All new graduate students are required to take placement examinations in Theory/Aural Skills, and Music History/Literature. It is the purpose of these tests to determine if prospective candidates for the M.M. degree have adequate musicianship and scholastic preparation. All faculty members who advise graduate students should be informed of their entrance records and should be familiar with policies and procedures for removing any deficiencies revealed by the GPE. All new Music Department graduate students must take the GPE or sign a waiver stating that they will complete the courses related to each exam waived. The GPE covers theory, aural skills, and music history and literature. The examination will be administered once annually prior to the Fall term during new student week. If remedial coursework is assigned based on the results of the GPE, the student must enroll in these courses in the first semester they are offered during a students degree program.
The examination is divided into historical periods: Medieval-Renaissance-Baroque-Classic-Romantic-Contemporary. The exam tests the student’s knowledge of the major musical styles and forms, important compositions and treatises, composers and musical terminology.
Minimum acceptable scores are established by the theory/aural skills and music history/literature faculties respectively. Courses are provided for the removal of deficiencies, which are determined by these examinations. All new Music Department graduate students must take the GPE prior to the term they enter WOU. In lieu of taking the GPE, students may sign a waiver form that will obligate them to take the designated courses the first term they are offered (and the student is enrolled) after the student’s initial enrollment. Those students who fail the examination, or portions of the examination, must take the appropriate course(s) the first term the course(s) is(are) offered (and the student is enrolled) after failing the GPE.
"As a composition student, the music program at WOU provided me great hands-on training with accomplished faculty who are excellent teachers, as well as opportunities to work with world-class musicians in numerous clinics hosted by the department. I would highly recommend this program."
Christian Kaltwasser '15
MM in Contemporary Music
"My experiences at Western Oregon University were such a profound part of my educational growth and development. I am so grateful for the opportunities I had to gain real world experience and create a professional portfolio that I could use immediately after graduating. I currently serve as Executive Director of Salem Chamber Orchestra, and continue to do freelance music performance, private music lessons, and various recording and arranging projects."
Terra Hurdle '15
MM in Contemporary Music