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Diagnostic Examinations in Music

All entering students are required to take diagnostic examinations in Musicology, Music Theory, and Ear Training. In addition, area literature examinations are given to entering students in jazz, organ, piano, and voice concentrations. These exams are NOT optional. 

The diagnostic examinations are given several days (usually Monday) before classes start each semester, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding at approximately 4:00 p.m. Results are available from the Graduate Secretary by approximately 12:00 p.m. the following day.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It is the student's responsibility to notify the appropriate ensemble director if an audition is scheduled during the Diagnostic Exam period.  The audition must be re-scheduled at a later time.  Diagnostic Exams can not be re-scheduled.

Students are expected to take the diagnostic examinations before registering for courses. Each entering student should notify the Graduate Studies Administrative Assistant to indicate the semester that he/she intends to enter and take the examinations.

The diagnostic examinations are designed to determine whether the student's achievement levels in musicology, music theory, and ear training are sufficient for undertaking graduate study in music. If deficiencies are detected, specific review courses will be recommended or required. Courses taken to remove deficiencies must be completed during the first semester in which they are offered.


For example, the survey of Music Theory (MUTH 400) must be passed with an A or B before the student may take other Music Theory courses, including Musical Styles (MUSC 520).  In order to take Musical Styles,  a student must have successfully completed music MUTH 400 and MUCO 400, or passed  both Music Theory and Musicology diagnostic exams.

A student may not re-take theory or musicology diagnostic exams after completing review classes without making the required grade of B.


If a graduate student fails to make at least a B in either MUTH 400 or MUCO 400 and has to re-take the course, the Graduate School requires that:

  • The student must register for and pay for registration if they are repeating either course, regardless of assistantship status.
  • Registration for the course costs a student approximately $1,269 for an in-state resident or approximately $3,621.00 for an out-of-state student if they are below the full-time enrollment of 9 hours in other coursework.
  • Registration for the course can not be completed online or by the School of Music, but must be completed by the Graduate School. Registration must be completed within the registration period of the first 14 days of classes (before add/drop is over).

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