Thank you for your interest in the School of Music at Montana State University! A great place to start if you're interested in becoming a music major, a music minor, playing in an ensemble, or taking lessons would be to fill out the survey below. 


Music Majors/Minors and students studying in majors across campus are encouraged to apply for a music scholarship. More information is available on our Scholarship Application Page.

The following is important information for all of you wanting to become a music major or minor. 

Because our students come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, we have three pre-tests to help you assess your own pre-college preparation and determine if the Music, Music Education, or Pre-Music Technology major may be the right fit for you.

Pre-Test #1: All incoming students, on or before the first day of Aural Perception Foundations, will be asked to match pitch: hear notes played on the piano, and sing back those same notes. If that skill is extremely difficult for you, it means that any music major will not likely be the right choice for you.

Pre-Test #2: required of all incoming freshmen, is the online Music Theory Diagnostic Exam. Any student who does not take the Diagnostic Exam online will be tested at Summer Orientation. The online Diagnostic Exam is used for course and curriculum development for incoming students

Note: The material in the Music Theory Diagnostic Exam is preliminary to enrollment at MSU. Students who have taken AP music theory in high school typically score well, but a high score on the Diagnostic Exam does not "place out" of music theory. (Students can typically "place out" only if they have successfully completed an equivalent college-level music theory course at another university.)

Before being admitted into a music degree, students must demonstrate the following skills:

    1. Music Reading
      • Know note names in treble and bass clef
      • Major and minor key signatures
      • Time Signatures / Rhythmic Values
      • Helpful: major and minor scales
    2. Aural Skills / Singing Skills
      • Vocal pitch matching
      • Beat awareness
      • Ability to sing back a simple melody by ear
    3. Keyboard Skills
      • Ability to match notes on the staff with keys on the keyboard
      • The physical coordination necessary to move individual fingers

Resources for Preparation

Useful Books

Online Resources

Whether you pursue music as a major or avocationally, the above information and pre-tests will help you plan your college education and your future musical endeavors.

If you are a prospective Music Technology student, please also visit the Music Technology Prospective Students page.

If you have questions about music majors at Montana State University, please contact:

Bachelor of Music Education

Kristin Harney
[email protected]

Bachelor of Arts in Music and Music Minor

Jon Harney
[email protected]

Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology

Linda Antas
[email protected]