All undergraduate music majors must demonstrate piano proficiency as a requirement for graduation. The School of Music will not approve a student’s Graduation Application until notification is received from the piano faculty that the student has passed the Piano Proficiency Examination. For students majoring in Music Education, the Piano Proficiency Examination is part of the student teaching endorsement. The School of Music will not accept an application for student teaching placement until the student has passed the Piano Proficiency Examination. (NB: Music Education/Vocal students must enroll in two additional semesters of private piano instruction following completion of the Piano Proficiency Examination).

Music majors must demonstrate satisfactory progress in their degree through concurrent registration in harmony, sight singing, ear training, and functional piano until these course sequences are completed. Accordingly, music majors enrolled in first-year music theory (MUS 201E) must concurrently enroll in Functional Piano I (MUS 109) and continue until the Functional Piano course sequence is completed. Functional Piano courses must be taken in sequence. A grade of 'C' or above is required in each Functional Piano course.

Transfer students and students with accomplished piano skills are placed in the appropriate Functional Piano course after demonstrating sufficient keyboard skills to the piano faculty. These same students may also choose a one-time opportunity to take the Piano Proficiency Examination (MUS 167) in lieu of enrolling in the Functional Piano sequence. However, if the Piano Proficiency Examination is not passed, the student is then placed in the appropriate Functional Piano course and must complete the sequence and retake the Piano Proficiency Examination.

When enrolling in Functional Piano IV (MUS 210), the student must also concurrently enroll in Piano Proficiency Examination (MUS 167). The Piano Proficiency Examination is separate from the Functional Piano course sequence. The sequence prepares the student for the Piano Proficiency Examination, but successful completion of the sequence does not exempt the student from the obligation to pass the Piano Proficiency Examination. However, students maintaining a grade of 'B' or above in each of the four Functional Piano courses are exempt from taking the Piano Proficiency Examination.

Members of the piano faculty administer the Piano Proficiency Examination during the Final Examination period at the conclusion of the fall and spring terms. The Examination is not scheduled at any other time during the academic term and no Examination is administered in summer.