Majors & Programs

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. The BMus 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.

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


Music (BA | BMus)

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Create, record, and perform in Columbia’s Music program. We focus on the academic study and performance of contemporary, urban, and popular music. You’ll refine your skills as a musician and gain hands-on experience through ensembles, private lessons, and performance opportunities.

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Music Technology (BS)

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Don’t just use music technology—create it. In our Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology, you’ll compose music, create new sounds, and design new apps, plug-ins, and cutting-edge technology. Draw on faculty expertise in music composition, programming, and audio technology, and discover the science of audio. Choose from one of the major’s five concentrations to improve yourself as a composer or get the training you need to develop the next generation of music technology.

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Hip-Hop Studies Minor

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In this minor, you’ll interact with the vibrant hip-hop communities at Columbia and throughout Chicago. The minor unites many disciplines through a hip-hop lens, including music, dance, art, creative writing, and entrepreneurship. You can take classes in topics like hip-hop music creation, breaking and other street dance techniques, DJing, and record label management. You’ll also participate in events, jams, and performances, pairing this hands-on experience with conversations about the history and ethics of hip-hop, including issues related to race, gender, class, and social justice.

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