Transfer Students

Transfer students must apply for admission to the university through the Admissions Office and must qualify for entry to a music program through audition in the same manner as all undergraduates (see Undergraduate Studies).

Music credit from another institution is normally acceptable providing course substance is equivalent to a similar course required in the student's curriculum at Western, and the student has earned a grade of C or better in that course. No credit hours exceeding the number of granted for parallel work at Western will be accepted for transfer from another institution. In order to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University, a student may transfer from a community college no more than thirty-seven (37) semester credit hours of music course work. If the "Performance Electives" requirement has not been completed at the time of the transfer, at least two of the remaining hours must be completed in major ensembles. Advisors will also assist students in the transfer of non-music credit hours.

Three areas – applied music, theory, and piano proficiency for non-pianists – are, by nature, skill courses which require competency at one level before the student is ready for the next level of course work in a sequence. This competency can only be determined by demonstration and/or examination which precludes the automatic transfer of credit in these areas.

When a transfer student is auditioned for approval to become a music major, he/she will be placed at an applied music level which is equivalent to his/her proficiency. This level is defined in terms of year and semester so that the student is able to compute the amount of applied credit that is being transferred. Piano proficiency examinations may also be administered upon enrollment for the non-pianist who wishes to transfer credit in secondary piano study.

If the transfer student has basic theory and music history courses which he/she wishes to have transferred toward curricular requirements, an opportunity to demonstrate competence through examinations will be given. Areas for which examinations may be taken are: Aural Skills, Fundamentals, Harmony, Forms, 20th Century Techniques and all style periods of music history. A summary of topics for Basic Music and Aural Skills can be found here.

The transfer student may have completed many of the Core Course Requirements before enrolling at Western. In that case, he/she must elect a major area of concentration within the music curriculum prior to enrollment. Requirements must be met in order to remain in the major. In order to maintain good standing as a major in Music Performance or Composition, the student must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in the first two courses that apply to the major area of concentration. The student who elects Music Education or Music Therapy as a major must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in all courses in the major area of concentration in order to be recommended for intern teaching (Music Education) or Music Therapy Internship. The transfer student who elects Music Performance–Vocal, Music Education–Choral/General, or Composition as a major must take a Piano Placement Examination before admission to those majors. The purpose of this exam is to determine how long it may take to complete piano requirements in the curriculum.

Students who intend to pursue a program in Music Education should expect that three years of study at WMU will be required. It is recommended that these students transfer to WMU after one year at the community college level.

GRCC Students should reference the official articulation agreement between GRCC and the School of Music at WMU. (This agreement does not pertain to programs in Music Education)


For further information regarding the transfer of music credits, contact Julie Rickert, Undergraduate Advisor, at or (269) 387-4672.