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Graduate Entrance Exam

Complete by February 1

The Graduate Entrance Exam is a diagnostic tool that tests your skills in Music Theory and Music History. Along with your application, portfolio or audition results, letters of recommendation and past academic record, your score on this exam will be a factor in your admission into the School of Music.

The range of scores of a student accepted into the School of Music is 60% or above. In exceptional cases students with scores lower than 60% may be admitted provisionally. Provisional admits will be required to take one or more courses in music theory and/or music history. Provisions must be resolved within the first two semesters of enrollment to remain in good standing.

The exam is available online to all applicants, on-demand, once you have been given access. The deadline for completing this portion of your application is February 1.

After the 15 December application deadline, you will be asked for the name of someone who will serve as your proctor during the exam. The proctor will be asked to report if there were any problems during the exam time. Once the name is received, you will be given access to the exam. You may only take the exam once per application period, so please plan accordingly.

Three hours are allotted for the exam. There are three sections of fifty multiple choice questions each: a History, Listening; History, Score Reading; and Theory. The test gives students the opportunity to demonstrate a mastery of the fundamentals of theory, part writing, and analysis of tonal music. The history portion is multiple-choice, includes score analysis and gives students an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the major historical periods, styles, composers and genres throughout the history of Western art music.

We recommend the following books for help with study and preparation for the exam:

  • Paul O. Harder and Greg A. Steinke. Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Programmed Course (current or past editions)
  • J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music (current or past editions)
  • J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca. The Norton Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1-3 (current or past editions)
  • J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca. Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1-3 (current or past editions)