Undergraduate Admissions & Enrollment Policies

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Admission Requirements

In addition to the entrance requirements of the university outlined in Undergraduate Admission in the General Information section, freshman and transfer students must meet College of Music entrance requirements. Successful College of Music applicants have extensive prior experience in music (including private study), the ability to read and sight-read music notation, an understanding of music fundamentals or basic music theory, and elementary piano skills. Students with appropriate skill in piano sight reading and keyboard harmony may be able to test out of all or part of the keyboard musicianship requirement included in their degree plan. 


An audition is required for all prospective undergraduate music majors. Undergraduate auditions are held in Boulder on selected Saturdays in January and February. Alternate audition dates may also be scheduled if necessary. If travel distance is prohibitive, prospective students may substitute a high-quality recording. Applicants should identify themselves by name and list selections and titles at the beginning of the recording. In order for students to be fully considered for financial assistance, live auditions should be completed and recordings should be received by February 15. Students should prepare a 10–20 minute audition program in accordance with the audition requirements that are listed on the College of Music website: music.colorado.edu/apply/undergraduate/audition-information.

Contact the Undergraduate Office at 303-735-2283 or ugradmus@colorado.edu for more information.

Admissions decisions for music education applicants are based on academic qualifications, audition results, and an interview conducted by two or more music education faculty members. Interviews address written and verbal communication skills, motivation and goals related to music teaching, prior music teaching experiences, and affective characteristics associated with effective music teachers. For information about music education interviews, contact Martina Miranda, music education chair, at 303-735-5498 or martina.miranda@colorado.edu.

Provisional Admission

Applicants who meet all admission requirements except the minimum academic preparation standards (MAPS) may petition the associate dean for undergraduate studies for admission as a provisional student.

Transfer Students

Transfer students from within the university and from other universities must meet the general requirements of the university and the specific requirements of the College of Music, including the audition. See Undergraduate Admission in the General Information section for specific requirements.

Nondegree Students

With the written permission of the instructor and on a space available basis, nondegree students may take any class offered by the College of Music except private applied instruction. 

Attendance Requirements

Successful work in the College of Music is dependent on regular attendance in all classes. At the beginning of each semester, instructors will inform students of policies governing grading and attendance in each class. Students are expected to attend classes and comply with the attendance requirements specified by their instructors. For ensembles and other performance classes, attendance at dress rehearsals, major concerts, and other approved/sanctioned performances, as listed in the course syllabus, also is required.

Convocations and Recitals

All degree students are required to pass Music Convocation (CONV 1990) for a minimum of six semesters. Transfer students normally do four semesters. Graduation is not permitted until this requirement is met. If necessary, students may register for two convocations in one semester (CONV 1990 and 2990.) Discrepancies concerning convocation credit should be resolved within one year of the semester in question. 

Each semester, students are given a list of convocations and recitals from which a minimum of seven must be attended to receive a passing grade. Events in which the student participates do not count toward this requirement. Monitors are present at each event to take attendance. Students are encouraged to keep track of the convocation events they attend.


All undergraduate students enrolled in applied music must participate in a university ensemble appropriate to and required by their

degree program. (Students enrolled in Conducting courses must concurrently be enrolled in a conducted ensemble.) Voice performance majors are not required to be in ensembles during the semester of their senior recital, and bachelor of music education students are exempt from ensemble participation during the student teaching semester. Any student who studies applied music beyond degree requirements must participate concurrently in a university ensemble. Double majors need be in only one ensemble at a time. 

Sophomore Proficiency

Students must pass a variety of jury tests and proficiency exams during their degree work. Each applied  area has different requirements, so students need to consult the chair of their area and/or studio professor. However, all students must pass a sophomore proficiency exam. Students who cannot pass this exam receive an incomplete grade and cannot progress to the junior level of applied study until the proficiency is achieved. Studio professors provide students with proficiency and repertoire requirements.

Course Load

The normal academic load for an undergraduate student in the College of Music is 15–17 semester hours. Schedules of fewer than 12 or more than 19 hours must have approval of the associate dean for undergraduate studies of the College of Music.

See limitations on registration under the Graduate School section for graduate student course load stipulations.

Dropping a Course

Students should adhere to the deadlines for dropping a course in the registration handbook distributed each semester. After a certain date each semester, a special action form signed by the instructor and associate dean for undergraduate studies is required to drop a course.

Pass/Fail Option

The pass/fail option for 12 credits is open only to undergraduate students. Music education students may only use the pass/fail option for student teaching. Pass/fail hours are to be selected from nonmusic courses and are in addition to those that may be taken in honors. Courses so elected are taken according to the pass/fail policies of the college or school concerned.

Pass/fail hours that transfer students can apply toward degree requirements from departments within the university are limited to 1 in every 8 semester hours earned in the College of Music. 

Residence Requirement

Of the hours required for an undergraduate degree, the last 56 credits must be completed in residence in the College of Music. This may be reduced by the faculty for excellent work done in this university and for high scholarship exhibited at previous institutions attended. In no case shall the minimum be fewer than 40 hours distributed over three semesters. At least 9 hours in applied music (private instruction) must be earned in this college for the degrees bachelor of music and bachelor of music education, and 6 hours for the bachelor of arts in music.

Student Work

A copy of all scholarly student papers that generate credit (dissertations, theses, projects, lecture recitals, and other document-producing activities), whether undergraduate or graduate, is placed in the Music Library. More than one copy may be required in individual degree programs. To ensure that degree requirements have been met and the document is appropriate for placement in the Music Library, all faculty-approved documents must be presented to the appropriate associate dean’s office at least two weeks before the graduation date.

Any recital required for graduation is recorded. Arrangements are to be made through the College of Music Concerts Office, and a recording fee is charged. The original recording is placed in the Music Library.

Stay Connected Program/Withdrawal

The online Schedule of Courses indicates the deadlines for withdrawal from the university and the financial penalties incurred with each. Students wishing to withdraw or apply to the Stay  Connected Program should follow appropriate university guidelines (contact the office of the registrar or the associate dean of music). Those who stop attending class without officially withdrawing will receive Fs in each of their courses.