All undergraduate voice majors and concentrations must pass the Upper Divisional Exam (UDE) before advancing to the 3000 level of voice study. The jury of the fourth semester of study at the major or concentration level typically serves as the UDE; therefore, students should follow the guidelines for the 4th semester/1503 jury in terms of repertoire and other rules. Students may not postpone the UDE to a later semester.
For approval, MUAM students must receive a score of 21 points or higher (out of a possible 25 points) with no score of 2 or lower in any category. MUAC students must receive a score of 19 points or higher (out of a possible 25 points) with no score of 2 or lower in any category. The student must receive a simple majority of approval votes from the juror panel (including the studio teacher) to pass the examination. The studio teacher's vote will count as part of the approval process, but the studio teacher's score will not factor into the jury grade.
If a student fails to pass the UDE, it may be attempted again after an appropriate period of additional study as recommended by the voice faculty. Students who do not pass the exam on the second attempt are disqualified from the major or concentration.
In order to have a successful exam the student must show clear evidence of progress toward very good to excellent musical preparation and memorization with few, if any missteps: correct rhythms, pitches, text, diction, and musicality. They must demonstrate that they are developing the ability to sing in tune and with an appropriate use of a natural vibrato. There must be clear and regular evidence that the student is aware of and striving for the timbre appropriate for bel canto singing: chiaroscuro. There must also be clear evidence that the singer is developing their individual expressiveness as a musician, and are aware that singing requires a desire to communicate the meaning of the words being sung and can do so regularly.
BA in Music students must pass the Upper Divisional Exam (UDE) at the end of their fourth and final semester of study. They do not have a final repertoire requirement.