Audition Information

Music Theory Requirements

(prescreen and interview required)

Master of Music (M.M.)
Master of Music in Music Theory and Master of Library Science from the School of Library and Information Science (M.M. /M.L.S.)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



Note: Applicants for the M.M. in music theory must hold a bachelor's degree in music. Applicants for the Ph.D. in music theory must normally have received a master's degree or taken substantial graduate coursework in music theory. Students with outstanding credentials may apply directly from a bachelor's degree.

Music Theory applicants must submit the following for prescreen:

  • Appropriate Writing Sample(s) - must be submitted via the JSoM Supplemental Application. Writing sample may be on any topic, however, if it does not include analysis of tonal music, applicants are encouraged to also submit one or more items that provide evidence of their understanding of tonal music. Examples might include a harmonic analysis of an extended passage of music or a model composition in a contrapuntal or other style.
    • For prospective master's students, this is typically a major music analysis paper (eight pages or more) from an upper level undergraduate class
    • Prospective doctoral students may submit an extensive music analysis paper (at least 20 pages), two shorter contrasting music theoretical or music analysis papers, a master's thesis, or large similar project.
  • GRE General Test Scores (must be sent to IU directly from test center)
All materials must be submitted by December 1, 2019.


Prior to being invited to campus for an interview, applicants MUST have a completed application on file, including all supporting materials. Applicants who are invited for an on-campus interview will meet with the chair of the department and other members of the faculty and must also complete an audition for an Associate Instructorship (see below). These interviews and auditions are scheduled during audition weekends through the Office of Music Admissions.

Audition and Interview for Associate Instructorship in Music Theory

Associate Instructors in music theory gain valuable teaching experience in our undergraduate courses in music theory and literature and in aural skills. The audition includes evaluations of the applicant's skills in harmony, analysis, musical style, and music literature; as well as an evaluation of musical skills (sight-singing, dictation, and keyboard facility), a discussion of any prior teaching experience, and an evaluation of the applicant's ability to explain musical materials clearly and correctly. Anyone applying for an Associate Instructor position in music theory (including prospective music theory majors) should review the qualifying information on this web page before signing up for an audition.

For Internal MM Students Applying to the PhD Program:

For internal applicants, the process of application to the PhD program is more streamlined. Applicants must still complete application to the Jacobs School of Music. Application fees will be waived. The department does not require letters of recommednation, transcripts, or test scores. Applicants need only to submit two writing samples as described above. These materials should be submitted in PDF form to, no later than the third Monday of the spring semester.