Transfer Students


Welcome! We are excited that you are interested in transferring to become a music major at Iowa State University. Below is information regarding the process to become admitted.

General Requirements

In order to be accepted as a music major, a prospective student must pass an entrance audition for the applied faculty in his/her performance area (piano, organ, woodwinds, strings, percussion, brass, or voice). Passing the audition is dependent on the demonstration of performance skills appropriate for college level instruction and the potential to perform at a professional level. In addition, the number of students accepted must balance with the space available in the corresponding applied studios. Once accepted, a student must complete a placement examination in keyboard skills. This examination is normally given by members of the departmental faculty the week preceding the opening of classes for fall semester.

More information about music major auditions can be found here.

After being accepted as a music major, the transfer student must:

  1. Complete a music theory examination. Transfer students will take a departmental theory placement test in order to be advised into the appropriate theory courses. Students who have completed a basic two-year music theory program at an accredited music program will be excused from this placement exam. See #2 below.
  2. Have their transcript evaluated by a committee including the student's adivsor and may include the Department Chair, Associate Department Chair, and/or the student's primary applied studio instructor. Music credits transferred from a four-year NASM accredited program will fulfill the requirements for comparable music courses at ISU. Music credits transferred from a two-year NASM accredited music program will fulfill the requirements for comparable 100 and 200 level music courses at ISU. Students may be asked to submit information regarding courses such as course syllabi and course descriptions to assist the committee in evaluating transfer credits. Transfer credits from non-accredited institutions are subject to review.
  3. Take the piano placement test or provide documentation of piano study. Transfer students who have completed a piano proficiency test at another institution should provide their advisor with documentation about the test requirements in order to assist the committee in determining what the comparable music courses are at ISU. Transfer students who have not completed such piano requirements should take a piano placement test in order to be advised into the appropriate piano courses.

As soon as possible after having completed the above steps, transfer students should outline their long-range program with the assistance of their advisor and complete a Department of Music course checklist. This will be reviewed as part of the Continuation Examination procedure.

Transfer students may be able to receive scholarships based on their application and audition into the Department of Music and Theatre as well as other scholarships offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. More information about scholarships can be found here.

In addition to applying to the Music Department, you must also apply to become a student through the Office of Admissions. For information about that process, please visit the Iowa State Freshman Admissions Page.

Please contact ESTES Main Office at 515.294.3831 or with any questions regarding the entrance process or music scholarships.