Department of Music at Chicago State University

The Department of Music is a leader in the performing arts at Chicago State University. The department provides a musical education grounded in performance, history and culture and reflects the Chicago environment from which the Department draws its strength.  The Department offers music courses to all students to broaden their understanding and enjoyment of music as a fine art.

Students train and develop musicianship and leadership skills for various career paths. They prepare for jobs as performers, writers, arrangers, producers, directors, and educators. Graduates also have the option to continue their education as graduate or professional school students. 

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Department of music, you must successfully complete a performance audition and a written placement exam in music theory.

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Degrees Offered

All Department of Music majors and concentrations are accredited and approved by the National Association of Schools of Music.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music

This program provides students with a broad liberal arts experience. The curriculum is grounded in music theory, history, and performance. Students are also able to explore opportunities across the university, through open electives. 

Students develop performance skills in individual private lessons and ensembles. Graduation requirements include a senior recital. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Education (PK-12)

This program prepares students for a career teaching music at the elementary through high school levels. Areas of focus include general music, choral/vocal music, and instrumental/band music. 

Graduates of this program will receive a Professional Educator License (PEL). This license enables them to teach music in the State of Illinois for grades PK-12. Recommendation for licensure entitlement requires successful completion of: 

  • All program coursework and requirements
  • Student teaching
  • Passing the Illinois Licensure Music Content Area Examination PK-12, 
  • Any College of Education requirements as applicable

The Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Concentration in Music Production

This program provides students with a broad liberal arts experience along with a curriculum grounded in traditional music theory, contemporary music theory, songwriting and arranging, and commercial music performance practices.  Students are also able to explore opportunities across the university, through open electives. Electives include courses in business marketing, accounting, radio and tv production, and more.

Students develop performance skills in individual private lessons and in the music production group ensemble. Graduation requirements include a senior recital. 

Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Concentration in Gospel Music

The goal of this program is to teach musicians the history of gospel music and worship. The curriculum focuses on:

  • Traditional music theory
  • Contemporary music theory and arranging
  • Gospel performance practices. 

Students are also able to explore opportunities across the university, through open electives. Applicants can also expect to develop performance skills in individual private lessons, the gospel choir and other large ensembles. Graduation requirements include a senior recital. 

Student Testimonials

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Facilities

Students can expect to have access to various performance and production facilities, including:

  • Breakey Theatre performance space
  • 3 ensemble rehearsal halls
  • 3 music classrooms, piano and computer lab 
  • 12 student practice rooms
  • 2 music production suites

Career Pathways

Have you ever wondered how your major might help you after you graduate? See this new academic major report <https://majorreport.ilcollege2career.com/>  for the state of Illinois! 

This tool contains useful data on how graduates from different majors are doing in the labor market: How much money are they earning? What industries are they working in? How much debt do they graduate with? What occupations are they likely to hold? Whether declaring an initial major, or switching majors, use this tool to better inform you of your choices!