Transferring from one educational institution to another can involve some considerable adjustment, and sometimes unexpected surprises. Transfer students constitute a small, but special segment of our student population, and we devote considerable effort to helping insure their best chances of success once at NIU. We admit new transfer students each year from 2-year and 4-year programs, both from within the state of Illinois and elsewhere. The Illinois Articulation Compact basically insures that credit for general education courses completed at Illinois four-year and community colleges will transfer to another Illinois institution. In specialized programs such as music, the foundation courses required of all students for the degree do not automatically transfer. Each student's preparation is judged on an individual basis.
Transfer students admitted to the School of Music are evaluated through a combination of diagnostic tests, given on the Friday morning before the first week of classes each semester. Included are components in written theory, critical listening (including melodic and harmonic dictation), and sight-singing. These evaluations allow us to assess comprehensively each student's overall competency in these areas that form the essential foundation for more advanced study. The exam results, considered collectively, help determine which lower-division "core" courses, if any, each student will need. This enables us to place students in appropriate courses, at levels where we can reasonably expect them to succeed. We then also award credit for those course levels in which we find each individual transfer student to have demonstrated proficiency.
Undergraduates who wish to take the Theory Placement Exam can see the study guide. The Theory Placement Exam is given in March and on the Saturday before the start of fall classes.
If you have questions concerning transfer admission and evaluation, please feel free to contact the Theory/Composition Coordinator.