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Contact the Music Graduate Office

Office Location
East Studio Building 120 (JS 120)
205 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

Mailing Address
1201 E. 3rd Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Hours: 8 am–12 pm, 1–5 pm
Phone: 812-855-1738Phone

E-mail: musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu

musicdgs [at] indiana [dot] edu (Prof. Eric Isaacson), Director
serbes [at] indiana [dot] edu (Sara Erbes), Academic Advisor
anmiller [at] indiana [dot] edu (Angie Miller), Recorder
musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu (Victoria Wheeler), Secretary
musdoc [at] indiana [dot] edu (John Porter), Doctoral Clerk

More Information

Proficiencies in Music History & Literature and Music Theory (Graduate Entrance Exams)

Required for all master's and doctoral programs.

Information about the requirement

Proficiencies more than 10 years old (for doctoral students) or 7 years old (for master's students) must be revalidated. Proficiencies must also be revalidated for students beginning a second degree more than 10 years after beginning a first.

Doctoral students must complete all proficiencies before they will be eligible to begin the qualifying exam stage of their degree.

All new master's and doctoral degree students are required to show proficiency in Music History & Literature and Music Theory. The proficiency in these subjects is broken into five areas: Early Music History (covering Antiquity to the death of J.S. Bach), Late Music History (covering the Pre-Classic period to the present), Written Music Theory, Aural Music Theory, and Sight Singing. The proficiencies may be satisfied in either of the following ways:

  1. Students may take and pass the graduate entrance exams. The graduate entrance exams are ordinarily given in the week before classes begin each semester, including the summer term. See below for a schedule of upcoming exam dates. Students are permitted two attempts to pass the exams. The first attempt must be taken in the student's first semester of enrollment. The second attempt must take place the week before the second term of enrollment, including the summer term.

    If you need special accommodations for the entrance exams because of a disability, please contact the Music Graduate Office at least one month prior to the exam dates.

    For information on the content of the graduate entrance exams, see the following web pages: music theory exams; music history exams.

  2. Students may enroll in and pass the graduate review courses listed below. Students should begin enrolling in review courses they have not exempted by examination as soon as possible; otherwise, completion of the degree may be delayed because MUS-T 508, MUS-M 541, and MUS-M 542 are prerequisites to many of the courses in the master’s music history and literature requirements and some doctoral classes. NOTE: Some review courses are not offered every semester.
  3. Students who completed an undergraduate degree at the Jacobs School of Music in the current calendar year or in the three preceding calendar years would be exempt from the Graduate Entrance Exams with minimum grades in appropriate courses as listed below. These minimums are based on an analysis of several years of data comparing course grades and GEE results. Students who took the IU Validation/Entrance exam during the undergraduate program and received an "A" on the exam can use the exam result as a substitute for an "A" in the equivalent class.  A grade of "S" on the exam cannot be used. 
    • MUS-T 508: B+ or higher in both MUS-T 251 (or MUS-T 261) and MUS-T 252 (or MUS-T 262). Grade of A or higher meets “high pass” requirement.
    • MUS-T 509: A or higher in both MUS-T 231 and MUS-T 232.
    • MUS-T 511: B+ or higher in both MUS-T 231 and MUS-T 232. Grades of A or higher meets “high pass” requirement.
    • MUS-M 541: B+ or higher in MUS-M 401
    • MUS-M 542: B+ or higher in MUS-M 402

Graduate Review Courses

Each review course is 3 credit hours.

MUS-M 541 Music History Review for Graduate Students I (early)
  • Minimum grade of C or better.
  • Usually offered in fall, spring, and JSoM summer session.
MUS-M 542 Music History Review for Graduate Students II (late)
  • Minimum grade of C or better.
  • Usually offered in fall, spring, and JSoM summer session.
MUS-T 508 Written Theory Review for Graduate Students
  • Minimum grade of B or better for MM in choral conducting, composition, computer music composition, music theory, and orchestral conducting; DM in choral conducting, composition, and orchestral conducting; and PhD in music theory
  • Minimum grade of C or better for all other programs.
  • Usually offered in fall and JSoM summer session.
MUS-T 509 Sight Singing Review for Graduate Students
  • Minimum grade of C or better.
  • Usually offered in every fall and JSoM summer session of odd-numbered years (will also be offered in summer 2014).
MUS-T 511 Aural Theory Review for Graduate Students
  • Minimum grade of B or better for MM in choral conducting, composition, computer music composition, music theory, and orchestral conducting; DM in choral conducting, composition, and orchestral conducting; and PhD in music theory.
  • Minimum grade of C or better for MA and PhD in musicology, and for MM and DM in wind conducting.
  • Minimum grade of D or better for all other programs. (Starting Fall 2014, minimum grade of C or better for all other programs)
  • Usually offered in every spring and JSoM summer session of even-numbered years.

Graduate Entrance Exam Schedules

Remember that students can take the graduate entrance exams only two times, and are not eligible to take them after their second semester of enrollment.  The exams are only offered once each semester, and always during orientation week.

Fall 2014 Graduate Entrance Exam Schedule 

New Student Orientation begins on Monday, August 18, 2014 (attendance at orientation is required for new students but not for continuing students who are retaking exams)Only students who started their graduate programs in spring 2014 (and who did not take summer classes) or in summer 2014 will be eligible to retake any entrance exams in spring 2014.

Schedule and locations subject to change

Graduate Entrance Examination in Music History and Literature:
Monday, August 18, 2014, 1:00-3:45 pm

There is no need to sign up ahead of time, just bring a picture ID and pencil.Contact the Music Graduate Office if you need information about the exam location.

If you need to take only one section of the Music History exam (Early or Late Music History) you still need to start at 1:00 pm because the listening portion for both the Early and Late Music History sections will be played at 1:00 pm. If you have already completed either the Early or Late Music History requirement (either through examination or through course completion) then you can answer only the questions that apply to the section (Early or Late Music History) you need to take, and not answer the questions that apply to the other section.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam time in order to sign in.

Graduate Entrance Examination in Sight Singing:
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 1:00-4:00 pm

New students will sign up for an individual Sight Singing Appointment time on the morning of August 18 during orientation sign-in. Returning students should sign up for an individual time in the Music Graduate Office by noon on August 18.  (We will send an email announcement in late summer to let you know when it's possible for returning students to sign up for an exam time).

Graduate Entrance Examination in Aural and Written Music Theory:
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 9:00 - 11:30 am

There is no need to sign up ahead of time, just bring a picture ID and pencil. Contact the Music Graduate Office if you need information about the exams' location.

The Aural Theory exam will be from 9:00-10:00 am, the Written Theory exam will be from 10:00-11:30 am. If you need to take the exam in only one subject, you can go to the time appointed for the particular subject you need to take.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam time in order to sign in.

Exam results will be posted outside the Music Graduate Office (East Studio Building Room 120) and on the third floor of the Music Library by 8 am on Wednesday, August 20.

Spring 2015 Graduate Entrance Exam Schedule 

New Student Orientation begins on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (attendance at orientation is required for new students but not for continuing students who are retaking exams).  Only students who started their graduate programs in fall 2014 will be eligible to retake any entrance exams in spring 2015.

Schedule and locations subject to change

Graduate Entrance Examination in Music History and Literature:
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 9:00-11:45 am

The music history graduate entrance exams will take place in the Recital Hall (inside Merrill Hall).  There is no need to sign up ahead of time, just bring a picture ID and pencil.

If you need to take only one section of the Music History exam (Early or Late Music History) you still need to start at 9:00 am (the listening portion for both the Early and Late Music History sections will be played at 9:00 am). If you have already completed either the Early or Late Music History requirement (either through examination or through course completion) then you can answer only the questions that apply to the section (Early or Late Music History) you need to take, and not answer the questions that apply to the other section.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam time in order to sign in.

Graduate Entrance Examination in Sight Singing:
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 1:00-4:00 pm

New students will sign up for an individual Sight Singing Appointment time on the morning of January 7 during orientation sign-in. Returning students should sign up for an individual time in the Music Graduate Office by noon on January 6.  (We will send an email announcement in late fall to let you know when it's possible for returning students to sign up for an exam time).

Graduate Entrance Examination in Aural and Written Music Theory:
Friday, January 9, 2015, 9:00 - 11:30 am

The aural and written music theory graduate entrance exams will take place in the Recital Hall (inside Merrill Hall).  There is no need to sign up ahead of time, just bring a picture ID and pencil.

The Aural Theory exam will be from 9:00-10:00 am, the Written Theory exam will be from 10:00-11:30 am. If you need to take the exam in only one subject, you can go to the time appointed for the particular subject you need to take.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam time in order to sign in.

Exam results will be posted outside the Music Graduate Office (East Studio Building Room 120) by 1 pm on Monday, January 12.