undergraduate admissions

Undergraduate Program Structure

In planning a program of study at VanderCook, undergraduate candidates should note the distinction between degrees, degree track, and full- and part-time enrollment.

Degree and Declaration of Track

Upon admission to the college, candidates must declare either an instrumental or choral track, based on their major applied areas. Piano and guitar majors may choose either track.


The bachelor's degree is conferred on candidates completing 135 or more credit hours of required coursework during the program. Two semesters of 16 weeks each constitute the regular academic year.

Full- and Part-Time Enrollment

A candidate is considered full-time when enrolled in at least 12 credit hours of coursework in a semester.

Degree Completion

Undergraduate candidates are expected to complete all degree requirements within ten years from the date of first enrollment at VanderCook. Candidates may petition the undergraduate dean for exemption from this rule.

Classification of Undergraduate Candidates

Levels are defined as follows for the purposes of external institutional data reporting*:

  • Level 1 candidates have completed 35 or fewer credit hours.

  • Level 2 candidates have completed between 35.5 and 70 credit hours.

  • Level 3 candidates have completed between 70.5 and 105 credit hours, plus the Teacher Candidacy Skills Assessment (TCSA), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP).

  • Level 4 candidates have completed 105.5 or more credit hours.

* Please note that the credit hour classifications used by the Financial Aid Office differ slightly.


VanderCook College of Music

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

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