Entrance Placement Exams

Students admitted to UBC School of Music graduate programs may be required to take entrance placement exams to determine any deficiencies in music theory and/or music history and/or keyboard skills. 

IF you are required to take and not exempted from any of those entrance placement exams, THEN please plan to be on campus for the exam date and time:

  • the 3-hour Music History entrance exam is 1:00-4:00 PM PDT on Thursday, August 30, 2018 in Room 116, Music Building; and
  • the 3-hour Music Theory entrance exam is 1:00-4:00 PM PDT on Friday, August 31, 2018 in Room 116, Music Building;
  • the 15-minute Keyboard Proficiency entrance exam is at individually scheduled times 10:00 AM through 1:30 PM on either of Thursday, August 30, 2018 or Friday, August 31, 2018, in room 305 of the Music Building — the Music Advisor will administer a sign-up sheet. If you have not contacted the Music Advisor to set up time, there are still spots available.

Please note that the Music History exam this year is on a Thursday; the Music Theory exam this year is on a Friday. Email notice was sent to all new grad students to this effect. Please see below whether your program of study requires you to take any of the entrance placement exams. Please also see whether you are exempted from taking the exams.

If you are required to take the Keyboard Proficiency entrance placement exam, THEN please do the following in advance of the exam date:

  • Send an email to the Music Advisor music.advisor@ubc.ca indicating the days and preferred times for you to take the Keyboard Proficiency entrance placement exam (15 minute duration). Select from within Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PDT and Friday, August 31, 2018 from 10:00 to 1:00 p.m. PDT. 
  • For that email, please use subject heading KEYBOARD EXAM TIME. The exam will be held in Room 305 of the Music Building.

In advance of the exam, please review a description of the exam to know what to expect.


M.A./Ph.D Exams

  • M.A. in Historical Musicology: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.
  • M.A. in Music Theory: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.
  • M.A. in Ethnomusicology: Entrance examinations are not required; click here for instructions regarding the transcription exercise accompanying the application.
  • Ph.D in Historical Musicology: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.
  • Ph.D in Music Theory: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.
  • Ph.D in Ethnomusicology: Entrance examinations are not required; click here for instructions regarding the transcription exercise accompanying the application.

M.Mus/D.M.A. Exams

  • M.Mus in Composition: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.
  • M.Mus in Conducting, Choral Emphasis: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • M.Mus in Conducting, Orchestral Emphasis: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • M.Mus in Conducting, Winds Emphasis: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • M.Mus in Guitar Performance: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • M.Mus in Opera Performance: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • M.Mus in Orchestral Instrument Performance: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • M.Mus in Organ Performance: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • M.Mus in Piano or Harpsichord Performance: None.
  • M.Mus in Voice Performance: Must complete piano entrance exam.
  • D.M.A. in Composition: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.
  • D.M.A. in Orchestral Instrument Performance: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.
  • D.M.A. in Piano Performance: Must complete history and theory entrance exams.
  • D.M.A.in Voice Performance: Must complete history, theory and piano entrance exams.

Exam Guidelines

  • History — proctored by Dr. Fisher.
  • Theory — proctored by Dr. Roeder.
  • Piano — proctored by Dr. Dawson. Graduate students whose major instrument during the undergraduate degree was not a keyboard instrument must pass the Graduate Keyboard Proficiency Exam within the first year of their course of study. Any portion of the examination may be taken more than once, if necessary, during the first year of residency. 

Exemptions

  • IF you have obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from the UBC School of Music within the last three years THEN you are exemptfrom taking all of the Graduate Entrance Placement exams.
  • IF your undergraduate degree has a major or concentration in a keyboard instrument, THEN you are exempt from taking the Graduate Entrance Placement Exam in Keyboard Proficiency
  • IF you hold a Royal Conservatory, Conservatory Canada, or an equivalent examining board certificate of GRADE VI or higher achieved within the past four years, THEN you are exempt from taking the Graduate Entrance Placement Exam in Keyboard Proficiency. (Proof is required.)

What if I don't pass the exam(s)?

Please note that completion of any remedial requirements specified as a result of entrance exams is a prerequisite for graduation, and, in the case of doctoral programs, is a prerequisite for advancement to doctoral candidacy.

Banner image by Martin Dee / UBC Communications & Marketing / UBC CM Flickr