CIM’s robust Music Theory program provides students with the aural and analytical skills that aid in the development of the perceptive and thinking musician. At CIM, virtually all conservatory students study with members of the Music Theory faculty. Theory instruction is provided for every degree program, from basic musicianship and remedial courses to upper-level specialized seminars. Students can double major in music theory at CIM, in combination with performance or composition. To learn more about double majoring, please connect with Dr. Diane Urista at

CIM’s Music Theory faculty constitutes a diverse and distinguished collective of musician-scholars. Their varied backgrounds include training as composers, vocalists, pianists, string players and brass players. They maintain busy performing schedules, write for leading publications and present at national and international conferences.

Music Theory Placement Courses

New Student Undergraduate Placement

Incoming students are placed into one of CIM's music theory courses—MUTH 101 (Music Theory & Aural Skills I) or MUTH 101i (Intensive Music Theory & Aural Skills)—based on diagnostic test results. Learn more about each course and what to expect, and find additional resources.

New Student Graduate Placement

Before students enroll in graduate music theory courses, they first must demonstrate proficiency in harmony, form, counterpoint, sight-singing and aural training, as determined by the CIM diagnostic test. Find out what will be on the diagnostic test and what to expect from the placement courses.