Columbia College Chicago


The Music Department offers two undergraduate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Music. The BA is a liberal arts degree that focuses on music in the context of a broad, interdisciplinary program of collegewide studies, allowing for more elective credits than the BMus, which is a professional degree with intensive focus on music, supported by general studies. A live audition is a great opportunity to meet and perform for your Music program faculty, to learn about performance-level placement, and to be considered for an additional scholarship award.

Majors & Programs

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the course catalog.

Composition, BMus


With a degree in Composition, you’ll go beyond the fundamentals of musicianship addressed in the core curriculum and receive intensive training to develop original compositions from concept to finished product. You’ll be encouraged to collaborate with other departments on film scores, music for dance and theatre performances, and other mixed media projects for a well-rounded portfolio.

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Performance, BMus


The Performance program is an intensive, professionally-oriented degree designed to prepare students for professional careers in music, as well as further graduate education. The degree provides professional training in the broad range of skills required of modern-day professional musicians within the context of traditional and contemporary practices. Students may choose from three different concentrations: Vocal Performance, Instrumental Performance and Jazz Studies.

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Performance, Instrumental Performance, BMus

Employ advanced musicianship skills, repertoire and stylistic practice in performance on your primary instrument. You'll maintain a large personal performance repertoire and a portfolio of professional-quality recordings that will form the foundation of a professional performance career.

Performance, Jazz Studies, BMus

Perform and record original compositions and arrangements as the leader of a professional-quality ensemble, producing a body of work that will form the foundation of a professional performance career. Participate in the ongoing evolution of traditional and modern jazz repertoire through composition, arranging and performance.

Performance, Vocal Performance, BMus

Vocal Performance students learn a mastery of technical skills, lead and conduct rehearsals and performances, and discuss the social and historical contexts of variety of musical styles.

Music, BA


As a Music student, you’ll study a well-rounded curriculum that provides foundational training in music’s theories, contexts and contemporary applications. You’ll choose from five different concentrations—Composition, Instrumental Performance, Vocal Performance, Jazz Studies, and Contemporary, Urban & Popular Music—and be prepared for a number of possible careers as a performer, arranger, studio musician or composer.

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Music, Contemporary Urban and Popular Music, BA
Music, Composition, BA

Students with a Composition concentration learn to identify, analyze and emulate a variety of compositional systems. You'll learn to read, write and create music, plus assess performances and compositions according to specific theoretical, technical and cultural standards. Students are encouraged to build collaborations with departments in creating film scores, music for dance and theatre performances, and other mixed media projects.

Music, Instrumental Performance, BA

Upon successful completion of the BA in Music with Instrumental Performance concentration, students should be able to master technical skills and stylistic practices for their primary instrument; compose and arrange music for instruments and voices in diverse styles; and use analytical tools of music to create expressive and coherent performances in a range of styles.

Music, Jazz Studies, BA

In Jazz Studies, you'll build your own musical skills while learning to communicate and analyze jazz music. You'll study jazz in its musical, social and cultural contexts while mastering a primary instrument across a wide range of compositions.

Music, Vocal Performance, BA

Vocal Performance students learn about vocal technique while also mastering stage presence and awareness of audience and fellow musicians. You'll learn to read and write music, assess performances and effectively communicate musical ideas.

Music Technology, BS


The Bachelor of Science in Music Technology connects course work in music, audio arts, and information technology to educate artists and designers in the interdisciplinary foundations of modern musical practice. This curriculum focuses on the impact of technology on music’s creation, presentation, representation, and distribution since the beginning of the 20th century while preparing our students for professional musical life in the 21st century.


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