Information for Transfer Students

Potential Transfer Students

Preparation for transfer students should include work in:

  • Musicianship
  • Harmony
  • Western and Non-Western Music History

Placement in the musicianship series (49B, 50, 51) and the harmony series (49C, 60, 61) at Berkeley is determined by the department placement exam, not by previous coursework.

The description of the placement exams and the criteria for placement can function as a guide for students in their preparation. It is important that transfer students be able to place into 49B during their first semester. Those who do not will need to take 20A before beginning the major sequence of classes for musicianship and harmony, which may prolong their completion of degree requirements.

Students who are able to come to the Berkeley campus may take the department’s placement exam on an advisory basis at the beginning of any semester.

Entering Transfer Students

Music Placement Procedure: All entering transfer students intending to major in music must be prepared to take the first four parts of the department’s placement procedure on the day before instruction begins. Students with little or no keyboard experience should also take the Piano 405 placement exam, which usually takes place during the first week of term.

These exams determine the student’s placement in or exemption from the lower division musicianship and harmony series and also serve as an audition for the department’s performance classes.

Transfer Advisor

All new transfer students must schedule an appointment with Zoe Xu online during the first month of classes to plan a strategy for completing the major.

Students should bring with them:

  • a copy of their transcript (official or unofficial)
  • a syllabus and exams/papers from courses taken in the History of Western Music

Registering for classes

Until they know the results of the placement exam, students should register for:

  • 49B Musicianship I
  • 49C Harmony I

Students will be able to make adjustments to their course schedule during the add/drop period to reflect the placement exam.

In addition students may sign up for the following kinds of courses:

  • Performance courses
  • Music Cultures courses numbered between Music 130-139. (Note: these courses satisfy both a lower division music cultures requirement as well as upper division music electives.)
  • Music 75-77. (Note: these courses may have prerequisites!)
  • An upper division American Cultures course outside the music department. This is a university requirement which all students must satisfy.