MDT Department Policies


All students taking applied music will have a weekly lesson. The instructor will be determined by agreement of the area coordinator, the instructor and the student. Students receiving 30-minute coaching sessions with staff accompanists must also adhere to the above requirements. Students are expected to attend all lessons and coaching sessions and to arrive on time, warmed up and ready to work.

All applied music students will have a jury examination during the week of final exams. The jury will consist of the applied instructors in the specific area and area coordinator.


If any member of the applied music faculty must miss a lesson, he or she will arrange a make-up lesson. Lessons missed by the students, without cause, cannot be rescheduled. In the case of severe illness, and with evidence of a doctor's note, a make-up lesson may be arranged. Students are expected to contact the faculty member directly if he/she must miss a lesson or coaching.


  1. The student must initiate the request for a change of applied instructor before the beginning of the semester in which the change will take place. A student's request can be honored only if that student has completed Early Registration for the semester. The student can obtain the "Request for Applied Teacher Change" form in the MDT office.
  2. The request of change of teacher should be decided between the student and the teachers involved and only ultimately involve the Coordinator and/or the Chair in the case of an appeal. Once both teachers approve the change, the area Coordinator serves as facilitator in order to expedite and manage the change.
  3. If the current teacher does not approve the request, the student may appeal to the area Coordinator. The Coordinator may approve the request or not. If the Coordinator does not approve the request, the student may appeal to the MDT Chair, who will make the final decision. If the current teacher approves the request, but no other faculty member is willing or able to teach the student, the student must remain with the current teacher.
  4. The teacher requested must already be a member of the Full, Part-time, or Adjunct Music faculty of Music, Dance & Theatre.
  5. The area Coordinator is required to inform all incoming freshman and transfer students that they are free to request an applied music instructor from among the Music Department faculty members at New Jersey City University, which include Full, Part-time or Adjunct Music faculty members.
  6. A continuing student requesting the change must complete a minimum of a semester of study and have at least four semesters remaining to complete his/her degree. Graduate students must have at least two semesters remaining of the three required for the degree.
  7. Even in the case of serious grievances between the parties involved, the process of changing teachers should be conducted with civility. There should be no offensive or retaliatory behavior toward any of the participants in the process. Ultimately it is a goal of the Music, Dance &Theatre Department of New Jersey City University to provide a positive environment for study and work.

To summarize, the student must discuss the change with his/her current teacher and have the existing teacher approve the change. The student must discuss the change with the potential teacher and have that teacher approve the change. The student will forward the signed form to the area Coordinator for approval.


Ensemble requirements are listed in the University catalog for each music degree program. Students who are in good academic standing are encouraged to take advantage of performing in more than just the required ensembles. The ensemble director as well as the area coordinator must approve participation in additional ensembles.


Academic standards for the University are described in the NJCU Catalog. All music majors must adhere to the department standards, especially with regard to the core curriculum: Harmony, Ear-Training, Keyboard Methods, Music History, Applied Music, and all performing ensembles. In addition, all music majors are required to attend a minimum of four (4) concerts (in which they are NOT performing) per semester (two performances in Williams Theatre and two student recitals). Students who fail to meet these standards are subject to being dropped from the department. The MDT withdrawal, failure, probation and retention policies are outlined under "MDT/University Withdrawal, Failure, Probation and Retention Policies."


With respect to the required Academic Foundation courses, students may withdraw only once. They may not withdraw from these courses a second time, except for emergency situations as decided by the Dean of Arts & Sciences.

The MDT Withdrawal, Failure, Probation and Retention Policies are as follows:

  • The Department requires that all music majors adhere to the departmental policy for required music courses including music theory, music history, methods, applied lessons, ensembles, and seminar. Students must pass these courses with a minimum grade of "C" by the second try. If a student receives a grade of "D" or "F" in a required music course, the student will be on probation during the semester the course is repeated. Students may not receive a grade of "D" of "F" and/or withdraw from the same course more than once. If a student withdraws or receives a grade of "D" or "F" in a required music course for a second time, he/she will be dropped from the music major. A student dropped from the major will be allowed to apply to audition for reacceptance to the major in a subsequent semester.
  • A student on probation (university or departmental) will be restricted to one applied, one large ensemble and one chamber ensemble during the semester of probation.
  • For a currently enrolled student to transfer a required MDT course from another institution, a prior written approval is required from the MDT Chair, the NJCU instructor teaching the course, and the student's advisor.
  • Another course may not serve as a substitute for a required MDT course.
  • Transfer students must take placement exams in Harmony, Ear-Training, Keyboard Methods, and Music History to determine which theory and history courses will be accepted for transfer and which courses must be taken at NJCU.
  • If a person with a double applied withdraws or receives a "D"ù or "F" in a required MDT course for the first time, then that person will be on probationary status regarding the second applied while attempting to complete the course for the second time. However, if the person in question withdraws or receives a failing grade for the second time, that person must drop the second applied. If the course is successfully completed on the second try, the student, with his or her advisor's permission, may again enroll for a second applied.
  • Students at risk are to be identified by the MDT faculty by the mid-point of each semester. The Student Retention Committee will send an early alert notice to the faculty to identify students who have withdrawn and those who are in danger of receiving a "D" or "F" in a required MDT course. Discussion of these cases will take place at the Governance Board meeting closest to mid-semester.
  • At the end of each semester, faculty members are to submit to the Chair of MDT (with a copy to the Chair of the Retention Committee) a list of students who withdrew or received a D or F in a required music course. The Student Retention Committee will confer with the chair regarding the student's status (to be on probation or to be dropped). The Chair will inform these students and their advisors in writing, and the Committee will provide advisement as deemed necessary.