Ready for a challenge?

We offer master's degree and graduate certificate programs in the arts, media, the business of the arts and the application of the arts to healing.

As a Columbia College Chicago graduate student, you'll pursue advanced study in small, selective programs that are grounded in history and theory and shaped by the trends of contemporary practice. Under the guidance of award-winning faculty, you'll create a substantial body of work as you prepare to advance your career, shape the future of your discipline and affect meaningful change in your community.

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Master’s Degree Programs

Cinema Art and Science - Cinema Directing, MFA

Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Cinema Art and Science - Cinema Directing, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: A concise but in-depth investigation of your need to work in a personal medium, focusing on particular motives, attitudes, and biases that lie behind your urge to create; A description of special interests and strengths you would bring to the program.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio will consist of two parts:
      1. Creative Portfolio
        • Strong work samples contain visual or written material that demonstrate the potential for successful creative work. Work samples should exhibit the applicant's creativity, talent, visual storytelling ability, personal themes and depth of content. These may include, but are not limited to: films, videos, sculptures, paintings, drawings, graphic art, photographs, scripts, treatments, poetry, short stories and/or expository writing.
      2. Visualization Project
        • Construct a narrative in 8-12 frames. You can draw pictures, shoot them with a still camera, copy them from the internet, use a still from a video, etc. What is important is that the pictures you use tell a clear, cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end. Do not use text, titles, shot descriptions, or captions. This is strictly visual. Do not use more than two frames per page.
  • Thesis Statement
    • This document should be approximately one page typed, double spaced and labeled: "Cinema Art and Science Thesis Statement." You will need to upload this within the application under your "Work Sample Upload" in addition to your Creative Portfolio and Visualization Project documents. This is a brief description of an idea you have for a film or a video project that might eventually serve as your thesis. The statement should also include your feelings about why you are compelled to tell this story. It should display your potential for developing personal subject matter in the medium and is used by the admissions committee to assess your maturity and ability to communicate your ideas.

Please Note:

  • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
  • This program requires the completion of a three-week pre-semester in August.
  • Cinema Art and Science believes that those undergraduate students who have already completed significant coursework in Cinema Art and Science with Columbia College Chicago’s faculty are best served by continuing their graduate study in a new and different academic setting. For this reason, the MFA programs in Cinema Art and Science does not consider applicants with ten hours or more of Cinema Art and Science coursework from Columbia College Chicago.
Cinema Art and Science - Creative Producing, MFA

Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Cinema Art and Science - Creative Producing, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include: Your understanding of the distinction between a line producer and a creative producer and a director; an explanation of how your creativity can impact your work as a producer; specific examples of how you have demonstrated leadership in the past; a one-paragraph summary of the style of film that you are driven to make; reasons why you are the right person to pursue this degree; a description of where you see yourself in 10 years if you are to enroll in this program.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio will consist of two parts:
      1. Case Study Exercise
        • In two pages or less, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our short film sample. If you were able to remake the film, what would you do to improve it?
      2. Visualization Project
        • Construct a narrative in 8-12 frames. You can draw pictures, shoot them with a still camera, copy them from the internet, use a still from a video, etc. What is important is that the pictures you use tell a clear, cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end. Do not use text, titles, shot descriptions, or captions. This is strictly visual. Do not use more than two frames per page.

Please Note:

  • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
  • This program requires the completion of a three-week pre-semester in August.
  • Cinema Art and Science believes that those undergraduate students who have already completed significant coursework in Cinema Art and Science with Columbia College Chicago’s faculty are best served by continuing their graduate study in a new and different academic setting. For this reason, the MFA programs in Cinema Art and Science does not consider applicants with ten hours or more of Cinema Art and Science coursework from Columbia College Chicago.
Creative Writing - Fiction, MFA

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Creative Writing - Fiction, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self Assessment Essay should include the following: Information on your reading and writing background; Your professional goals; Why you wish to study fiction writing at Columbia College Chicago; A story about yourself.
  • Portfolio
    • A 15-20 page manuscript of narrative prose (typed and double-spaced). No poetry, plays, or screenplays.

Please Note:

  • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
Creative Writing - Nonfiction, MFA

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Creative Writing - Nonfiction, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self Assessment Essay should include the following: A description of your background; Your interests in studying literary nonfiction; The kinds of work you see yourself pursuing; Why an MFA program in nonfiction is the best course of action for you right now.
  • Portfolio
    • Your portfolio should consist of 15-20 pages (typed and double-spaced) of nonfiction prose. This should be creative, not critical, work./li>

    Please Note:

    • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
Creative Writing - Poetry, MFA

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Creative Writing - Poetry, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: A description of your background, especially as it relates to your study of poetry; A discussion of your potential, as well as your preparation for creative and scholarly growth in a graduate program.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio will consist of 10 pages of poetry (typed). A poem may be more than one page, however, please do not put more than one poem on each page.

Please Note:

  • A phone interview may be required during the admission process. If necessary, the department will contact the applicant directly regarding the interview.
Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, MA

Application Deadline: December 15, 2016

When applying to the Creative Arts Therapies - Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, MA program you will need to submit the following materials:

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: Any Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling experiences (courses, workshops, etc.); Your interest and background in the behavioral sciences including volunteer work; Your motivation to become a dance/movement therapist.
    • Note: If you are applying to two Creative Arts Therapies programs (DMTC and a Certificate Program) you will need to upload your two self-assessment essays as one combined PDF or Word document.
  • Prerequisite Fulfillment:A separate page titled "Prerequisite Fulfillment" should list and briefly explain your completion of the prerequisites. Indicate if you have taken required prerequisites and/or how you plan to fulfill them. Prerequisites include the following:
    • Five years minimum of dance, as required by the American Dance Therapy Association. Under a separate heading of "Dance Experience," please briefly answer the following questions: Approximately how many years of dance experience do you have?, What is your primary dance style?, What styles of dance have you studied and for how long?, What performing experience do you have?, What teaching experience do you have?, What choreographic experience do you have?
    • Three undergraduate courses in psychology. Recommended courses include General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Personality Development and/or Psychophysiology.
    • Anatomy and Kinesiology is also required (other names for this course include Biomechanics, Anatomy/Kinesiology, Anatomy for Dancers, and Introduction to Exercise Science). Unlike the psychology prerequisites, the anatomy/kinesiology course can be one course covering both topics and can be a certificate (taken online, at a community college, or through a massage/yoga studio). The department offers this annually. Please inquire through Bethany Brownholtz at bbrownholtz@colum.edu.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio should consist of a short (1 to 3 minute) video clip of you dancing in your preferred dance style. It can be a selection of a performance or a piece of your own choreography as long as you are moving in it. You must identify yourself in the piece, and you must be clearly visible.

Please Note:

  • You may be invited to a mandatory interview on Saturday, March 4, 2017 as part of the admissions process. If invited, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
European Devised Performance Practice, MFA

Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the European Devised Performance Practice, MFA program you will need to submit the following materials:

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include: Evidence of your commitment to international theatre and interest in exploring alternative methods of creating performance; An explanation of your goals for learning within the program.
  • Portfolio
    • A Portfolio is optional, and should only be submitted if you feel that it greatly enhances your application.

Please Note:

    • An interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
Interdisciplinary Arts and Media, MFA

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Interdisciplinary Arts and Media, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: What you hope to accomplish during your studies in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Media MFA program; Your professional goals beyond graduate school; Your views on interdisciplinary art practice; Your views on collaborative art practices; Your unique creative strengths and technical abilities; Your thoughts regarding the type of work you hope to create during your time in the program.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio should include images of your artwork that best represents your interests, accomplishments and abilities. In addition to work in media arts, we are interested in a wide range of approaches to artistic practice, including performance, DIY/DIT endeavors, Art/Science collaborations as well as multi-disciplinary and community-situated work. We are interested in learning about your practice as an artist, so your work samples should focus on presenting your practice. This might include images, video, music, or written documents. Please do NOT submit commercial work.

Please Note:

  • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts, MFA

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self Assessment Essay should include a specific mention of your professional goals (arts administration, the book and paper arts, performance, personal development, or the incorporation of media into your own art form).
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio should include images of your artwork that best represents your interests, accomplishments and abilities. In addition to work in the book and paper arts, we are interested in a wide range of approaches to artistic practice, including collaborative work, multi-disciplinary work and community-based work. We are interested in learning about your practice as an artist, so your work samples should focus on presenting your practice. This might include images, video, music, or written documents. Please do NOT submit commercial work.

Please Note:

  • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
Journalism, MA

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Journalism, MA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: A description of your qualifications; What you expect to gain from Columbia's writing-based, public affairs reporting program: Your career goals. Please be specific.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio should consist of a representative sampling of published work or other examples of non-fiction writing. Articles and other journalistic samples are best. Please DO NOT submit poetry, plays, screenplays, or other work of this kind

Please Note:

  • Interviews will be conducted during the first week of February in 2016. You will be notified if you are selected for an interview.
Master of Arts Management

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Business and Entrepreneurship, MAM program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: Career goals; Reasons for pursing a graduate degree; Examples that demonstrate your level of understanding of arts management; Examples of leadership potential, interpersonal and communication skills, analytical and reasoning capabilities, and personal qualities such as maturity, judgment, and individual initiative; Knowledge and experience with electronic spreadsheet and relational database software programs (students may be required to complete a course in these areas).
  • Your Portfolio
    • A Portfolio is optional, and should only be submitted if you feel that it greatly enhances your application.
  • GRE Exam (recommended but not required
    • Strongly encouraged for those applicants whose coursework and professional experiences do not contain a demonstration of critical, analytical and quantitative skills.
  • Please Note
    • The minimum requirements for admissions include an undergraduate college degree with a Grade Point Average of 3.0 or better (on a scale with a maximum of 4.0)
    • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
Music Composition for the Screen, MFA

Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Music Composition for the Screen, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: With focus on your motivation to study music composition for the screen - why are you interested in composing music for film, TV, video games and other media? What do you expect from our MFA program? What are your future plans and career goals, and how do you see our program fitting into those? Please also describe your musical background and qualifications, discuss your strengths (and perhaps also weaknesses) as a creator of original music, and include any other information you feel is important in order to get an idea of who you are as a composer and creative artist.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio should be a true, thorough representation of your voice as a composer and music creator. Be sure to include examples of all musical styles that you feel you excel at.

      We ask that you submit sound files of four to six original pieces of music composed within the last three years, totaling between ten and fifteen minutes. (Excerpts or edits are accepted if and when necessary to stay within those limits.) At least two of the pieces should feature an ensemble of acoustic instruments (i.e. orchestra, chamber ensemble, big band, or similar, could also be hybrid acoustic/electronic) and those should be accompanied by a full concert score in PDF format. Where you don’t have a live recording, MIDI realizations are acceptable.

      When selecting pieces to include in your portfolio, please give preference to those with obvious ‘dramatic’ character - pieces that tell a story, or represent emotional arcs, or imitate actions - regardless of whether or not they were originally intended for a dramatic context like film, theater, dance, etc.

Please Note:

  • Interviews will be conducted in February of 2017. You will be notified if you are selected for an interview.
  • Incoming MFA students are required to own a Mac computer in order to be compatible with the software taught in the program.
Photography, MFA

Priority Application Deadline: January 13, 2017

When applying to the Photography, MFA program, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include an outline of your professional and personal goals and indicate how this degree will help you reach them.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio should include a portfolio consisting of twenty images of original work. Each slide should be tagged with the following information: Full Name, Title of Work, Medium, Dimensions, and Date.

Please Note:

  • A phone interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.

Certificate Programs

Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Alternate Route Certificate

Application Deadline: December 15, 2016

When applying to the Alternate Route Certificate you will need to submit the following materials:

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: Any Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling experiences (courses, workshops, etc.); Your interest and background in the behavioral sciences including volunteer work; Your motivation to become a dance/movement therapist.
  • Prerequisite Fulfillment: A separate document entitled "Prerequisite Fulfillment" should list and briefly explain your completion of the prerequisites. Indicate if you have taken required perquisites and/or how you plan to fulfill them. Prerequisites include the following:
    • An MA or PhD in a human services-related field, such as counseling, psychology, social work, special education, dance education, a creative arts therapy, family therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric nursing, or medicine from an accredited school.
    • Five years minimum of dance, as required by the American Dance Therapy Association. Under a separate heading of "Dance Experience," please briefly answer the following questions: Approximately how many years of dance experience do you have?, What is your primary dance style?, What styles of dance have you studied and for how long?, What performing experience do you have?, What teaching experience do you have?, What choreographic experience do you have?
    • A course in Anatomy/Kinesiology for 45 hours or 3 credits.
  • Portfolio
    • Your Portfolio should consist of a short (1 to 3 minute) video clip of you dancing in your preferred dance style. It can be a selection of a performance or a piece of your own choreography as long as you are moving in it. You must identify yourself in the piece.

Please Note:

  • You may be invited to a mandatory interview on Saturday, March 4, 2017 as part of the admissions process. If invited, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
Gainful Employment Disclosure
Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis
Application Deadline: Rolling Admission until November 15, 2016

When applying to the Graduate Laban CMA you will need to submit the following materials:

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $55
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript
    • From all colleges/universities attended
  • Self-Assessment Essay
    • Your Self-Assessment Essay should include the following: Your understanding/experience with Laban Movement Analysis; Any experience you've had with movement such as dance, yoga, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique; How you plan on using the Laban certificate in the future. Note: If you are applying to two Creative Arts Therapies programs you will need to upload your two self-assessment essays as one combined PDF or Word document.
  • Prerequisite Fulfillment: A separate page titled "Prerequisite Fulfillment" should list and briefly explain your completion of the prerequisites. Prerequisites include the following:
    • An anatomy course or certificate
    • Introduction to Laban Movement Analysis or its equivalent. Note that the department offers this annually, for this cycle on January 19, 20 and 21, 2017.

Please Note:

  • An interview may be required during the admissions process. If necessary, the department will contact you directly regarding the interview.
  • This program begins in January 2017.
Gainful Employment Disclosure (GL-CMA standalone)Gainful Employment Disclosure (GL-CMA with MA in DMTC)Gainful Employment Disclosure (GL-CMA with Alternate Route Certificate in DMTC)

Transcripts

Ask your previous institution(s) to send transcripts via email, mail or electronically through Parchment.

Mailing Address
Columbia College Chicago Graduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60605

Email
gradstudy@colum.edu

Submit Electronically
Parchment

Are you an international student?

International applicants must submit the following additional required documents:

1). $100 nonrefundable application fee.

2). Proof of English language proficiency, if English is not your country’s primary language. This can be demonstrated by submitting at least one of the following:

  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. Recommended score of 100ibt, 250cbt or 600pbt.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. Recommended score of at least 6.5.
  • Transcript or educational records from an institution where English is the language of instruction and you have completed a bachelor’s degree.

3). Official or certified true copies of educational records with English translations.

Learn Which Records to Send

You must submit all official or certified true copies of your educational records of college/university work. Official educational records not written in English should include an English translation. This may require you to submit a “leaving certificate” or “graduation certificate” along with your translated, certified educational record. Reference this guide (also linked above) for a detailed, country-specific description of the documents you need to send.