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Master of Music Education and Certification

The transformation from music professional to professional music educator starts here!

The Master of Music Education and Certification (MCert) program is designed for students who have earned an undergraduate degree in an area such as music theory, music history, music performance or music therapy and want to become certified to teach music in schools. You’ll focus on teacher certification requirements during the fall and spring semesters and master’s degree requirements during the summers.

How Do I Apply?

Applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

Application Materials

Acceptance is further contingent on an audition.

How is the MCert program structured?

  • Comprehensive and practical. You’ll complete a set of core requirements specializing in band, choral, string or general music education.
  • Programming to fit individual needs. You customize your course of study and choose your master’s project subject.
  • A broad menu of electives:
    • Curriculum & Administration
    • Music History, Musicology, Ethnomusicology
    • Technology in Teaching
    • Jazz Arranging
    • Musical Theatre
    • Current Treads in Music Education
  • Flexible duration. You can complete the program in as few as two years or a maximum seven years (most students average three years).
  • Commencement at Chicago Symphony Center.
Required courses, course descriptions, exit requirements and academic progress regulations can be found in the College Catalog.

Student Resources

2021-2022 College Catalog

2021-2022 Student Handbook

Performance Opportunities

You will perform over 20 times a year!

As a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, String Orchestra, Collegiate Chorale, Percussion Ensemble and Jazz Band, you will perform over 20 times a year on campus and throughout the city of Chicago.

Schedule a Campus Visit or Audition

Contact Admissions at
312.788.1120 or

The Midwest Clinic

VanderCook co-founded The Midwest Clinic: an international band and orchestra conference held in Chicago with more than 18,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.  Throughout the history of The Midwest Clinic, VanderCook is the only college Symphonic Band invited to perform every year.

Chicago at Your Fingertips

Attending VanderCook gives you instant access to many of the city’s most famous and important cultural landmarks, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier and the Lyric Opera – all just minutes away from campus by bus, train or bike. All undergraduates receive a Ventra card for unlimited access to CTA trains and buses during the fall and spring semesters.

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The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2022 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
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