Bachelor of Science | CS + Music
A degree program that prepares students for careers at the intersection of computer science and music, including digital audio synthesis production, music and AI, and music application/plug-in design. BS students may also take courses in music technology and composition. In order to be considered for acceptance students should have a strong background in math and science, interview with the CS+Music faculty, and submit a portfolio of relevant experiences.
There is no denying that music technology has implicitly shaped our lives in many significant ways. Digital telephony, compact disks, perceptually compressed media, peer-to-peer communications, recommendation systems and many more hugely successful technologies that are widely in use today can trace their beginnings in technological attempts to store, transmit, synthesize, improve and share musical audio. Additionally, the commercial volume from music technology is measured in the many billions of dollars per year and has helped create some of the most powerful high-tech brands (e.g. Apple via the iPod, Sony via the CD and the Walkman, Motorola via their Car Radios, HP via their synchronizing oscillators, etc.). This degree will prepare students for advanced study at the graduate level for many existing programs on music and audio technology, as well as equip them with the proper skills to successfully join and lead a vibrant workforce community centered around the creation and distribution of entertainment media through constantly evolving technological platforms.
For more information about the degree requirements, please see the Academic Catalog.
Prospective students are invited to visit with current students on the CS+Music Discord Channel.
Current University of Illinois students interested in applying to the CS+ Music degree should review the intercollege transfer requirements here.
1. Submit a Portfolio: Applicants must submit an online portfolio that demonstrates their experience and readiness in Computer Science + Music. The portfolio should include a Table of Contents, as a Word doc or pdf document, which will include a listing of all online materials included in the portfolio. Each item should be listed with:
• a title
• the date(s) the content was created
• a detailed description of the portfolio item (people involved and in what capacity, instruments/hardware/software utilized, why the item is significant, and any other noteworthy information)
• a web link to the content itself (e.g. YouTube, Soundcloud, Vimeo, Google Drive, Dropbox, your own personal webspace, or another public hosting service)
Items presented in the portfolio may include, but are not limited to: audio files, video files, digital image files, text or pdf documents, programming code, websites you've designed, engineering schematics or diagrams, etc. Portfolio items should highlight the applicant's unique strengths and experiences relating to CS+Music, and clearly demonstrate potential for continued growth and success. All portfolio materials should be uploaded to our dropbox (click link for deadlines).
2. Participate in an Interview: Applicants must participate in a 20-minute interview with members of the Composition/Theory faculty. This virtual interview will only be scheduled once the applicant’s essay and portfolio have been received. During the interview our faculty will engage the applicant in a discussion of their musical background, educational interests and long-term professional goals. In addition, applicants will be given a brief set of ear training and musicianship questions pertaining to musical intervals, scales, chord qualities, etc. in order to gauge ability and readiness in the core music curriculum. Applicants will also have the opportunity to ask the faculty questions about the degree program to which they are applying, the various courses of study at the School of Music and the university experience in general.