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Columbia College Chicago
BMus: Composition
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BMus: Composition

The Bachelor of Music degree is the initial professional degree in music. Its primary emphasis is on the development of skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to professional musicianship. The first two years of coursework for the Bachelor of Music degree are exactly the same as those for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. When a student reaches between 45 – 60 credit hours, the student may file an application for the Bachelor of Music degree program.

Upon acceptance, subsequent sequencing of classes in Composition, Orchestration, Counterpoint, Analysis, Electronic Music and Conducting deepens and refines the student’s proficiency as a professional musician. The Bachelor of Music in Composition degree requires the completion of 128 credit hours that include 39 hours of core requirements, 36 hours of specialization courses, 5 credit hours of music electives, and 48 credit hours of general education.

BMus Music with a Concentration in Composition: Degree Requirements

Online Application Requirements & Instructions

Students in good academic standing, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 across all course requirements within the BMus in Music Composition curriculum, and that have earned at least 45 credit hours are eligible to formally apply for acceptance into the Bachelor of Music in Composition program. All applications should be submitted electronically, no hardcopy will be accepted. Below is the step-by-step instruction regarding the official application process:

STEP 1: Student will check the requirements and eligibility to apply following the guidelines listed above.

STEP 2: Student will prepare:

  • The followin information to be entered on the SlideRoom Application: a) student’s full name, contact information, and OASIS number; b) contact information (e-mail and/or phone number) of two CCC instructors (preferably composition instructors) that can serve as references, and c) a short essay (maximum: 300 words) on why a BMus in Music Composition is relevant to the student’s professional and educational aspirations, and why the student believes to be a good fit for the program.
  • PDF files of two original works (one file per score) composed while at Columbia College, with preference to works composed in Composition classes and/or under the guidance of a CCC composition instructor. No transcriptions and/or arrangements will be accepted.
  • If recordings of either of both works are available, a PDF file with web links to recordings of the two submitted scores (preferred) or two separate MP3 files (please, no wave or other uncompressed formats). You may also provide audio using links to SoundCloud, Vimeo or YouTube via the SlideRoom application's Media section.

STEP 3: Go to SlideRoom and select the "BMus: Music Composition" option complete the application and submit items specified above (account creation and/or sign-in required).


The deadline for the current application period is Tuesday, April 8, 2014, by 11:59 PM CST. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.

Application Review

Applications will be reviewed by the full-time Music Composition faculty, and all candidates will be notified of the faculty’s decision. Application will result in one of the three outcomes:

  • Acceptance into the program;
  • Conditional Acceptance: student may pursue the BMus but continuation is contingent upon the student meeting specified conditions;
  • Rejection: student must wait one semester to re-apply.

Continuation and Standards of Performance

Upon acceptance into the BMus in Music Composition program, students are required to meet all five of the following Standards of Performance:

  • Grade average of 3.0 or higher across all required courses within the BMus curriculum, as well as a cumulative grade average of 3.0 or higher.
  • Complete 32-3211: Composition III with a grade of “B” or higher.
  • Complete 32-2251: Orchestration I with a grade of “B” or higher.
  • Advance through the technical requirements of their intended degree in a timely manner.
  • Conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner both as students and as peers.

When a BMus student fails to meet one or more of the above Standards of Performance, a panel of faculty will convene, consider relevant information, and issue a formal written recommendation to the student. The results of such a review may vary, and possible outcomes may include: no action taken, setting a probationary period wherein deficiencies must be addressed, or a recommendation that a student matriculate in the BA program rather than the BMus program. In extreme cases, an official recommendation to the Dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts stating the student should be administratively withdrawn from the program may be issued.

Transfer students

Transfer students seeking the Bachelor of Music degree must be in full-time residence for a minimum of one year and complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of required course work – including all required courses beyond the core – within the Music Department. Transfer students should meet with a faculty advisor to evaluate prior music courses for equivalency with Columbia College Chicago’s requirements. Based upon the outcome of those evaluations, a limited number of transferred courses may be allowed to stand in place of CCC requirements within the limits outlined above.