Undergraduate Music Theory Proficiency

Undergraduate Music Theory Proficiency 

Students may take proficiency tests for the first year of Music Theory Core courses. Courses which can be assessed Credit by Examination are MUS 101, MUS 102, MUS 151, MUS 152, and MUS 119. These are all first-year courses in the Theory Core (with the exception of MUS 119, which is designed for non-majors); second year courses in the Theory Core must be taken on-site. Students who wish to take the proficiency test should have a reasonable expectation that they have sufficient knowledge of the material to pass the test.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule a Theory proficiency test?

Please see the Music Theory Coordinator for a brief interview before scheduling a test. The coordinator will first determine if you have a reasonable chance of passing. Miami University Policy states: “To be approved for a proficiency examination, you must satisfy the department that you have a reasonable chance of passing it.” 

If you have materials from prior courses, please bring them along with you to the interview. It will also be helpful to bring any textbook you have used. The coordinator will provide you with details about the content covered on proficiency tests for appropriate courses.

When are Music Theory proficiency tests given? 

Proficiency tests are given the first Tuesday evening of each semester, from 6–8 p.m., or by arrangement. The test is two hours in length. 

Is there a fee to take the test? 

Yes, there is a fee assessed to take the test; and an additional fee is assessed for the credit. Fees are established by the Bursar.

I took an AP theory course in High School. Do I have to take a test? 

Not if you took the AP test while you were in high school. An AP score of 3 will automatically give credit for MUS 101 (3 credit hours), and an AP score of 4 will automatically give credit for MUS 101 (3 credit hours) and an additional credit for MUS 151 (1 credit hour). If you receive a score of 5, you can probably begin with MUS 201, but will need to see the Music Theory Coordinator and take the 102 proficiency test (no fee will be charged with an AP score). 

Who do I contact if I have further questions about Undergraduate Music Theory Proficiency?

Please contact Professor Sam Reenan with any questions.