this allows us to assist the student with information before they leave. This in turn prevents those steps from becoming a deterrent. If the student wants to change their course of study to a different degree, this also affords the opportunity for another conversation with the student to help identify if concerns are financial or performance related.  

Professional Advisor Roles 
• Provide academic support to ensure a successful pathway towards graduation 
• Assist students in developing and achieving realistic academic and professional goals 
• Explain academic policies and procedures  
• Provide course suggestions based on the degree plan and students academic goals 
• Issue permits for restricted music courses 
• Clear PINs for students to register each semester 
• Communicate graduation requirements while monitoring and accurately documenting  student progress towards degree
• Guide decision-making and responsible development of academic plans 
• Reinforce that students are ultimately responsible for successfully attaining their educational goals 
• Be available for office hours in person or via Zoom or email 
• Document meeting notes 
• Complete final review of Navigate academic plans in conjunction with final grades/transcripts 

Faculty Advising Responsibilities, Graduate 
The Graduate office will provide courses based upon degree requirements to all incoming Masters and Doctoral students for their first semester. 
The Graduate Office will enter all PINs and permits. 

Faculty Responsibilities: 

  • In September, professors will discuss with doctoral students, and when applicable Masters students, their class schedule for the first and second semesters. 
  • The deadline for Primary Professors to have counseled their students regarding spring semester courses is October 15. 
  • The deadline for Primary Professors to have counseled their students regarding fall semester courses is March 15th. 

    Primary Professors/Committee Chairs are responsible for approval of doctoral students taking courses outside of the School of Music (e.g., as with Music Education Ph.D students).  

  • The Primary Professor is required to document with the Graduate Office any deviation from the approved degree plan each semester via email, if changes occur.  The Graduate Office will record changes and store them in the student’s chart.  
  • At the end of the second semester (i.e., by April 30th), the primary Professor is required to have met with each of their graduate students and reviewed their completed degree plan, signing off on the plan. Professors will keep a copy of the plan. 
  • Primary Professors are not required to reapprove the degree plan each semester when there has been no deviation from the listed courses.  
  • The Primary Professor (or Committee Chair, if the Primary Professor is not serving in that role) will meet with doctoral students and assist with the completion of the Thesis/Dissertation Faculty Committee Appointment Form, ensuring the document is submitted to the Graduate Studies Office by the end of March.  
  • Professors will maintain communication with their graduate students throughout their course of study, ensuring students perform recitals and register for qualifying and comprehensive exams, and assist with dissertation or final document proposals.
  • The Committee Chair is responsible for giving the Graduate Office the student’s Thesis or Dissertation Proposal Defense Form. The Committee Chair also counsels the student through the process of scheduling their final lecture recital and defense and will deliver the Final Defense Results form to the Graduate Studies Office.

If approved, the Professor serving as Committee Chair is responsible for giving the Graduate Office the student’s Thesis or Dissertation Proposal Defense Form.

The Committee and Professor serving as the student’s chair also counsel the student through the process of scheduling their final lecture recital and defense, and the Committee Chair delivers the Final Defense Results form to the Graduate Studies office.

In addition, faculty advisors are responsible for the following with their Graduate students:

  • Provide course suggestions based on the student's academic goals;
  • Establish with the student a realistic timetable for completion of various phases of the program;
  • Communicate with the professional advising staff, the student’s doctoral committee, and the Assistant Director for Graduate Studies regarding the student’s academic progress and any academic issues, including probation;
  • Provide referrals to campus resources (e.g., career center, writing center, etc.);
  • Make arrangements to ensure continuity of the student's faculty advising during leaves or other extended periods of absence; 
  • Encourage the student to participate in professional development opportunities (e.g., off-campus performances, master classes, competitions, conferences, research symposia, etc.);
  • Provide advice on career options, the job market and job searches, and strategies for professional success post-graduation;
  • Communicate with the student in the event that their academic performance is not meeting expectations; help the student develop an action plan that will help them return to good academic standing.

EXCEPTION: Online M.M.,  M.M. -  ORFF, and Music Education and Musicology Ph.D students frequently attend part time. 
As a result, their degree plans are not due at the end of the second semester. The MUSE and MUSI primary Professors assume responsibility for approval of courses in other departments at the University and for course choices meeting degree requirements, as the student’s studies evolve.   

3.4 Student Absence from Class

At their discretion, faculty may use class attendance in determining grades. If attendance is used, a complete written statement of the attendance policy that details the weight of atten- dance in determining the final grade must be given along with the course syllabus to students present at the first and second meetings of the class.

Absences by an individual or group may be authorized as "excused" by the dean or director when students are fulfilling class or departmental requirements and/or for the purpose of representing the University (e.g., ensemble tours, athletic band events, etc.). Attendance at guest artist performances and masterclasses are typically excused at the discretion of the professor whose course is in conflict with the guest event.

3.5 Group Excused Absence 

Occasionally, classes and large/chamber/studio ensembles will cause a student's absence in other courses (ensemble tours, guest speakers, etc.). These conflicts are often an inherent part of the School of Music's culture of service, outreach, and engagement. In these situations, it is important that both the lead faculty member and students involved in the absence communicate clearly with reasonable advance notice and appropriate documentation to all courses affected by the absence.

Reasonable advance notification and appropriate documentation is defined as the following:

  • 3 weeks prior to the event – lead faculty distributes to students an excuse letter w/ faculty signature and list of students who will miss class.* For large events, such as an athletic event or honor festival, it may be more appropriate for the lead faculty or the Director to send an all-faculty email with advance notice.
  • 1 week prior to the event – students communicate with faculty through email and in person as appropriate.

*There may be exceptions that do not fit well with the above schedule. The precise days and times to be away for basketball band, for example, are not known until several days before the event.

3.6 Off-Campus Events 

Faculty are required to have students fill out a Hold Harmless form for any course-related activity that happens off campus. This form acknowledges that students will not hold the University liable for any course-related off-campus events. This form is found under the School of Music's faculty resources. The original signed forms should be submitted to the School of Music's main office, where they will be kept on file.

3.7 Students with Disabilities 

See 5.18 Students with Disabilities or Special Needs of the Undergraduate Handbook.

3.8 Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE)

Student evaluations are required for every section of every course, including summer sessions taught by University of Memphis faculty members and includes full-time and part-time instructors and graduate teaching assistants. Faculty members must include student evaluation results with applications for promotion and tenure. The Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness rating system (SETE) is an electronic process. Information about SETE forms, and monitoring capabilities can be found on the provost website at http://www.memphis.edu/sete/ and on each faculty member's portal - SETE channel.

SETE results are only shared with faculty when the size of the section protects the anonymity of the student. In the School of Music, many applied courses are too small to warrant the results being shared with the instructor, resulting in the instructor not receiving any feedback on their teaching effectiveness. Due to this, the School of Music solicits an internal, anonymous student survey each semester for all applied instructors. The survey results are emailed to the faculty member at the end of each semester and kept on file in the Music Office.

3.9 Juries, Final Examinations, & Student Recitals

Juries are held the last week of classes each semester. Jury times and locations are coordinated by the Area Coordinator. Date, time, location, and sign-up information should be shared with students by mid-semester. Jury and recital requirements vary by area and degree plan within the School of Music. Requirements may be found in Appendix E - School of Music Area Policies, the SOM Graduate Handbook, or the SOM Undergraduate Handbook. The School of Music uses The Jury-System, an online scheduling and administration tool for performance juries.

Final examinations times are published in the Schedule of Classes each semester. The University Faculty Handbook states "Examinations are to start promptly at the designated times and may not extend beyond the period indicated (two hours for the fall and spring semesters, ninety minutes for the summer terms). Faculty members may not give examinations at a time other than the scheduled one, except with written permission from the department chair and college dean. Make-up examinations may be given after the scheduled time to students who have been absent and who are able to justify their absence. A student who is absent from the final examination without permission of the faculty member incurs a grade of F and may, depending on the weight of the examination in determining the final grade, incur a grade of F for the course" (5.17).

Student recital information can be found on the Recitals page in the student handbook. 

3.10 Change of Degree or Concentration 

Faculty are required to submit an Approve Change of Concentration form to document approvals for School of Music students who have submitted their online request to change or add a music concentration. The student's online request must be on file, and all qualifications met (essays, interviews, documents, auditions) before an approval can be processed. This submission, and other related documents will become a part of the student's SOM and University permanent file(s).

3.11 Course Scheduling 

Around mid semester the University will distribute the proof of courses scheduled for the upcoming semester. Links to both the proof and the schedule request sheets are emailed by the School of Music's Scheduling Coordinator, who oversees the course scheduling process. All faculty are required to review their courses for the upcoming semester and note any requests for changes or revisions (e.g. adding or deleting a class/section, changing details such as day or time). Any course requests made after the course scheduling deadline will be subject to approval by the Director.

Any requests should be noted on the spreadsheet provided by the Scheduling Coordinator, who oversees the course scheduling process. Schedule change requests may not be submitted through emails or phone calls. Each area coordinator is responsible for reviewing the schedule requests from their area. If the area coordinator approves, they proceed to add requests to the Master faculty course load sheets for a permanent record. Only approved changes are implemented.

3.12 Curriculum Proposals 

Curriculum Request Submission Process
Consideration of curricular requests at the University level takes place once a year so that the requests may be reviewed in relation to each other and from the perspective of University programs as a whole. The School of Music will begin an annual submission process at the last Curriculum Committee meeting of each Spring semester. Both Undergraduate and Graduate curricular requests will be submitted prior to this meeting via this Curriculum Submission form

The Curriculum Committee will evaluate all the submitted requests at the final Spring meeting and then proceed to prepare the requests over the summer for voting. If additional information is needed from the submitting faculty, Undergraduate Coordinator and Assistant Director for Graduate Studies will follow up with them before or after the summer.  The following academic year, submissions will go through a series of steps to be approved and included in the catalog in the Fall of the year after the initial submission. 

While specific dates will change from year to year, the general process individual requests will go through to be included in the catalog is as follows:

  • Spring I – Submission of curricular requests prior to the final Curriculum Committee meeting (Curriculum Committee evaluates requests at this meeting).
  • Summer I – Undergraduate Coordinator and Assistant Director for Graduate Studies collect additional information needed in support and preparation of the evaluated requests for voting in the Fall.
  • Fall I – Prepared submissions will be:
    • Reviewed and vetted for vote by the Curriculum Committee at the first meeting of the semester
    • Sent to faculty for review with a dedicated Google Form for comments prior to the first SOM faculty meeting of the semester
    • Voted on by the faculty at the first SOM faculty meeting of the semester
    • Revised if needed after the SOM vote and inputted into Curriculog
    • Presented to and voted on by Undergraduate and Graduate Councils
    • Revised if needed after the Council votes
  • Spring II – Submissions will continue an approval process through the University’s governing bodies and after any needed adjustments are made, will culminate in a final approval by the Provost.
  • Fall II – Submissions that have reached full approval will be included in the catalog starting from this semester.

Submissions will be collected every year, so the cycles will overlap while the previous year’s requests are still being processed. If you are having problems with the submission form, please contact the Undergraduate Coordinator or Assistant Director for Graduate Studies.

While this process is specific to curricular changes and updates in the catalog, Special Topics courses can be proposed and approved on a one-semester basis at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. If you are planning on submitting a request for a Special Topics course, please check this link for more information on what is required as well as updated deadlines for each semester, and then reach out to the appropriate coordinator (Undergraduate or Graduate) with your submission: Special Topics Guidelines - Curricular Procedures Handbook - The University of Memphis

3.13 Doctoral Committee Responsibilities 

Doctoral Committee Chair

  • Only full members of the graduate faculty can chair doctoral committees. More information can be found in 4.17 Graduate Faculty Status
  • The chair should assume principal responsibility for advising the student. It is recommended the chair be familiar with the timelines and degree milestones found in 8.1 Degree Outlines & Checklists of the Graduate Student handbook.
  • To assist the student with the selection of the doctoral committee and ensure the student submits a Thesis/Dissertation Faculty Committee Appointment form to the School of Music Graduate Office.
  • To coordinate and facilitate all communication with the doctoral committee.
  • To ensure the student attempts the qualifying exams at the appropriate time. The qualifying exams in music history and theory are usually attempted in the third or fourth semester of full-time study. The exams may be taken after the student has completed 24 hours. Students may perform only one degree recital before attempting the qualifying exams.
  • Facilitate all committee signatures and submit the Comprehensive Exam Results form to the School of Music Graduate Office.

Doctoral Committee Member
The general composition of a student's doctoral committee can be found in section 8.2 Doctoral Committee of the Graduate Student Handbook. Doctoral committee members are responsible for general guidance through the entire program and for the following specific academic elements:

  • All members of the doctoral committee must have graduate faculty status. More information can be found in 4.17 Graduate Faculty Status.
  • To review, advise, and consent to the student's course of study. Full committee approval is needed for any transfer credits and the selection of the cognate area.
  • To be familiar with the general degree timeline for the student. See 8.1 Degree Outlines & Checklists of the Graduate Student handbook.
  • To evaluate degree recitals. The full committee may be consulted for recital repertoire and format. The committee must submit a doctoral recital form to the School of Music's Graduate Office to report the results of the recital. More information can be found in 8.6 DMA Recitals & Dissertation Equivalents of the Graduate Student Handbook.
  • To conduct and evaluate the written and oral comprehensive examinations. The comprehensive examinations should only be attempted after a student has completed the qualifying exams, any foreign language requirements, and the second doctoral recital (if applicable). 8.8 Comprehensive Examinations of the Graduate Student Handbook explains how questions are determined for the exam. Once the student has passed the written comprehensives, the oral comprehensive may be scheduled. It will last up to two hours and will focus in part on the answers from the written examination and in part on general concerns of the committee over the major and minor areas. The chair of the doctoral committee is responsible for scheduling the written and oral examinations and consulting with the entire committee to select the questions. Faculty are required to report the exam results by submitting a Comprehensive Exam Results form to the School of Music Graduate Office.
  • To review and approve of the dissertation, lecture recital document, or major project proposal. The student should submit a formal proposal to the entire committee. Guidelines for the proposal can be found in 8.10 Proposal & Dissertation/Document Guidelines of the Graduate Student Handbook. Once approved, all committee members should submit the Thesis or Dissertation Proposal Defense form to the School of Music Graduate Office.
  • To read drafts and provide meaningful feedback at each stage of the dissertation process.
  • To conduct and evaluate the dissertation/document/project defense. During the defense, committee members take turns asking questions that demonstrate the student's critical thinking skills. At the conclusion of the defense the student is typically asked to leave while the committee deliberates the results.
  • To indicate approval of the dissertation, lecture recital document, or major project by signing the Thesis/Dissertation Results form and submitting it to the School of Music Graduate Office.

3.14 MM Comprehensive Exams 

Masters comprehensives are given mid semester during the fall and spring. Students generally take the exam in their last semester of study. Students are given a form allowing them to select six courses and the name of the faculty member who will provide an exam question for their corresponding course: three questions from their major, one history, one theory, and one wildcard. No more than three questions may be given from the same instructor. The student is responsible for requesting the exam questions from their Professors. Each Professor emails the exam questions in confidence to the Graduate Studies Program Manager for exam assembly. Please note that Masters comprehensives for Online M.M. Music Education and M.M. Orff Schulwerk students are scheduled and handled differently. Those students will need to contact the Area Coordinator of Music Education for further details. 

The Master's Comprehensives are administered online. Students are sent their exams to their memphis.edu email address between 12:45 and 1:00. Students then proceed to email their answers directly to the issuing Professor by 4:15pm, copying the Program Manager for Graduate Studies. Answers to the exam questions must be handwritten (not typed) and students may take a picture or screenshot of each handwritten sheet of paper and email that to the corresponding faculty and Graduate Studies office. Students have from 1:00pm to 4:00pm on exam day to complete the six exam questions.

Faculty members grade their student's responses and send their decision of Pass (satisfactory or exceeds satisfactory) or Fail (not satisfactory) to both the student and the Graduate Studies Program Manager, who then files the results with the CCFA Dean's Office and the Graduate School. Five out of six questions is a passing score. All results are filed with the Graduate School, even if a retake is required. Students are allowed one retake requiring only the failed areas be redone, with new questions. Should a second failure result, the student must petition the Director for a third attempt. More information can be found in 6.3 of the Graduate Student Handbook. Faculty are required to report the exam results by submitting a Comprehensive Exam Results form to the School of Music Graduate Office.

3.15 Commencement 

At least one-fourth of all full-time faculty members in each department are expected to participate in the spring and winter convocations. In the summer, one-fourth of the faculty who teach in the second term are to participate. The School of Music must provide 10-12 faculty for both the Fall and Spring semesters and ¼ of teaching faculty who teach the second term in the summer.

School of Music commencement attendance is determined on a rotating basis. Faculty due to attend will be contacted via email from the SOM office with information for the upcoming Commencement. If there is a conflict that will not allow a faculty member to attend, then the faculty member is responsible for finding their replacement and notifying the SOM office.

All faculty will need to wear Academic Regalia. Regalia is available for rent in the Commencement Office. Deadlines are strictly upheld by the vendor. Regalia rental orders will be taken via email. Please send the following information to commencement@memphis.edu: name, main campus or Lambuth pickup, terminal degree and institution, height, cap size (range from 20 to 24.5).

Faculty parking is available in the FedExForum garage. Parking prices are covered by the University. Parking passes are available for pick up from the Commencement Office. Please refer to your email on when the pass will be ready for pick up. Commencement will be held at the FedExForum (191 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103).

3.16 Faculty Authored Educational Material Guidelines 

Guidelines for Faculty Authored Education Material can be found in Section 3.2.1 in the university’s Faculty Handbook. 

3.17 Ensemble Policies 

3.17a. Rehearsal and Concert Attendance Policy:

Students are required to attend all rehearsals and performance dates. The complete schedule will be posted at the beginning of each academic year. It is the student's responsibility to adjust their schedules to attend all rehearsals and performances. Excused absences may be granted at the conductor’s discretion on a case-by-case basis, and requests must be made in advance via email. Unexcused absences may negatively effect the student’s final grade. If any changes need to be made to the schedule, they will be communicated at least 30 days in advance and should be viewed as required.


3.17b. Guidelines for Extra Rehearsals

As a part of the syllabus, conductors of university ensembles will present all members of the ensemble with a schedule of the semester's required rehearsals and performances during the first week of classes of each semester.

  • In order to protect the time of the students involved in the ensembles, no more than two extra rehearsals for any one concert will be scheduled. Exceptions to this policy can be requested through the Director.
  • The term "extra rehearsal" indicates a rehearsal beyond those indicated as regular meeting times in the schedule of courses.
  • Conductors needing to schedule an emergency rehearsal must do so through the Scheduling Coordinator after receiving approval from the Director.

3.17c. Tour & Travel Policy

Appearances by School of Music ensembles before audiences of educators, potential students, and others of influence for our profession is one of the best and most convincing ways to demonstrate the excellence of the School's programs. The increased visibility resulting from such performances is essential to enhancing the School's reputation for innovation and excellence, regionally, nationally, and internationally. The School also considers the educational value of the experience of tour performance to be very great and an important justification for off-campus ensemble travel. See also 3.6 Off-Campus Events. 

Coordinating and scheduling off-campus performances, tours, and field trips by School of Music sanctioned ensembles and classes is paramount so as to avoid potential conflicts due to (1) overlapping of student personnel and (2) demands on financial resources.

  • When an ensemble is applying for an appearance at major national or regional conferences, the director of the ensemble should also notify the Area Coordinator of Conducting and the School of Music Scheduling Coordinator of their intent to apply.
  • It will be the responsibility of the Area Coordinator of Conducting to oversee the master calendar of off-campus performances, tours, and field trips, which will be maintained by the School of Music Scheduling Office. All ensembles planning to travel will schedule their travel with the Conducting Area through their Area Coordinator.
  • All requests for travel funds should be received as early as possible for consideration by the Director.

In assessing the relative importance of any proposed travel, the Conducting Area Coordinator and Director of the School of Music will consider the following factors:

  • The performance venue and its potential for providing the School of Music with positive visibility
  • The audience(s) who will attend performances and their potential for positive influence on the music profession
  • The potential to attract new students to the School of Music through performances
  • Other potential for advancing the interests of the School of Music through performances

Performing groups that are representing the School of Music with performances at major national or regional conferences, and were selected through a competitive application process, may seek funding from School of Music travel funds. The actual allocation will be contingent upon the availability of funds for ensemble travel and the number of other funding commitments.

Travel by performing groups representing the School of Music at other events (e.g. group tours, competitions, festivals, etc.) shall receive a secondary priority in the allocation of available travel funds. Funds designated to offset travel of this nature should be applied to travel costs, accommodations, and meal per diem, in that order. Additional funding support for secondary travel may be applied from external resources to offset these costs, at the discretion of the director. Student participants may be expected to bear the additional costs for such travel. Every effort must be made by the director of the ensemble and the School of Music to ensure that no student participant is excluded from travel due to a demonstrated inability to pay the supplemental costs.


3.17d. Audition Guidelines for Faculty

Large Ensemble Auditions
Three days before beginning of each semester, the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music will hold auditions for students who wish to be placed into the School’s large instrumental ensembles. These auditions will place students into the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra.

Audition Panel
The audition panel for the large ensemble auditions will be comprised of the large ensemble conductors and the applied professors.

  • Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Panel 
    • Director of Bands 
    • Associate Director of Bands
    • Director of Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra 
    • The instrument's applied instructor 
  • Strings Audition Panel 
    • Director of Orchestral Activities 
    • The instrument's applied instructor or instructors 

  • Audition Excerpts will be posted on the School of Music website under Student Resources by July for the Fall Ensembles Audition and by December for the Spring Ensemble Auditions
  • Students are responsible for visiting the Student Resources page on the SOM website to download their excerpts and to register for their audition time.
  • On the day of the audition, students should arrive early to warm-up and to check-in with the audition proctor. To maintain the students’ anonymity, all auditions will take place behind a screen. Communication to the audition panel must be done only through the proctor.
  • Each audition is scheduled to last approximately seven minutes.
  • Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion students will be asked to perform the following:
    • Scales
    • All or a portion of their prepared material
    • Sightreading
    • Saxophone, Trumpet, and Trombone students may be asked to improvise over chord changes
  • String students will be asked to perform the pre-determined excerpts and 3 to 4 minutes of a selection of their choice.

  • All students will be scored via rubric, which can be found on the SOM website under Student Resources.
  • The individual panelist scores will be averaged to create a ranked list
  • After the ranked list is created, the names of the individual students will be revealed
  • Using the ranked list, the panelists will begin placing students into the appropriate ensembles.

  • The ensemble conductors will determine where each student is placed according to the student’s audition ranking, ensemble needs, scholarship requirements, and the student’s degree requirements
  • Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion students will be placed into Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra according to their audition ranking and the fixed instrumentation of those ensembles. Once the Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Southern Comfort positions are filled, the Symphonic Band positions will be filled
  • String students will be divided into their appropriate sections for the Symphony Orchestra
    • Leadership positions in the orchestra will be based on the audition rankings

  • Orchestra
    • Flute: 3
    • Oboe: 3
    • Clarinet: 3
    • Bassoon: 2
    • Horn: 4
    • Trumpet: 3
    • Trombone: 3
    • Tuba: 1
    • Percussion: 4
  • Wind Ensemble
    • Flute: 5
    • Oboe: 3
    • Clarinet: 6
    • Bass Clarinet 2
    • Bassoon: 3
    • Alto Saxophone: 2
    • Tenor Saxophone: 1
    • Baritone Saxophone: 1
    • Horn: 4
    • Trumpet: 6
    • Trombone: 4
    • Euphonium: 2
    • Tuba: 2
    • Percussion: 6
  • Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra
    • Alto Saxophone: 2
    • Tenor Saxophone: 2
    • Baritone Saxophone: 1
    • Trumpet 4
    • Trombone 4

*The numbers provided can be altered at the ensemble conductor’s discretion.

3.18 College Credit Alternatives 

3.18a. Credit by Exam

Enrolled/admitted students (undergraduate or graduate) may apply to take an examination to earn college credit, provided they are enrolled in a degree program (full-time or part-time). The University's regulations regarding Credit by Exam can be found on the University's Registrar site.

3.18b. Experiential Learning Credit

The University of Memphis allows students to earn Experiential Learning Credit for "knowledge, training, and skills" acquired through prior learning outside the traditional academic setting. These may include experiences in professional work, military, training classes, professional skills workshops and seminars, volunteerism, and unique life experiences. More information can be found in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.