Music Theory


Undergraduate Validation/Exemption Exams in Music Theory

The Department of Music Theory offers validation/exemption exams ("V/E exams") in the core undergraduate music theory courses listed below. These exams are intended for students who come to the Jacobs School of Music already in possession of some substantial knowledge of music theory and mastery of aural skills, usually as a result of having taken comparable courses at other institutions. The exams provide a way for these students to demonstrate their mastery of the material, thereby being exempted from the requirement of having to take the courses. In some cases students may also receive course credit by passing the exam; questions about credit should be directed to the Music Undergraduate Office.

Validation/Exemption Exam Schedule

All of the V/E exams are administered at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. In the summer, V/E exams are administered only for the courses offered during that summer session. Click the link above for the schedule of upcoming V/E exams; see also this additional opportunity for taking V/E exams in aural skills classes only. For the regularly scheduled V/E exams at the beginning of the semester, it is not necessary to sign up in advance; students should simply show up at the designated room, with a photo ID, approximately ten minutes before the starting time shown on the schedule. These exams will not be administered at any other times besides those officially scheduled.

A student may take the V/E exam for any course only once. Students who have previously taken any V/E exam, or who have been enrolled in the course in question in any previous semester, are not eligible to take the exam.

See below for further information about the V/E exam in each course. Note that some of the exams are in multiple parts (written and listening components for written theory and literature courses; dictation, sight-singing hearings, and keyboard hearings for aural skills courses). In general a composite grade of 72.5%, corresponding to a grade of C, is required to pass each exam. In some courses, as noted, in addition to passing the V/E exam, students must complete an additional assignment, such as a short composition or an analytical paper, in order to be exempted from the course. In such cases the student will receive a grade of "Conditional Pass" on the exam. The Conditional Pass will convert to "Pass" if the additional assignment is completed satisfactorily within the allotted time. If it is not, the Conditional Pass will convert to a failing grade on the exam, and the student will be required to take the course in a subsequent semester.

T109:  see Music Fundamentals Online

Aural skills courses





Written theory and literature courses