- ONLINE APPLICATION, with application fee
- SELF-ASSESSMENT ESSAY: Within your self-assessment essay, describe your musical background and qualifications, as well as your motivation to study music composition for the screen. We want to know what drives your passion, as the study is demanding and the competition keen. Tell us what you expect from Columbia's Music Composition for the Screen program and a bit about your own career goals.
- TWO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
- An OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT from any and all colleges or universities attended
- WORK SAMPLE: Applicants must submit a minimum of three original pieces totaling a minimum of 15 minutes of music composed within the last 3 years. The emphasis should be on dramatic and/or orchestral music (MIDI acceptable), or for a combination of acoustic and electronic instruments. If your work reel consists mostly of concert pieces composed for small chamber, jazz or pop ensembles, we strongly recommend creating at least one customized demo piece that will help to convey your dramatic instincts and authorial voice. This piece can be inspired by any story, scene, or experience. All work samples must be accompanied by a hand-written or computer-generated concert score from which your piece could be faithfully performed. Leadsheets are fine for pop and jazz arrangements.
WORK SAMPLE SUBMISSION METHOD: MP3 files and .pdfs of scores can be uploaded to our online portfolio submission portal at columgrad.slideroom.com.* Permitted file types and size
> MUSIC: .mp3 - 30 MB per file maximum
> SCORES: .pdf — 10 MB per file maximum
> MOVIES: .mov, .wmv, flv, mp4 — 61 MB per file maximum
Our Slideroom portal offers additional instructions for submitting work, including a very helpful video tutorial. For technical assistance, visit slideroom.zendesk.com. Please direct any questions about work samples to the Graduate Office at 312-369-7260.
*SlideRoom charges users a $10 transaction fee. By using SlideRoom, applicants avoid the expense of copying and mailing their work samples and avoid the risk of corrupted files, lost mail, broken discs, or cross-platform issues. Additionally, applicants can rest assured that the Graduate Committee on Admissions will experience their portfolio exactly how they intended.
For those who reach the final stage of the admissions process, an interview may be required and is strongly recommended. During his or her visit to campus, the student will meet with the program director, lab staff, and other faculty. Submitted work samples may receive further critique, and applicants may be asked to demonstrate proficiency on at least one musical instrument (plus a working familiarity with the piano keyboard).
Entering students are expected to have music theory and practice training sufficient to enable them to follow and analyze concert scores, the ability to notate their own work accurately, and a general familiarity with the symphonic repertoire. We do not require an undergraduate degree in music, and applicants from related disciplines such as film, theater, and audio arts are welcomed as long as they can demonstrate musical proficiency. A placement test will be required as a measure of musical literacy in all cases where there is doubt regarding proficiency. If necessary, admitted students may be asked to complete remedial coursework either before beginning the program or concurrently during their first semester. Private study is acceptable, and the college can recommend tutors.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS must submit all of the above materials, as well as an official TOEFL score and a credential evaluation. Additional documents are required of admitted students. Please visit our International Students page for more information.