Graduate Admissions

Undergraduate Degree Programs


Bachelor of Music Education (BMEd)

The BMEd degree program is a comprehensive course of study designed to prepare candidates to become thoroughly trained school music teachers. Although candidates declare an instrumental or choral track, all students are thoroughly trained in instrumental, choral and general music education.

A minimum of 135 credit hours is distributed between general education, fundamentals and theory, professional education, music education, and applied music. Upon completion, graduates will have fulfilled all academic requirements necessary to earn the Illinois Professional Educator (ISBE) license with a Special K-12 Endorsement in Music. Candidates must also pass all ISBE teacher certification requirements before completing their degrees and becoming licensed to teach.



Bachelor of Music in Performance & Pedagogy (BMPed)

Is performing a part of your heart and soul? Are you thankful to someone who encouraged you musically? If you struggle to choose between performance and teaching, the Bachelor of Music in Performance and Pedagogy degree program is the one for you. You will have the opportunity to study performance with world-class musicians while learning the fine art of teaching at the country's leading institution for music education.



Bachelor of Music
(Pre-Certification) (BMpc)

The BMpc degree program is available to students interested in completing their degree through VanderCook's comprehensive curriculum. The pre-certification degree option retains all the curricular requirements of the BMEd degree, with the exception of four six-week senior seminar courses and the student teaching experience. All institutional assessments, pre-clinical experiences and internal benchmarks are identical to those required for the BMEd degree. The minimum credit hours necessary for completion is 128.5.

Candidates who earn this degree may, at a later time, complete the necessary coursework and student teaching requirements to earn entitlement for teaching licensure. Although program advisement occurs between the candidate and undergraduate dean, it is ultimately the candidate's responsibility to keep an accurate record of his or her progress toward completion. A tracking form is available to aid candidates in planning their courses of study.

Performer’s Certificate

The Performer’s Certificate at VanderCook College of Music recognizes outstanding achievement in solo and chamber music performance. The certificate is not a degree program, but rather a means to acknowledge the most accomplished performers at the undergraduate level. 

Candidates may apply for the Performer’s Certificate by completing an application form and an audition adjudicated by a faculty panel. Students will be notified in writing by the director of applied studies regarding their acceptance into the Performer’s Certificate program.

If accepted, candidates must complete the following requirements to be awarded the Performer's Certificate:

  • A minimum of 12 credit hours in their major applied area throughout the entire BMEd degree program.

  • A junior solo recital with 30 to 45 minutes of music in the major applied area. The recital program must follow the repertoire guidelines set forth by the applied instructor and the director of applied studies.

  • A senior solo recital with 50 to 65 minutes of music in the major applied area. The recital program must follow the repertoire guidelines set forth by the applied instructor and the director of applied studies. The senior recital program may not repeat more than 20% of the repertoire previously performed in the junior recital. 

  • At least two semesters in an honors ensemble after acceptance into the Performer’s Certificate program.

At least three faculty members are required to attend and assess the junior and senior recitals. The faculty panel will use the standard BMEd recital assessment rubrics. The panel’s final scores will be averaged, and a minimum score of 90% is required for the Performer’s Certificate to be awarded.

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VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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