undergraduate admissions

Undergraduate Course of Study

Bachelor's degree candidates choose between an instrumental or choral track. Candidates complete 135 credit hours (a credit hour equaling a minimum of fifteen 50-minute academic hours or Carnegie Units) with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.25 scale.

Courses are distributed into five areas:

General Education

38 Credit Hours.  These courses provide candidates with a broad-based, liberal education in communication, science, mathematics, social studies, the humanities and health. 

Fundamentals and Theory

16 Credit HoursThese courses provide candidates with in-depth study of the principles of music theory, harmony, arrangement, composition, aural perception and formal musical analysis.

Professional Education

20-30 Credit Hours. These courses provide the foundations, philosophy, and scientific underpinnings of the processes of teaching and learning.

Music Education

22.5 (instrumental-track candidates) or 21.5 credit hours (choral-track candidates). These courses provide a thorough study of the methods of teaching used to work with children of all ages in instrumental, general music and choral settings. Courses also address the organization and administration of the music program within the context of the public school, including mechanisms for incorporating computer technology into the school music program.

Applied Music Performance

40 (instrumental-track candidates) or 41 credit hours (choral-track candidates).  Courses in applied music performance are grouped into three areas:

  • Ensemble Performance - Ensembles (symphonic band, concert choir, philharmonic orchestra and chamber ensembles) provide the setting in which candidates develop knowledge of musical repertoire, performance and rehearsal techniques.
  • Applied Music Study - Applied, individual music study provides the opportunity for the candidate to achieve a high level of personal musical accomplishment.
  • Techniques Courses - These courses are designed to provide the candidate with the basic skills needed to play the full range of brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments (including piano), and the proper use of the voice.

VanderCook College of Music

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

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