University of North Texas

College of Music | Graduate Studies

Graduate Placement Exams (GPE)

The Graduate Studies office sends each incoming student an email specifying the Graduate Placement Exams that the student must take. Students who have not received notification should contact the Graduate Studies Office by email for this information. The Graduate Placement Exams (GPE) must be taken during orientation of the first semester in which the student is enrolled as a graduate student. Review courses assigned due to the results of the GPE do not count towards the degree and must be taken in the first semester in which they are available.

Graduate Placement Exam in Music History

All incoming students may qualify for an exemption from the GPE in Music History if they meet the criteria outlined here. Students who qualify for this exemption will be notified by the email from the Graduate Studies Office mentioned at the top of this webpage.

The recommended method of preparing for the test is to study A History of Western Music (9 ed.) and the Norton Anthology of Western Music (6 ed.). The GPE in music history consists of two sections, pre-1750 and post-1750, each of which comprises:

  1. Thirty multiple-choice questions that measure understanding of the genres and styles characteristic of particular periods and major composers;
  2. Six multiple choice questions based on three listening excerpts drawn from the Norton Anthology;
  3. One essay question.

You will have 50 minutes to answer the multiple-choice questions and 40 minutes to answer the essay question assigned to each half of the exam (i.e. pre-1750 and post-1750). Thus you will have a total of 180 minutes to complete the entire exam. Sample multiple choice and essay questions appear here.

Other Important Information

  • You will take the GPE in music history on a computer station provided by the university in the Sage Hall Testing Center (click here for directions). You will log into the computer station with your EUID and password.
  • You must bring a pair of earbuds or headphones.
  • You may use scratch paper and a writing utensil while you take the test. You will be required to deposit other personal belongings, including your cell phone, in a secure space at the center.

Scoring Rubrics

The multiple choice and essay questions of the GPE in Music History are graded independently. You must correctly answer at least twenty-two of thirty-six multiple choice questions (i.e. 61%) and earn six points out of ten on the essay to pass the entire exam. Your essay will not be graded 1) if you fail to answer at least eighteen multiple choice questions correctly or 2) if you do not follow the instructions for the essay prompt, e.g. by writing on two topics or two score excerpts instead of one each.

GPE in Music History (Pre-1750)

Multiple Choice Essay Review Course
22-36 / exempt* 6-10 No review course necessary
22-36 / exempt* 0-5 MUMH 5500
0-21 Not graded MUMH 5500

*Applies to doctoral students who qualify for an exemption from the multiple choice portion only. Master's students who are exempt from the multiple choice portion of the GPE are also exempt from the essay portion. By contrast, all doctoral students must take the essay portion regardless of whether or not they are exempt from the multiple choice portion.

GPE in Music History (Post-1750)

Multiple Choice Essay Review Course
22-36 / exempt* 6-10 No review course necessary
22-36 / exempt* 0-5 MUMH 5510
0-21 Not graded MUMH 5510

*Applies to doctoral students who qualify for an exemption from the multiple choice portion only. Master's students who are exempt from the multiple choice portion of the GPE are also exempt from the essay portion. By contrast, all doctoral students must take the essay portion regardless of whether or not they are exempt from the multiple choice portion.


Graduate Placement Exam in Music Theory

Incoming master's and doctoral students in music education are not required to take the GPE in Music Theory. Moreover, UNT College of Music continuing students (undergraduate to master's or master's to doctoral) are not required to take the Aural Skills portion of the GPE in Music Theory. (They must still take the Analysis/Part-Writing portion.) No action is required of continuing students to qualify for the exemption. Those who qualify for it have been so notified via the email from the Graduate Studies Office mentioned at the top of this webpage.

The GPE in Music Theory consists of two separate exams:

  1. Ear Training

    A two-part excerpt is performed at the piano, including chromaticism such as secondary (or applied) dominants, augmented sixths, and the Neapolitan chord. You notate both voices, pitch and rhythm, as well as provide a harmonic analysis. A sample is given below, where gray notation represents a student response.

  2. Part-Writing and Analysis

    Part-Writing: the bass line of a chromatic chorale is given with figured bass. You provide a harmonization in chorale style (SATB) and a harmonic analysis. A sample is given:

Scoring Rubrics

Part Writing and Analysis  Ear Training
70-100: Pass (no remediation necessary) 70-100: Pass (no remediation necessary
69 or less: Fail (take MUTH 5010) 69 or less: Fail (take MUTH 5010)