Music Theory Placement Exam


  • All entering masters and doctoral students take a placement exam in music theory.
  • The exam must be taken before the start of enrollment in a graduate degree program.
  • Graduate theory coursework required as a result of this examination will be counted toward the degree requirements.
  • Students may retake the examination once.
  • The examination is given in August and January.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all graduate music theory placement exams for the academic year 2020-2021 will be held online only. The exam can be taken at any time within the time-frame indicated below.

FALL 2020

  • Online testing only.
  • The exam will be available on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. (EST)


  • Online testing only
  • The exam will be available on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. (EST)


The exam consists of three parts:

  • Introduction and Sound Check (15 minutes)
  • Aural Skills (30 minutes)
  • Written Theory and Analysis (120 minutes)

Students should set aside a three-hour time block for the entire process.  

Technology requirements: All students should have access to a reliable internet connection and Google Chrome browser. Cell phones and small tablets are not appropriate for viewing large scores. Students are encouraged to use a laptop or a desktop computer.


Contact Gerrey Noh at