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College of Arts and Humanities

Transfer Student Information

Handbook | 4 Year Plans | Degree Programs

In addition to general education courses, transfer students wanting to major in music at CWU should have completed:

  • two years of Music Theory (Written and Aural Skills)
  • two years of Applied lessons on a major instrument or voice
  • as well as developed basic piano skills (if piano is not your major instrument).


If you do not have any courses in these areas, then you will begin at the first year level as a music major at CWU. Yes, you will be a freshman and it will take a minimum of four years to complete your music degree. For the BA degree a student MUST satisfy the world language requirement--either two years in H.S. or one year of college-level world language



  1. Even though you may have been a music major at your previous institution, whether 4-year university or 2-year college: In order to be accepted into the department as a music major you MUST FIRST BE ACCEPTED BY AUDITION IN A PERFORMING AREA. If you have not auditioned but intend to be a music major, then you must still be accepted into the department by audition. You may not register for music major courses, until you have been accepted through the audition process. Scheduling an audition is your responsibility.
    For more information about auditioning, visit our Student Audition Information page.
    To learn more about the performance proficiency standards for various studios, visit our Performance Standards page.
  2. What courses to take? Assuming that you are accepted as a major, what courses you take in the first quarter depends primarily on whether or not you have taken music theory at your previous institution.


I have not auditioned yet, what do I do?
You should contact the faculty member who teaches your major instrument and make an appointment to audition for that professor.  A complete listing of faculty along with their contact information can be found on the music department website:  Many of our music faculty are not teaching during the summer, so if you don’t hear back from the professor within a few days, please contact the department chair: Dr. Todd Shiver.
Also, please remember that some of our more competitive studios could already be full.  If this is the case, then you will have to audition in January to be admitted into a studio beginning the next fall.  You cannot enroll in classes reserved for music majors until you have auditioned and been accepted into a studio.  However you can still register/audition to participate in our music ensembles


Monday evenings at 7:00 PM are reserved for Music Student Convocations. Do NOT register for a Basic or Breadth course that meets during this time. 

The first convocation of the year will be at 7:00 in the Concert Hall on the first Monday of fall quarter. BE SURE TO BE THERE! Attendance at all Convocations is required as well as attendance at a number of concerts and recitals each quarter. On your way in and out of each Convocation, a building monitor will scan your Wildcat card. You will not be allowed to progress as a music major without evidence of attending all Convocations and an average of 8 concerts/recitals per quarter.



We will give you credit for theory courses taken at other institutions if you are able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that are on par with the students who have gone through the CWU theory sequence. If you are transferring any theory courses from another institution, you must take our in-house Theory Diagnostic Exam. This test will be offered in the McIntyre Music building at 8:00 AM during each transfer orientation session. You must Contact Dr. Kirsten Boldt-Neurohr ( to reserve a seat to take this test.

For transfer students who have never taken a music theory class at a community college or at a four-year college, you will enter the music sequence as a freshman, and will therefore need to take the same online test as our freshman theory students. More information about this online test can be found on our Freshman Theory Fundamental Exam page.

I have not taken the music theory diagnostic test yet, what do I do now?
The theory diagnostic test is given during the morning of each transfer orientation.  This test is designed for transfer students who have taken music theory at other institutions and who want to transfer credit for these classes to CWU.  If you would like to take the diagnostic test please contact Dr. Kirsten Boldt-Neurohr,, to reserve a seat to take this test.
  You cannot be placed into a music theory class until you have taken this test.  More information about this test along with a study guide can be found here.


UNIV 101

All transfer students are required to take the music section of UNIV 101. This is an important class that gives students an introduction to the student resources available on the CWU campus, and students will also learn about the music department policies, advising issues, majors, etc. This class alternates with convocation on Monday evenings at 7:00 in the recital hall.



You must pass a piano proficiency exam as a graduation requirement. If you have no keyboard skills, it is advisable to take class piano. For those of you taking 1st year theory, class piano is required to be taken concurrently with MUS 144, 145, 146. You may have this requirement waived by demonstrating sufficient piano skills to Dr. John Pickett, the faculty pianist. See him during the first week of classes to complete this evaluation.



The prerequisite for registering for a music history is the completion of MUS 146 (theory). Music History at CWU is a four-quarter, 11-credit sequence of courses, all at the upper-division level. This means that if you had a music history course at a community college, such courses will NOT be equivalent to the history courses at CWU. You must take the full sequence of history courses here. The history of Western music is covered in a three quarter sequence: MUS 372 (3), MUS 373 (3), and MUS 374 (3). These courses are taught sequentially through the year, 372 in fall, 373 in winter and 374 in spring. They are offered ONLY during these quarters. The 4th course in the music history category covers non-Western music. MUS 359 (2) Music with a Multi-Cultural Perspective (World Music), is taught every quarter.


APPLIED MUSIC (Private lessons)

All transfer students are placed in first year lessons (MUS 164), regardless of lessons taken at other institutions.  Your level of applied study will be evaluated during this quarter of lessons and the student will be placed in the appropriate level of applied study after one quarter of study at the 164 level.



All music majors must be in a large ensemble appropriate to their performing area each quarter in residence.

  • All large performing ensembles are 2 credit courses. At this time all students will register for large ensembles as follows:
    • Wind and percussion players will register for Marching and Concert Band, MUS 487
    • String players will register for Orchestra, MUS 477
    • All others (singers, pianists) will register for University Choir, MUS 467
  • Auditions for placement within and acceptance into all ensembles will happen during the first week of classes. Signs will be posted in the McIntyre Music building giving the time and place of these auditions. They will also serve as auditions for students wanting to audition for acceptance into the more select ensembles instead of those listed above, such as Wind Ensemble or Chamber Choir. If you are successful in this kind of audition, a change of schedule is easily done during the first week of classes (i.e.,dropping your previous ensemble and enrolling in the new ensemble).
  • Do NOT enroll in Jazz Choir or Jazz Band at this time. Auditions for all jazz ensembles will be held during the first week, and you will be placed in an ensemble as a result of the audition. You cannot register for an ensemble without knowing which one it is!
  • Again, be sure to register for all classes by the fifth day of quarter or you will incur a late fee!


GENERAL EDUCATION (Basic Skills and Breath)

If you have an A.A. degree from a Washington state community college, chances are you are exempt from the Gen Ed. Requirements. If you have some credits, you’ll have to decide whether to:

  • Take whatever courses at CWU would transfer back to your C.C. to complete the AA degree.
  • Transfer courses from your C.C. to complete the CWU Gen Ed requirements.

You might have to consult with both CWU and your C.C. advisors about this. If you are coming from another 4-year institution, you don’t have a choice, you must complete the CWU Gen Ed requirements. In that case, see someone in Academic Advising or Dr. Kirsten Boldt-Neurohr in the music department to figure out what courses will transfer as equivalent.


Miscellaneous Information

Please browse this web site for information about many things you need to know. You can find contact information for all faculty members, information about class schedules, room schedules, concert schedules, ensemble audition music lists, student clubs and organizations, and descriptions of degrees and programs. You will also find the Music Handbook for undergraduates—with much information about how to schedule a recital, how to get a personal or instrumental locker, what courses have fees, etc. The website also has a “Class Planner,” which will list all of the music courses taught for the entire year.


Please remember that the Music Department Convocation and UNIV 101 will meet on alternating Monday evenings at 7:00 PM in the Concert Hall. Do not schedule any classes that would conflict with this time.


Studio Meeting Times:
BassTue.2:00 - 2:50
French HornThur.12:00-12:50
PercussionTue.2:00 - 2:50
PianoTue.1:00 - 1:50
Cello, Viola, ViolinTue.1:00 - 1:50
TromboneMon.5:30 - 6:20
TrumpetThur.1:00 - 1:50
TubaTue.2:00 - 2:50
VoiceThur.1:00 - 1:50


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