Theory Placement Exam

Theory Placement Exam

All freshmen and transfer students wishing to enter the College of Fine Arts are required to take a Theory Placement Exam as part of the entrance process to the College of Fine Arts.

This basic test will be given during days Scholarship Auditions are held. Please be sure to be at the exam during the appointed time and place.  If you are unable to take the exam on campus please contact the College of Fine Arts to have this exam proctored for you.

Upon completion of the exam, you will be able to register for Theory I (fall semester) with a score of at least 32 out of 44 or Fundamentals of Music (spring semester) with a score below 32.

You can find out your exam score or schedule the exam for a time other than those listed by calling the Fine Arts Administrative Assistant at 612-343-4701 or email at .

Topics covered on the exam include the following:

  • Read note names (both in treble & bass clef)
  • Reading rhythms (notes & rests)
  • Scales—major minor (pure, harmonic, and melodic)
  • Triads—major, minor, diminished, and augmented
  • Chords—in root position & inversions
  • Intervals—hearing them & writing them

Theory Class

All music majors will take theory at some point during their time at NCU. Once you take the Placement Exam you will know if you are eligible to enter Theory I in the fall or wait to take Fundamentals of Music in the spring. You must pass each class with C or better to advance to the next theory class.