Bachelor of Music Degrees (BMus)

Columbia College Chicago’s Music Department offers two selective Bachelor of Music degrees (BMus). All students enter Columbia as Bachelor of Arts (BA) students. In your third or fourth semester, you may choose to audition for one of the BMus degree programs, if the curriculum aligns with your goals. These degrees—designed for students who want a career in performance, composition, or production—require more credits and more specialized music coursework than the Music BA. Both BMus degrees include the same core of foundational coursework as the BA degree.


The Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music BMus degree focuses on the creation, performance, recording, and marketing of original music and standard repertoire. The degree covers instrumental and vocal performance areas and a broad range of musical genres and styles. You’ll take a comprehensive sequence of advanced coursework, including project-based classes focused on collaborative writing, recording, and performing. You’ll learn how to use music production software and gain practical studio skills, mastering multitrack recording as well as acoustic and digital music creation. You’ll also complete ensemble requirements and take private lessons, which are taught by our faculty of professional musicians.

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Throughout the program, you'll have opportunities to build a professional portfolio with the guidance of the Career Center and Music Department faculty. By your last year, you will have completed a professionally presentable series of recordings and promotional materials from your collaborative projects. During your last semester, you will develop and express your singular artistic vision through a senior recital project.

No matter your performance interests, you’ll prepare to make your mark as a 21st-century musician by learning to create and assess music and by exploring your interests across a variety of contemporary, urban, and popular genres.

View courses and program requirements

 


Composition and Production, BMus

In Columbia College Chicago’s Composition and Production BMus program, you’ll push your craft to a professional level in advanced coursework and in one-on-one lessons with our faculty of working professionals.

You’ll develop your creative voice as a composer and sharpen your ability to compose and produce for various media and the concert stage. Our emphasis is on modern and contemporary compositional techniques with a special focus on methods used by composers over the past 50 years. You will learn how to produce your compositions with industry-standard technology and equipment.

Music Columbia College Chicago composition and production

By your senior year, you will have completed rigorous courses in composition, arrangement and orchestration, and digital music production. You will also have participated in ensembles and taken lessons in your primary performance area.

You’ll have opportunities to interact with graduate students in the Music Composition for the Screen MFA program and collaborate with majors in other programs, such as Cinema and Television, Dance, Game Design, and Musical Theatre. You’ll complete coursework on film scoring, music for video games, and compositions for concert stage.

You’ll also take a series of private lessons in advanced composition and production. You’ll immerse yourself in your craft and create a strong portfolio of professionally produced compositions as you prepare to apply for graduate school or enter the industry as a composer, producer, or arranger.

View courses and program requirements