Bachelor of Science - CS+Music

The Bachelor of Science option in Computer Science and Music (CS+Music) is a program for undergraduate students who plan to pursue a career in music technology, as well as students that want to push the state-of-the-art in music composition and explore new avenues of expression.

PLEASE NOTE: Students interested in the CS + Music beginning in Fall 2019, please contact

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.

Bachelor of Science - CS + Music Requirements

Music Core Requirements   
Fine and Applied Arts Orientation   
FAA 101 – Arts at Illinois 1 hr
Music Theory and Musicianship Courses  
MUS 101, 102, 201 – Music Theory and Practice I, II, III 7 hrs
MUS 107, 108, 207, 208 – Musicianship I, II, III, and IV 7 hrs
Music History and Literature Core Courses  
MUS 110 – Intro to Art Mus: International Perspectives 2 hrs
MUS 313 and 314 – The History of Music I and II 6 hrs
Performance Studies Core Courses  
MUS 172 and 173 – Group Instruction in Piano for Music Majors I and II 4 hrs
CS + Music Core Requirements  
Required Music Courses  
MUS 105 and 205 – Computation and Music I and II 4 hrs
MUS 299 – Thesis Adv/UG Honors 2 hrs
MUS 404 or 448 – Contemporary Composition Techniques or Computer Music 2-3 hrs
MUS 407 – Electroacoustic Techniques I 3 hrs
MUS 409 – Electroacoustic Techniques II 2 hrs
MUS 4xx – Advanced musicology course 3 hrs
MUS 4xx – Advanced music theory course 3 hrs
Required Math and Computer Science Courses  
CS 125 – Intro to Computer Science 4 hrs
CS 126 – Software Design Studio 3 hrs
CS 173 – Discrete Structures  3 hrs
CS 225 – Data Structures 4 hrs
CS 233 – Computer Architecture 4 hrs
CS 241 – System Programming 4 hrs
CS 361 – Probability and Statistics for Computer Science 3 hrs
CS 374 – Introduction to Algorithms & Models of Computation 4 hrs
CS 421 – Programming Languages & Compilers 3 hrs
CS 498 – Special Topics: Audio Computing 3 hrs
ECE 402 – Electronic Music Synthesis 3 hrs
MATH 220 or MATH 221 – Calculus or Calculus I 5 or 4 hrs
MATH 225 – Introductory Matrix Theory 2 hrs
MATH 231 – Calculus II 3 hrs

How to Apply

1. Complete the University Application.
2. Complete the
 Supplemental Music Application (will become available 24-48 hours after submitting the University Application). DUE BY DECEMBER 5 (or November 3 for early action).
3. 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 sent to Music Admissions by January 1st (November 10 for early action).
4. Participate in an Interview: Applicants must participate in a 20-minute interview with members of the Composition/Theory faculty. This interview is normally scheduled as part of the on-campus audition process and will only be scheduled once the applicant’s essay and portfolio have been received; if the applicant is not visiting the campus in person then the interview must take place via Skype or conference call on the same date as the on-campus interviews. 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.
5. Complete the Music Theory Diagnostic Test: Complete the Music Theory Diagnostic Test. Applicants who attend an on-campus audition/interview will complete the exam on site; all others must arrange for a proctor to administer the exam. Applicants wishing to engage a proctor must complete and return the Proctor Approval Form.