Audition & Placement



New Students

On-campus audition dates are now closed for fall of 2024 except for graduate students and international students. Those students should be sure to apply to the university and follow up with an application to the music department. You will receive the music department application after you apply to the university.

Access CALSTATE APPLY to submit your CSUN application.


Current CSUN Students

If you are a current CSUN student wishing to become a music major, please contact please contact the Music Department Undergraduate Advisor, Nicole Hovland, for a link to the music department audition application.

Those students who already hold a bachelor's degree will not be able to receive a second or additional bachelor's from CSUN at this time.

The CSUN Music Department does not offer a Minor in Music.

If you've already earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, CSUN encourages you to apply to our graduate program.

Placement Exams: Accepted Undergraduate Music Students

Undergraduate Placement Tests:

Musicianship & Theory

So that we can provide the most appropriate advisement on registration and ensure successful degree progress, all incoming undergraduate students must take placement diagnostic exams in both music theory and aural skills unless otherwise advised by the department. ​​​​​​

All accepted students will receive links to these exams via email in May. For questions regarding placement exam access, please contact Nicole Hovland: For questions regarding exam content, please contact Dr. McCaffrey:


Keyboard Musicianship Placements will be done on an ongoing basis through a questionnaire that will assess your background in piano. This questionnaire will be sent to all new incoming students. If you do not receive it, it is available by contacting the Music Undergraduate Advisor, Nicole Hovland: You may test out of the Keyboard Musicianship sequence by emailing Dr. Gayle Kowalchyk a video when you submit the questionnaire. 

Contact: Gayle Kowalchyk -

Placement Exams: Incoming Graduate Students

MUSIC THEORY ENTRANCE EXAM (required of all incoming graduate students)

This is for students entering in the fall of 2024 or graduate students who entered in spring of 2024 and have not taken the exam:

Wednesday, August 21, 10 a.m. to noon - Online exam, please contact Professor Marinescu to set up a time.

Professor Marinescu:  

Study Guide for Theory Placement

MUSIC HISTORY ENTRANCE EXAM (required of all incoming graduate students)

This is for students entering in the fall of 2024 or graduate students who entered in spring of 2024 and have not taken the exam:

Thursday, August 22, 3-5 p.m., Cypress 105

Professor Pisaro:

The music history exam will include a series of multiple choice questions covering the range of Western music history as well as some listening questions. For the listening, you will be played five excerpts drawn from the Norton Anthology of Western Music (8th edition). You will be asked to write very briefly anything you can about the musical excerpt. This could include the name of the piece, the composer, the style period, the genre (string quartet/opera/orchestra etc) or stylistic elements of the work. 

It is recommended that you review the areas in which you are weakest. For example, if one is a singer, you may be strongest in opera or Lieder so it would be best to focus on instrumental music. If you are an instrumentalist, you may want to focus on vocal music including opera in your preparation.



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