Transfer Students

The School of Music at Western Michigan University welcomes transfer students. Transfer students must apply for admission to the University through the Admissions Office and must qualify for entry to a music program in the same manner as all undergraduates (see Undergraduate Studies).

Transferring credit

Music credit from another institution may be transferred if the course content is equivalent to a similar course required in the student's intended curriculum at WMU and the student has earned a grade of C or better in the course. Students cannot transfer credit hours exceeding the number granted for parallel work at Western. 

Transfer students who successfully audition to become music majors are placed at an applied music level equivalent to their proficiency. This level is defined in terms of year and semester so students can compute the amount of applied credit that is being transferred. Piano proficiency examinations may be administered upon enrollment for the non-pianist who wishes to transfer credit in secondary piano study.

To earn a Bachelor of Music degree, students may not transfer more than 37 semester hours of music coursework from a community college. Students who have not completed the "Performance Electives" requirement at the time of the transfer must complete at least two of the remaining hours in major ensembles.

Students pursuing a degree in Music Education should expect that three years of study at WMU will be required. Optimally, students transfer to WMU after one year at the community college level. 

Grand Rapids Community College 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.)

Advisors will assist students in the transfer of non-music credit hours.


Applied music, theory, and piano proficiency for non-pianists are skill courses that require competency at one level before proceeding to the next level of coursework. For this reason, we require demonstration and/or examination to determine competency.

Students who wish to transfer basic theory and music history credits are tested in Aural Skills, Fundamentals, Harmony, Forms, 20th Century Techniques and all style periods of music history. See our  summary of proficiency exam topics.

Transfer students who elect Music Performance–Vocal, Music Education–Choral/General, or Composition as their major must take a piano placement examination before admission to determine how long it may take to complete piano requirements in the curriculum.

Maintaining good standing

Transfer students who have completed many of the School of Music's Core Course Requirements before enrolling at WMU must elect a major area of concentration within the music curriculum prior to enrollment. To maintain good standing as a major in Music Performance or Composition, students must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in the first two courses that apply to the major area of concentration. Students who elect the Music Education or Music Therapy 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. 

For more information about transferring music credits, contact Ariel Palau, Undergraduate Advisor, at or (269) 387-4672.