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3.22 Transcript leveling and GPE review courses for students in the M.M. in Jazz Studies

Last updated: April 6, 2017

The purpose of this page is to explain the process of assigning leveling and review courses to students who are entering the M.M. in Jazz Studies program. Leveling and review courses for students in the DMA in Performance with local concentration in Jazz Studies are handled individually by the Jazz Studies graduate advisor. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact the Jazz Studies division chair/graduate advisor or the graduate advisor in the College of Music Office of Graduate Studies.

This process is intended to be transparent. The purpose of leveling and review courses is to make sure that new graduate students have adequate preparation for graduate work.

Review courses may be assigned as a result of the Graduate Placement Examination (GPE), which is required of all new graduate students. Leveling courses may be assigned as the result of a review of your undergraduate transcript. The standard we use for this comparison is the Handbook of the National Association of Schools of Music, sections VIII-B and IX-F.

It's very important for you to understand that you have a role in determining how many hours of leveling and review courses you will be required to take. If you prepare well and pass all parts of the GPE, you'll have no hours from that category. If you prepare well and pass all of the jazz history proficiency exams and do well in placement auditions and the arranging review, you can ensure that you will have the minimum number of jazz studies leveling courses to take. The assignment of leveling and review courses can be discussed with your graduate advisor. If a course was assigned because a certain course was not found on your undergraduate transcript, for example, and it is present on the transcript and you point that out to the advisor, the list of leveling courses can be revised. Finally, if you think you can demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills that are required by a course on your list of leveling courses, whether you have an equivalent course on your transcript or not, you can ask to demonstrate that. If you do so successfully, the course can be removed from the list.

Graduate Placement Exam (GPE) review courses
All new graduate students must take the Graduate Placement Examinations during new graduate student orientation prior to their first semester of enrollment. New graduate students receive information about these exams along with information about new graduate student orientation. Be sure to check your EagleConnect email for this and other important emails.

An exemption policy exsits for the music history portion of the exam. The policy is published on the College of Music Graduate Studies site. Note the deadline for applying for the exemption.

Several courses can be assigned as review courses depending on your score on the GPE and the degree you are seeking. Please use the information on the GPE Prep Course on Blackboard to learn more about this. Students who are admitted are provided with information about the prep course.

For Jazz Studies majors, review courses with MUMH and MUTH prefixes must be passed with a grade of C or higher in order to count towards the Jazz Studies M.M. degree.

Leveling Courses assigned as a result of transcript evaluation
All leveling courses in this section must be passed with a grade of B or higher in order to count towards the degree.

1. Prerequisites for Jazz Improvisation classes
All new jazz M.M. students must take these proficiency tests before the start of their first semester. Jazz fundamentals courses taken elsewhere are not accepted for transfer credit. NASM policy: VIII-B-2-a and b, XI-F-3-a.

The undergraduate course in which these skills are taught are:
MUJS 1360 Jazz Fundamentals I
MUJS 1361 Jazz Aural Fundamentals
MUJS 1370 Jazz Fundamentals II
MUJS 1371 Jazz Keyboard Fundamentals

If you do not pass one or more of these proficiency exams, you will be directed to take the corresponding graduate review course:
MUJS 1360 Jazz Fundamentals I > MUJS 5360
MUJS 1361 Jazz Aural Fundamentals > MUJS 5361
MUJS 1370 Jazz Fundamentals II > MUJS 5362
MUJS 1371 Jazz Keyboard Fundamentals > MUJS 5363

2. Jazz Improvisation
Starting level is assigned by audition with Mike Steinel at the start of each fall and spring semester. Improvisation courses taken elsewhere are not accepted for transfer credit. Improvisation skills equivalent to the level of MUJS 2360 and 2370 are required for admission to the program. MUJS 2360 and 2370 are required prerequisites for MUJS 5480, Pedagogy of Jazz (Pedagogy track). MUJS 3360 and 3370 are prerequisites for MUJS 5490, Advanced Jazz Improvisation (Performance track). When you are placed into a level of improvisation class, that removes the levels below that as leveling courses. For example, if you are placed into improv 3 (MUJS 3360) by audition, then MUJS 2360 and 2370 are automatically taken care of in your list of leveling courses. NASM policy: IX-F-3-a.

The undergraduate course in which these skills are taught are:
MUJS 2360
MUJS 2370
MUJS 3360
MUJS 3370

If you do not pass one or more of these proficiency exams, you will be directed to take MUJS 5370, Graduate Jazz Improvisation.

Jazz vocalists who are advised to take improv levels 3 and 4 will take MUJS 5120 and MUJS 5130.

3. Jazz Arranging
Arranging skill equivalent to the level of MUJS 3620 is required for admission to the program. Arranging courses taken elsewhere are not accepted for transfer credit. Students must take the classes or demonstrate their skills by submitting a portfolio of small group and big band arrangements to the Prof Richard DeRosa. MUJS 4620 is the prerequisite for MUJS 5760, Jazz Arranging (Composition track). Students in Pedagogy track must demonstrate arranging skill equivalent to MUJS 4620 or improvisation skill equivalent to MUJS 3370. NASM policy: IX-F-3-a.

The undergraduate course in which these skills are taught are:
MUJS 3610
MUJS 3620
MUJS 4610
MUJS 4620

Graduate students who are directed to take one or more of these arranging classes will use the graduate course numbers MUJS 5610, 5620, 5630, or 5640.

4. Jazz History
Jazz history courses taken elsewhere are not accepted for transfer credit. MUJS 4470 History of Jazz is a prerequisite for MUJS 5440 and 5450 (5450 is no longer one of the required courses for the master's and is no longer offered). Students can test out of it by taking the Jazz History Proficiency Test by appointment. The test is described here: http://www.jazz.unt.edu/node/41
Graduate students who need to take this course should take MUJS 5430, Graduate Review of Jazz History, instead of MUJS 4470. In MUJS 5430, you will attend MUJS 4470 and meet higher requirements for course work than the undergraduates have. NASM policy: IX-F-3-a.

5. MUAG 5805 Fundamentals of Conducting (2SH)
This is a required prerequisite for MUJS 5470, Conducting College Jazz Ensembles, which is required for all tracks. It is assigned as a leveling course if the undergraduate transcript does not show a conducting course. If you have the equivalent conducting skills, you may ask to demonstrate them for the instructor of MUJS 5470. If you do so successfully, this leveling course will be removed. NASM policy: VIII-B-1-d.

6. Lab Band
MULB 1808 Jazz Lab Band
A graduate section of Jazz Lab Band (MULB 5174) is assigned as a leveling course if the undergraduate transcript does not show large jazz ensemble experiences. This is rarely assigned because most students admitted to our program have this experience. NASM policy: IX-F-3-b.

7. MUCM 3550.500 Jazz Chamber Music
A graduate section of Jazz Chamber Music (MUCM 5550) is assigned as a leveling course if the transcript does not show small group jazz playing. This is rarely assigned because most students admitted to our program have this experience. NASM policy: IX-F-3-b.