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Admission to the Music Program

All incoming students to the Music program must schedule a Music Intake Advising appointment with an Arts Advisor. This appointment must be made prior to signing up for an audition or Theory Placement Exam. To schedule this appointment, contact:

Heather Collins,, 303-615-0307


New Students | Returning Students  Transfer Students | Teacher Licensure/Endorsement


New Students

  • Music Theory:
    • All new students must either take Essential Music Theory Skills (MUS 1010), or test out of the Essentials course by taking the Theory Placement Exam. For more information about the Theory Placement Exam, see Theory Placement Exam.
    • Students must complete their Music Intake Advising appointment before signing up for the Theory Placement Exam.
  • Private Instruction:
    • In order to enroll in private instruction, students must pass an audition demonstrating sufficient prior musical experience on their instrument. Students must also be a declared music major or minor, and be eligible to take Music Theory I (MUS 1110) and Music Theory Lab I (MUS 1120). For more information about private lesson auditions, see Audition Information.
    • Students must complete their Music Intake Advising appointment before scheduling an audition.



Transfer Students

Students who obtained credit by attending any college before enrolling at MSU Denver Admissions Office are considered transfer students, including students with a previous degree in music. In addition to the college admission process for all new students, transfer students must complete the following:

  • Schedule a Music Intake Advising appointment (see above).
  • Contact all colleges and universities that you have attended to have official transcripts sent to MSU Denver. For further information, consult Transfer Services.

  • All transfer students must take the Music Theory Placement Exam, even if an entire music theory sequence was completed elsewhere.

  • All transfer students must audition for private instruction, even if the required number of semesters of private instruction was completed elsewhere. Transfer students who wish to audition into an advanced level of lessons at MSU Denver must contact the director of their instrument area prior to Audition Day for additional audition requirements. Transfer students auditioning into an advanced level of lessons will also be required to present a list of repertoire studied at the college level and copies of college transcripts to the audition panel on Audition Day.

  • All transfer students who do not wish to begin piano instruction in Class Piano I must take the Class Piano Placement Exam for placement, or pass the Piano Proficiency Exam to be exempt from Class Piano IV. Students interested in taking the Class Piano Placement Exam may discuss this at their Music Intake Advising appointment.
  • Upon completion of the Music Intake Advising appointment, Music Theory Placement Exam, and private lesson audition, transfer students must schedule an appointment with the Department Chair in order to evaluate and transfer music course credits from previous schools. Call the Music Department at 303-615-1010 to schedule an appointment with the Department Chair.
  • All students seeking a MSU Denver music degree or licensure must enroll in a minimum of two semesters of a major ensemble at MSU Denver.

Returning Students

Students who have previously enrolled at MSU Denver are considered returning students. All returning students must schedule a Music Intake Advising appointment (see above).

Returning students whose last enrollment in private instruction was more than one calendar year prior to re-enrollment in lessons must reaudition for private instruction.

Returning students who completed music theory coursework, class piano coursework, and/or their final semester of required private instruction more than seven years prior to re-enrollment are respectively required to take the Music Theory Placement Exam, Class Piano Placement or Piano Proficiency Exam, and/or audition to test out of the private lesson sequence.


Teacher Licensure/Endorsement in Music

Note: All students should contact the Music Department as soon as they apply for admission. We do not recommend taking any courses at MSU Denver before contacting the Music Department.

Students who already have a music degree and are interested in teacher licensure have some options for obtaining licensure. One is to get a second degree in Music Education; see Degree Programs for more information. It is also possible to pursue alternative licensure through the Colorado Department of Education, but students wishing to take music education classes at MSU Denver must be declared Music Education majors and be formally admitted to the Music Education program.

Students who have a teaching license in an area other than music may pursue music endorsement through the Colorado Department of Education. Note, however, that it is extremely difficult to obtain the needed credits in the various areas required without being a Music Education major at MSU Denver.

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