International students interested in enrolling in the Bachelor of Music Education (BMEd) program and Master of Music Education (MMEd) need both musical and academic competence to attain the degrees. The strengths and background of each applicant are weighed on an individual basis to determine the candidate's potential for success. In general, however, preference is given to applicants who fulfill the following requirements:
  1. Graduate from an accredited secondary school or its equivalent with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  2. Complete the following coursework at the secondary level:
    • 3 years of English
    • 2 years of mathematics
    • 2 years of science
    • 3 years of social science
    • 2 years of electives in foreign language or art
    • 3 years of electives in music, or evidence of successful participation in music ensembles and classes
  3. Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The internet-based (ITB) TOEFL test measures the areas of reading, listening, writing and speaking. The EIKEN test, an English-language competency exam of Japanese origin, can be considered in lieu of the TOEFL. VanderCook requires a minimum grade of 2A, but admission is contigent on an interview.
    • The minimum acceptable subscore for each section is 22.
  4. Complete the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a recommended combined score of 1100 (reading plus math), or the American College Test (ACT) with a recommended composite score of 22 (writing component strongly suggested).*
* Note: Completion of the SAT and/or ACT is not a condition of acceptance; however, the minimum scores listed above would exempt a student from the standardized test typically taken during the second year of study.
All international applicants must submit proof of total financial support before an I-20 will be issued.


International students considering enrolling in VanderCook College of Music should contact the Admissions Office. Our admissions personnel are trained to assist you in completing your application and answering your questions about the college. Applicants for the BMEd program should follow this process:

1.  Complete the online Undergraduate Application, which includes:
  • $35 non-refundable application fee
  • Essay describing your desire to pursue a degree in music education. How has music affected your life? Why is becoming a music teacher important to you? How could you, as a music educator, impact the lives of your students?
  • Names and email address for three references. References could include teachers, administrators, private instructors, clergy or employers. They will receive an online reference questionnaire to complete.
  • Copies of the biographical pages of your passport
  • Recorded audition. Guidelines and audition criteria are available here. If you are traveling to Chicago, you may audition in person, but a recorded audition is accepted if travel is not an option.
2.  Submit high school transcripts indicating all coursework completed to date. (A final transcript indicating graduation and a copy of the high school diploma will be required prior to final admission and enrollment in the college.)
3.  Submit TOEFL scores.
4.  (Optional) Submit SAT and/or ACT scores, where applicable. This is not required, but could be used to waive the Test of Academic Proficiency.
Applicants are notified of admissions decisions after application files are complete as listed above. In general, this decision is made within two weeks of receipt of all materials, although delays may occur during semester breaks.

If you prefer, you may download a printable version of the application to mail.

All mailed materials should be sent to:

Admissions Office
VanderCook College of Music
3140 S. Federal St.
Chicago, Illinois 60616

All required materials must be received by the Admissions Office at least 30 days prior to the start of each semester.


Once you are accepted, VanderCook College of Music will issue your I-20, which you will need to apply for your F-1 Visa and to enter the United States. Once you receive your I-20 and decide to attend VanderCook, please follow these next steps:
  1. Send the following items to VanderCook College of Music:
    • Signed copy of your Offer of Admissions
    • $100 non-refundable deposit
    • Proof of financial support showing ability to cover tuition and fees for one year at VanderCook
  2. Pay your I-901 SEVIS fee. More information at:
  3. Apply for your F-1 Visa at your U.S. Embassy or Consulate


Getting Involved/Student Organizations

The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has several student organizations and events designed to assist international students in getting involved and transitioning to Chicago. More information can be found on IIT's International Center webpage.

City of Chicago

VanderCook College of Music is located on the campus of the IIT and is just three miles south of downtown Chicago. There are many opportunities to explore the attractions and experience the culture of Chicago!

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288