Theory Entrance Exam

The purpose of the Theory Entrance Exam is to determine the potential for success of any student wishing to enroll in MUS 103 (Theory and Musicianship I). This course is required in the BME, BM, BA, BS, and BFA Musical Theatre degree programs, as well as the Music and Music Composition minors. MUS 103 is also an option in the Audio Studies track of the Electronic Arts degree. A passing score on the exam OR successful completion of MUS 100 (Music Fundamentals) is a prerequisite for registration into this course.

The exam is administered online through uTheory. Students are encouraged to take the exam at the earliest possible date to allow for timely registration. Please contact the music department for information about accessing the test.

Incoming Freshmen

Incoming freshmen planning to pursue a major or minor in Music should take the exam close to the date of their admission audition. Although a passing score is not required for admission into the program, students will need to pass the exam before registering for classes during SOAR. Students with Dual-Credit or Advanced Placement credit for MUS 103 do not need to take the exam.

Transfer Students

The Theory Entrance Exam is not needed for transfer students with previous college-level theory credits that have transferred or will transfer to Missouri State. The exam is administered to assess a student’s readiness to enroll in MUS 103 only, and not for later courses in the theory sequence. Students transferring to Missouri State with no previous college-level theory will need to pass the exam.

Current Missouri State Students

For students already at the University but needing to take the Theory Entrance Exam due to changing major, declaring a minor, or entering the Electronic Arts Audio Studies track, the exam should be taken before registration for Fall classes begins in April.

Theory Entrance Exam

Students have ten opportunities to pass the exam. If you do not pass the first attempt, you can find help at or other web sites that provide fundamental music theory information and practice such as and You should be prepared to answer the following types of questions:

  • pitch notation - notate and identify notes in treble and bass clefs up to three ledger lines above and below the staff
  • meter and rhythm – determine how many smaller note values are in a larger one; complete a measure by filling in missing beats; analyze meter signatures as
    • simple or compound
    • duple, triple, or quadruple
    • identify which note value carries the beat
  • key signatures - notate and identify ALL major and minor key signatures
  • intervals - identify intervals up to an octave by both quantity (2nd, 3rd, etc.) and quality (major, minor, perfect, augmented, diminished); notate intervals above or below a given pitch
  • triads - notate and identify root position triads by quality (major, minor, diminished, augmented)

Questions about the exam should be directed to Coordinator of Music Theory, Dr. Michael F. Murray (