Faculty Recognition Award Requirements

Submit your work for the Faculty Recognition Award.

The deadline to apply for the fall 2021 Faculty Recognition Award is January 15, 2021.

As an institution dedicated to preparing creative professionals, Columbia College Chicago values the work you’ve done and believes it hints at what you can become. For applicants to Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs, work samples aren’t required for admission, but by doing so, you will be considered for the Faculty Recognition Award. Please follow the guidelines below for your intended major field of study.

If you are planning to apply for a BFA or BMus program, please see the requirements specific to BFA and BMus degrees.

Here’s how to submit your digital portfolio or video audition. 

After submitting your application, send us your work via the submission link in the “Portfolio” section of your Columbia Connect portal..

And if you applied through the Common Application? You’ll receive an email with instructions to log in to your Columbia Connect portal within 24 hours of submission.

What should I submit?

Submit work that adheres to the guidelines for your intended major or field of study. Work in other disciplines will not be considered for the award. You can find detailed guidelines by major below.

When should I submit?

The submission deadline is 11:59pm on Friday, January 15, 2021. Submissions will not be accepted after this date.

Still undecided about your intended major?

You may choose to submit your work under any of the major-specific guidelines listed; please note you can only select one.

Submission Guidelines by Program of Interest

  • Acoustics
    1. Write an essay, no longer than two pages, on "The origin and nature of my interest and personal engagement with audio, music technology, and/or acoustics." Don't tell us about the audio; tell us about yourself.
    2. Write an essay, no longer than five pages, on “The importance of sonic environment to human health, safety, well-being, civic engagement, and artistic performance."
  • Acting
    1. Submit a full resume of theatrical history including name of show, role played, and venue.
    2. Submit a video audition of two monologues. The monologues should contrast each other. Each monologue should be between 60 and 90 seconds, and the total video run time should be no more than three minutes. Video must be recorded in a well-lit environment with high-quality sound.
  • Advertising

    The following requirements pertain to the Art Direction, Copywriting, and Strategy concentrations within the Advertising BA program.

    Identify what you consider to be the most effective or least effective advertising or PR campaign presently running on any platform, and explain your reasons for making your choice in an essay of 300-400 words.

  • American Sign Language - English Interpretation

    Submit a three- to five-minute documentary-style video of yourself involved in a service learning project related to ASL/Deaf Studies. It can range from community-based to linguistic-based activism. Please present either in ASL or spoken English. If speaking, please provide closed captioning.

  • Animation (Computer or Traditional)

    Submit one piece of work you’ve created (short animation or film) and a document where you reflect briefly on your chosen work in approximately 500 words. Describe your creative process, ideas, and insights about your work, as well as your current skills, interests, and influences. You must credit any media that is not created solely by you.

    Recommended work examples:
    • Submit a piece of original work such as a short animation or film (five minutes or less).

  • Art History

    Submit 5-10 pages of nonfiction writing samples, such as research papers or class papers.

  • Audio Arts

    The following guidelines pertain to the Live Sound Reinforcement, Audio Visual Systems Integration, Audio and Sound Design and Music Recordings concentrations within the Audio Arts BA:

    1. Write an essay, no longer than two pages, on “The origin and nature of my interest and personal engagement with audio, music technology, and/or acoustics.” Don’t tell us about audio, tell us about yourself.
    2. Provide an example of your work in the form of a recording, a video, or other documentation of it.
  • Comedy Writing and Performance
    1. Submit a full resume of theatrical history including name of show, role played, and venue.
    2. Submit a video audition of a 60- to 90-second comedic performance of original or existing material and/or up to five pages of comedy writing.
  • Creative Writing, Fiction
    Submit up to 10 pages of fiction writing such as a short story, scene, or chapter from a novel. Subject material may be realistic, dreamlike, or a combination of the two, and should demonstrate facility with story movement, narrative and character voice, character development, imagery, and sense of place. Pages should be double-spaced and in 12-point font.
  • Creative Writing, Nonfiction
    Submit 5-10 pages of creative nonfiction writing in the form of a personal essay, a part of a longer memoir, or any series or sequence of work. Work should approach subject with originality, use clear and compelling language, and display an understanding of the structure of an essay. Pages should be double-spaced and in 12-point font.
  • Creative Writing, Poetry

    Submit 10 typed pages of poetry. A poem may be longer than one page; however, please do not put more than one poem on each page. Poems should use literary techniques with skill, approach subject with originality, and demonstrate clarity of the poem’s intent. Total submission should equal 10 pages.

  • Communication
    Write a 300–400 word essay on why you are inspired to be a Communication major.
  • Dance
    1. Submit a video of a 2-3 minute solo dance piece that you choreographed, in any dance style. All videos should show your entire body.
    2. Submit a brief essay of approximately 150 words, describing the solo submitted and how it relates to your future development as a Dance major at Columbia. 


    Note: The requirements below are for level-placement purposes. They will not be a factor in scholarship consideration, and they are not due on January 15. They will only be used to place you in your first-semester technique courses should you be admitted and choose to enroll at Columbia.

    Please upload the following additional materials (you can send us any clear video footage that demonstrates your current movement vocabulary and that you can safely execute within your home or other secure space):

    (Don’t worry if you do not have experience in all of these forms.)

    • Modern: One center combination that demonstrates your ability to use your back such as in a contraction/release, and one combination that demonstrates use of space, as well as moving in and out of the floor.
    • Ballet: A pirouette and a petit allegro.
    • West-African: Share your knowledge of the form through a dance or combination sequence.
    • Hip-hop: A set combination and a freestyle. Any of the following skills are encouraged: waving, gliding/floats, isolations, tutting, dime-stopping/robot, animation, freezes, popping/hitting, footwork, and/or power-moves.
  • Deaf Studies
    Submit a three- to five-minute documentary-style video of yourself involved in a service learning project related to ASL/Deaf Studies. It can range from community-based to linguistic-based activism. Please present either in ASL or spoken English. If speaking, please provide closed captioning.
  • English
    Submit approximately 5 pages of literary or rhetorical analysis on a passage or text of your choice. Work should articulate a claim that provides insight into the passage or text and provide evidence to support the claim by pointing to details in the passage or text. Pages should be double-spaced and in 12-point font.
  • Fashion Studies

    The following requirements pertain to the Merchandising and Product Development concentrations within the Fashion Studies BA program.

    Submit a digital portfolio in PDF format of no more than 10 annotated images that demonstrate how you like to engage with fashion as an industry or a creative practice. In the notations, please explain what you hope we will understand about your interests or practice from considering each image.

    You are welcome to include a variety of media and subjects in the imagery, and are invited to showcase your process of engagement—that is, how you engage in research and investigation, ideation, development, and getting the word out about your work—in addition to the final product of engagement. The images could include drawings, styling, visual merchandising, product curation, fashion writing, color study work, materials investigation, 2D and 3D design development, construction, illustrations, sketches, paintings, digital media (including website development, photography, or fashion shows), and garments.

    In reviewing your portfolio, we value originality, creativity, critical thinking, articulacy about your industry or creative practice engagement, and the demonstration of a clear design aesthetic or consumer target.

  • Film and Television
    1. Write a brief, required essay (approximately 250-350 words) discussing your creative process and the work you’ve submitted, whether in film, writing, visual arts, or other areas of creative endeavor. We are most interested in your ideas and gaining insights about your work and aspirations. In your essay, you may address the following topics:
      • Why was it important for you to make this work?
      • What kinds of stories do you wish to tell in your future projects?
      • Tell us about your creative process in making the work you are submitting.
      • How does your work represent issues of culture or identity that are important to you?
    2. Submit one portfolio piece (either a short film or video, 5 minutes maximum; a short script that can be excerpts of larger works, 10 pages maximum; or 6 to 10 photographs/drawings) that provides additional perspective on your essay, either by supplementing or illustrating your reflection.
  • Fine Arts
    Submit 10-15 images of representative creative work that incorporates a variety of media and subjects. Samples may include drawings, prints, paintings, digital media, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, furniture, and 3D objects. Whenever possible, it is suggested that drawing and painting work samples should demonstrate observation from life or imagination, rather than from photographs. Special emphasis should be given to work that reflects the candidate’s imagination and a consistent, original vision or independent project. Please include a brief description of materials and dimensions of your work.
  • Game Art

    Submit three to five examples of work you have created, and a document where you reflect briefly on the work you are submitting (approximately 500 words). Describe your creative process, ideas and insights about your own work, and your current skills, interests, and influences.

    Recommended work examples:
    • 2D game characters, organic or environmental objects in 3D-view (front, side, rear) and perspective angles.
    • Images or video (JPG, PNG, AVI, MOV; no model files) of a 3D textured mesh and wireframe of one of the following:
      • biped character
      • complex prop
      • environmental object
  • Game Design, Sound Design

    Submit examples of work you have created, and a document where you reflect briefly on the work you are submitting (approximately 500 words). Describe your creative process, ideas and insights about your own work, and your current skills, interests, and influences.

    Recommended work examples:
    • 10 to 15 quality recordings of sound effects with proper editing and processing applied. Each recording may be up to 10 seconds in length and should be in a common file format.
    • Any Modified Game (MOD) with original sound effects and/or music by the candidate. Each MOD may be up to one minute in length.
  • Game Design, Game Development

    Submit work you have created, and a document where you reflect briefly on the work you are submitting (approximately 500 words). Describe your creative process, ideas and insights about your own work, and your current skills, interests, and influences.

    Recommended work examples:
    • An original game idea that includes description of game play and either a storyboard or flowchart.
    • Images, screenshots, or video of an original game presented in the format of your choice (e.g., 2D, 3D, mobile, desktop, physical, card, etc). Scale of the game does not matter.
  • Graphic Design

    The following requirements pertain to the Publication Design and Web Design concentrations within the Graphic Design BA program.

    Submit 10-15 images of representative creative work that showcase your interest and skills in design through typography, applied drawing, information design, branding identity, web graphics, packaging, advertising design, and publication design. Work submitted may include drawings, digital, web, motion graphics, and experimental design. Your work samples may represent classroom assignments as well as independent projects. Please include a brief description of materials and dimensions of your work.

  • Illustration
    Submit 10-15 images of your best work in a variety of media and subjects that may include drawings, prints, digital, web, and motion graphics. Work samples should represent classroom assignments as well as independent projects. Whenever possible, work samples should demonstrate drawing from life or imagination, rather than from photographs. Please be sure to include dimensions of your work and a one- to three-sentence description for each image.
  • Interaction Design

    Submit three to five examples of work you have created, and a document where you reflect briefly on the work you are submitting (approximately 500 words). Describe your creative process, ideas and insights about your own work, and your current skills, interests, and influences.

    Recommended work examples:
    • Sketches, wireframes, or prototype images of a project in development that clearly show your process and work methodology.
    • Interactive online work (screenshot, URL, title, and a brief description of the work).
  • Interdisciplinary Documentary
    1. Write a brief, required essay (approximately 250-350 words) discussing why you are inspired to be an Interdisciplinary Documentary major. We are most interested in your ideas and gaining insights about your work and aspirations. In your essay, please address the following topics:
      • Why is documentary important to you?
      • Why was it important for you to make the work you submitted?
      • What kind of stories do you wish to tell in your future nonfiction projects?
      • Tell us about your creative process in making the work you are submitting.
      • How does your work represent issues of culture or identity that are important to you?

    2. Submit two or more portfolio pieces (either a short nonfiction film or video, 5 minutes maximum; a short script that can be excerpts of larger works, 10 pages maximum; a short nonfiction essay; 5 newspaper clips; up to 5 nonfiction audio or radio samples; or up to 12 photos) that provide additional perspective on your essay, either by supplementing or illustrating your reflection.
  • Interior Architecture

    Submit 10-15 images of your best creative work that evidences your abilities and interest, particularly in interior spaces; please be sure to include dimensions of your work and a short description for each image. You are invited to submit past projects or images that you have collected, showing evidence of thought regarding spaces, human interactions, materials, graphics/signage, furniture, lighting, etc. If you have worked on interior projects in the past, please include images of perspectives, drawings/sketches, and examples of materials.

  • Journalism/Photojournalism

    These requirements pertain to the Journalism BA (Broadcast: Radio; Broadcast: Television; Magazine; News and Features; Photojournalism, and Sports concentrations). 

    1. Write a 200- to 300-word self assessment on why you are inspired to be a journalist/photojournalist. 
    2. Submit copies of up to five newspaper clips, five yearbook stories, and/or one multimedia piece (up to five minutes in length). We are most interested in seeing the work you’ve done as a journalist/photojournalist. Include a brief assessment of your work.
  • Management/Business and Entrepreneurship

    These requirements pertain to the following degree programs within the Business and Entrepreneurship Department: Arts Management; Creative Industries, Arts Management; Performing Arts, Arts Managment; Visual Arts, Arts Management; Film Business, Design Management; Music Business: Artist Management; Music Business: Live and Touring; and Music Business: Recorded Music and Publishing. 

    Submit an essay of approximately 500 words describing why you would like to study business, entrepreneurship, and management practices in the arts, entertainment, and media fields.

    Please be sure to address the following:
    • Which major/area of concentration in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department appeals to you and why?
    • How will an education in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department help you to achieve your career goals?
    • How is digital technology (including social media) impacting the arts and entertainment industries? Please be sure to focus on your major or concentration.
    • Optional: Submit any additional work samples, such as business plans and/or examples of experiences, entrepreneurship, and management in the arts and entertainment fields. You may also feel free to submit a resume that illustrates your experiences.
  • Marketing

    The following requirements pertain to the Digital Media, Entertainment Industry, and Sports Management concentrations within the Marketing BA program.

    Submit an essay of approximately 500 words describing why you would like to study business, entrepreneurship, sports, and management practices in the arts, entertainment, and media fields.

    Please be sure to address the following:
    • Which major/area of concentration in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department appeals to you and why?
    • How will an education in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department help you to achieve your career goals?
    • How is digital technology (including social media) impacting the arts and entertainment industries? Please be sure to focus on your major or concentration.
    • Optional: Submit any additional work samples, such as business plans and/or examples of experiences, entrepreneurship, and management in the arts and entertainment fields. You may also feel free to submit a resume that illustrates your experiences.
  • Music

    1. Main Requirements

    Submit videos of two pieces of your choice (written by composers other than yourself) that best showcase your abilities in your primary performance area(s), whether this be instrument, voice, or computer. At least one of your selections should reflect the contemporary music focus of the department, which includes a wide range of popular and contemporary music genres. The two pieces should be in contrasting styles or tempos and should best represent your vocal and/or instrumental proficiency.

    Optional: In addition to your submissions as described above, you may also submit one recording or performance of original work that demonstrates your personal style and technical ability.

    2. Additional Requirements

    Singer-songwriters must also submit a recording or video performance of an original production, song, or composition.

    Composers must also present two samples of their own original compositions, demonstrating work in varying styles and/or instrumentations as well as provide a copy of scores and/or recordings (both, if possible; however, scores are encouraged). Handwritten scores and MIDI realizations are acceptable.

    Producers must also present two creative samples in varying styles and techniques, produced using any of the available software tools (for example, computer-based DAWs, such as ProTools, Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, MAX, or Supercollider).

    3. Resume and Personal Statement Requirement

    All students must submit a brief musical resume, listing experience in musical settings. This resume can include private lessons; school, church, and community ensembles; recordings; professional work; and other relevant formal or informal study and performance experiences.

    All students must also submit a brief statement (500 words maximum) in which they express their motivation for studying music at Columbia College Chicago.

  • Music Technology

    The following requirements pertain to ALL concentrations within the Music Technology BS program:

    1. Write an essay, no longer than two pages, on “The origin and nature of my interest and personal engagement with audio, music technology, and/or acoustics.” Don’t tell us about audio—tell us about yourself.
    2. Submit three examples of work, from at least two of the following categories:
    Category 1: Audio
    • A recording, video, or other documentation of audio production/post-production work, and include a brief description of your role(s) in the work.
    • A list of live sound reinforcement or installation projects you’ve participated in, identifying and describing key challenges you faced.
    Category 2: Interactive
    • An example of interactive art and/or media. Online media and/or interactive online work may be shown via the web. Upload a screenshot, specify the URL and title, and add a brief description of the work and its relationship to interactive art and/or media.
    • An original short video or film related to interactive media (up to 10 minutes in length). 
    Category 3: Music
    • Video(s) of you performing two pieces of your choice, written by composers other than yourself, and in contrasting styles or tempos.
    • A recording or performance of original work that demonstrates your personal style and technical ability.
    • Two samples of your original compositions demonstrating your work in varying styles and/or instrumentations; provide a copy of scores and/or recordings (both, if possible; however, scores are encouraged). Handwritten scores and MIDI realizations are acceptable.
    • Two creative samples in varying styles and techniques, produced using any available software tools.


  • Musical Theatre
    1. Submit a full resume of theatrical history including name of show, role played, and venue.
    2. Submit a video audition of one contemporary/age-appropriate monologue. The monologue should be approximately one minute in length.
    3. Submit a video audition of two contrasting musical theatre song selections. Each song should be 16-32 bars in length and with accompaniment. Live accompaniment is preferred, but recorded tracks are also acceptable. An example of contrasting styles includes one ballad and an up-tempo, or Golden Age and contemporary.
    4. Submit a video dance audition of a 90-second solo that demonstrates skill level in ballet, jazz, and tap. If you do not have formal training in all three disciplines, please include your strong suits in dance.

    Please note: Videos must be recorded in a well-lit environment with high-quality sound. State your name and the title of your piece with each submission. YouTube links and .mov files are acceptable.

  • Photography

    These requirements pertain to the Commercial, Fashion Photography, and Fine Art concentrations within the Photography BA program.

    Submit 15 photographic images of your best original work. Images should come from one or two photographic projects that demonstrate your skills and interests in photography.

  • Programming (Game Programming and Application Design)

    Submit three to five examples of work you’ve created, and a document where you reflect briefly on the work you are submitting in approximately 500 words. Describe your creative process, ideas and insights about your own work, as well as your current skills, interests, and influences.

    Recommended work examples:
    • Three to five examples of original code.
    • Include comments that describe code functionality.
    • Only include code authored by you (you can submit just the parts of an application if you co-created it).
    • No language requirements.
    • Optional: screenshots showing code running.
    • Optional: pseudocode, flowchart, or other process work you used to develop your application.
  • Public Relations

    Identify what you consider to be the most effective or least effective advertising or PR campaign presently running on any platform, and explain your reasons for making your choice in an essay of 300-400 words.

  • Radio

    Submit four to five creative samples of your work.

    Audio samples may include: digital audio of a feature story (news, sports or personal essay), a pubic service announcement, a commercial, play-by-play sports, a personal or institutional podcast, a promotional announcement, or other audio work. Each example should be no longer than two minutes in length. If the work is longer, include only the most significant portion(s).


    Written samples may include: public service announcements, commercials, editorials, features (news, sports or personal essay written for audio presentation), audio drama scripts, or other writing samples related to audio, podcasts, or radio.

  • Social Media and Digital Strategy

    Identify what you consider to be the role of social media (for example, by referencing Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or Snapchat) when it's used by businesses and organizations, as opposed to when social media is used by individual people.

    Give examples and explain your reasons in an essay of 300-400 words.

  • Theatre

    The following requirements pertain to the Directing, Playwriting, and Stage Management concentrations within the Theatre BA program.

    1. Submit a full resume of theatrical history including name of show, role played, and venue.

    2. Submit any of the following examples (4-6 projects) with a written description of the process for each project, including your role in it:

    • PDFs of promptbooks or annotated scripts for plays you've directed, stage managed, or assistant directed.
    • Any original script(s) you've written or co-written, especially if produced.
    • Video clips (60 seconds max each) of theatrical productions for which you were the playwright, director, stage manager, or assistant director.

    3. Submit a short statement of goals you wish to achieve as a Theatre major. 

  • Theatre Design and Theatre Technology
    1. Submit a full resume of theatrical history including name of show, position on the show, and venue.
    2. Submit any of the following examples (should be limited to four to six projects) with a written description of the process for each project, including your role in it:
    • Documentation of produced theatre productions or works in progress, either through photographs of the production or audio files
    • Examples of process for the designs, including scenic models and/or sketches, costume renderings, lighting sketches and plots, and audio files including any musical composition as well as effects and transitions, and paperwork for sound design
    • Examples of drawing, graphic, and drafting skills
    • Examples of construction skills in scenic carpentry, props, puppets, costumes, crafts, lighting, and sound
    These examples of your creative work should document your work in the theater, but please feel free to include other creative works to further illustrate your artistic skills and interests.
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