Music Theory/Piano Assessments

Music Theory

All incoming undergraduate students (freshmen and transfer students) are required to take a written music theory placement assessment. The results of this assessment are not factored in the admissions decision, but are used help us to place the student in the appropriate music theory course level upon enrollment. Depending on the placement level, some students may also be asked to take an ear-training assessment.

To be placed in Theory I, students must be able to identify and write:

  • All major and minor key signatures in treble and bass clef;
  • All major scales and all three forms (natural, harmonic, melodic) of the minor scales; Major, Minor, Perfect, Diminished and Augmented intervals;
  • Rhythmic notation including simple and compound meters, note and rest notation.

To prepare for theory placement, review the sample theory placement assessment. The sample includes answers and references to questions you may have.


Class Piano

All undergraduate music degrees (except piano majors) require class piano instruction.  If your primary instrument is NOT piano but you have had 1 year or more of formal piano lessons, you should take a piano placement exam on your audition day. If you have no experience playing the piano, you will be placed in the Piano I class.

What to Prepare:

  • Prepare a piece that best represents your level of playing
  • Prepare to sight read, transpose, and play scales