Music Auditions

  • Students rehearse on marimbas

    How do I enroll in the Department of Music?

    *Note that those intending to enroll in one of our graduate programs should follow the procedures found on the Department of Music Graduate Admission Requirements page.

    1. Apply to IUP first

    Department of Music admission is contingent upon successful admission to the university.

    2. Schedule an audition

    Audition now for fall 2021 admission! Auditions will look a lot different this year. Instead of in-person audition days, we are accepting prerecorded video auditions; or we will listen to you play on live virtual audition days on February 13, March 13, and April 10. Fill out and submit the Audition Information Form in order to schedule your audition. 

    All music majors are eligible for scholarships, which are determined based on your audition. 

    If you have any questions regarding scheduling an audition, please contact the department at 724-357-2391 or email

    What are the general audition requirements?

    The audition process for all prospective music majors and music minors consists of the following:

    • Demonstrate sufficient proficiency in an instrument, voice, or composition
    • Earn a score of 70 percent or higher on the Diagnostic Music Theory Exam
    • Prepare and play a Piano Placement Test. (Please see details below-not required for Music Theater Track in Theater or music minors)

    Diagnostic Music Theory Exam

    The Undergraduate Diagnostic Exam is intended to ensure that incoming students are familiar with the rudiments of music. It covers: pitch notation, including treble and bass clef; basic rhythm, including dots and ties; common simple and compound meters; major and minor scales, keys, and key signatures; intervals, including interval quality; and triads, including triad quality.

    The exam consists of 45 multiple-choice questions and is timed to 45 minutes. Students must earn a score of 70 percent in order to pass. Those who fail to do so after two attempts must elect MUSC 113 Theory I Practicum, a one-credit course, in conjunction with MUSC 115 Theory I. Note that while the exam is part of the audition process, it is not a significant criterion for admission.

    The textbook used in core undergraduate theory courses is Steven Laitz’s The Complete Musician: An Integrated Approach to Theory, Analysis, and Listening. It is an excellent reference, but incoming students may wish to practice with web-based resources such as teoria or There are several good mobile apps, eBooks, and YouTube tutorials as well.

    Piano Placement Test

    All music majors must study piano for at least two semesters at IUP. For most students, this will be in-class piano. Students who have a background of piano study may be eligible to take private applied lessons instead of class piano. Students with piano background should complete the Piano Placement Test as part of their audition for entrance into the IUP Department of Music. Such students should come prepared to:

    • play a few phrases of any composition they choose (other than an original composition), memorized or with music
    • play two white-key major scales (2 octaves, hands together)—only if you have studied the correct fingering
    • sight-read a few bars of very easy piano music

    Piano majors and those with no piano background do not have to take this brief exam.

    Please note: For fall 2021 entrance, piano placement tests may happen via video. 

    Suggested Audition Materials


    Requirements for voice applicants for the BA/BFA in music performance and BSEd music education degree programs  


    Etude or solo required for these instruments, plus sight reading expected on snare and mallets  


    Suggested audition material for the BSEd, BA, or BFA. Composition degrees, and for the BFA in Music Performance  


    A prospective violin, viola, cello, double bass, or guitar student should be prepared to play from the listed repertoire.  


    Requirements for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Saxophone  


    Requirements for trumpet/cornet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba  


    Requirements for composition