The Bachelor of Science degree program in Music Technology is an interdisciplinary degree that combines coursework in Audio Arts & Acoustics (AA&A), Interactive Arts & Media (IAM), and Music to equip students with the knowledge, theory, contexts, and practices necessary for them to participate in, understand, and advance professional musical life in the 21st century. Graduates of the program are prepared for a wide range of music-related careers, including Composition, Performance, Recording, Producing, Sound Design, and Software/ Hardware Development, as well as advanced graduate studies in fields that include Music, Programming, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), and User Experience (UX).
The primary mission of the program is to educate artists and designers in the interdisciplinary foundations of modern musical practice, through a rigorous yet flexible curriculum that focuses on the impact of technology on music’s creation, presentation, representation, and distribution since the beginning of the 20th century. This curriculum is delivered in two distinct stages. The first two years of the program are a candidacy phase, comprising primary core coursework in one of the three “home” departments (AA&A, IAM, or Music). In years three and four, after students are officially admitted into the program, coursework consists of secondary core work in the other two departments, advanced electives drawn from any of the departments, advanced science and math requirements, and four semesters of the central pillar course, The Sonic Experience.
Students begin the program by declaring their major as a “Music Technology Candidate” associated with one of the three constituent departments (AA&A, IAM, or Music). Then with the help of close advising by one or more of the Music Technology faculty, they prepare to apply (after 45 credits completed) for admittance into the Bachelor of Science program. This preparation includes primary core coursework, the completion of Calculus I, a CGPA of 3.0 or higher, and the assembly of a portfolio of creative and/or scholarly works in one or more of the related disciplines. In year three, having been admitted to the program, students advance through the program in a cohort of no more than 15 students (projected increase to 18 students, beginning Fall 2018). Although the flexibility in curricular paths in years one and two leads naturally to students in a cohort pursuing divergent and/or asynchronous paths in their advanced studies, their studies are unified by the four-semester course sequence, The Sonic Experience, which functions as a crucible and laboratory in which the cohort uses its collective knowledge and experience to explore a range of advanced aesthetic, creative, theoretical, and technical issues and applications in Music Technology. Their coursework will include select core offerings in the two disciplines outside their primary core (providing breadth), advanced electives (providing depth), and a robust selection of science and mathematics courses (providing advanced facility with the mathematical principles underlying sound, music, acoustics, and digital signal processing).
As with all of the majors at Columbia College Chicago, the degree requirements described above are situated in the context of -and enhanced by-the college’s liberal arts core curriculum.