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Theory Placement Exam

The FALL 2024 Theory Placement Exam will be held in-person, on Tuesday, September 24th, 2024, from 10am-12:30pm Pacific in Music Center 131. Specifics are below the offering information section.

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Theory Placement Exam background info:

The Theory Placement Exam helps determine what level of Western theory students will begin at, which can effect time to graduation. Students that have taken theory courses or the AP Music Theory exam are still required to take the Placement Exam. Credits for the courses taken from other schools/AP Exams may transfer over and contribute to the student's class standing, however, the Placement Exam is the only way students can test into the correct theory level for their background. 

Transfers students are strongly encouraged to take the exam the year before they apply as placement results may determine if the students spends two or three years completing the major. 

If a student places into MUSC 14, rather than MUSC 30A, the major requirements they are eligible to complete in their first year will be affected. All potential and incoming Transfer students should email to schedule phone or Zoom advising.

Students without a strong theory background should still plan to take the Theory Placement Exam. These students can plan to take MUSC 20A: Global Music Theory & Musicianship (formerly MUSC 13)  if they have very little prior theory experience, or MUSC 14: Beginning Western Theory & Musicianship if they have some background in Western theory. Students will not be able to enroll in MUSC 14 when online enrollment appointments open for the quarter - they must place into it via the Placement Exam (see above for info), and should attend the first day of class to receive a permission code from the instructor. Priority is given to music majors and minors by class standing. 


Theory Placement Exam Practice Materials:

Sample Theory Placement Exam (Sample Exam Keys: Part I - HERE, Part II - HERE)

Online Practice Resources guide


Fall 2024 Placement Exam offering info:


**If you require DRC accommodations, please get in touch with the Music office as soon as possible at <>. When contacting the office, please include any DRC documentation you have received.**

Date: Tuesday, September 24th, 2024

Time: 10am-12:30pm, Pacific

Place: In-person, Music Center 131 (Small Performance Studio). No signup is required, just show up to MC131 a few minutes before 10am with a pencil.