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Columbia College Chicago
BA Music: Jazz Studies
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BA Music: Jazz Studies


The Jazz Studies program is a comprehensive study of jazz from academic and performance perspectives. It offers a strong foundation in improvisation, jazz history, theory, composition and arranging, and ensemble performance.

The Jazz Studies program includes instrumental performance and vocal performance. The program focuses on three areas:

  • Individual achievement fostered by private lessons with classroom instruction by accomplished jazz musicians and weekly master classes
  • Performance with with small combos, latin jazz ensemble, jazz guitar ensembles and vocal jazz ensembles
  • Performance with larger jazz ensembles and orchestras.

All jazz students study privately with applied instructors for either instrumental jazz performance or vocal jazz performance.

Jazz ensembles perform music that encompasses virtually all styles and eras of jazz: classic repertory, contemporary, and new and exploratory styles. Auditions for jazz ensembles are held at the beginning of each semester.

Students have many opportunities to perform on and off campus through the jazz studies program.  We have weekly jazz gallery performances and master classes with some of the best jazz musicians in the world. 

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music requires the completion of 31 credit hours of core courses, 37 credit hours of specialized course work, 10 credit hours of electives and 42 credit hours of liberal arts and sciences classes, totaling 120 credit hours.

BA Music with a Concentration in Instrumental Jazz: Degree Requirements