Columbia College Chicago

Logo of Columbia College Chicago for our profile of the school

Degree Programs at Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago appears on our list of the 30 Best Colleges for Young Democrats.

Columbia College Chicago offers nearly 50 majors for undergraduate students, including acoustics and acting. The acoustics program teaches students how to work as sound and tech engineers and prepares them for working with musicians. Acting majors study the different theories of acting such as the method theory. They’ll also have the chance to gain stage experience as they perform in the plays and musicals put on by the college each year. Most of the programs available help students earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Arts such as its creative writing program. Students learn how to write short stories and novels as well as how to critique work. Other majors offered by the Chicago school include music, music technology, animation, public relations, and photography.

There are 14 programs available for graduate students on the college’s Chicago campus such as civic media and entrepreneurship for creatives. The entrepreneurship program shows students how they can transform their creative ideas into business plans that make them money, while the civic media program focuses on the ways in which community groups and nonprofit organizations can use and work with the online media. Students in the college’s fiction program develop stronger writing skills and focus on producing fictional work. The college offers other graduate majors, including fine arts, arts management, music composition for the screen, and interaction design.

Featured Programs

The five online programs offered by Columbia College Chicago help students finish a certificate. One is an augmented and virtual reality certificate, which the college designed for students who want to produce games and software for this industry. Another is an entrepreneurship for the gig economy certificate that teaches students how to do individual gigs and make money. In the mobile app development certificate program, students learn how to identify the needs of their customer base and create mobile apps and games for that base. The college also offers online certificate programs in nonprofit arts management and immersive storytelling and content development.

About Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago is a small college in Chicago, Illinois that offers programs in and relating to the performing arts. Established as the Columbia School of Oratory in 1890, it helped students become better speakers to prepare them for the national events coming to the city over the next few years. After the state took over the operations of the school in 1904, it became the Columbia College of Expression. It would then change its name to the Mary A. Blood School of Speech Arts in honor of its founder. Other name changes occurred in the following years until it settled on Columbia College Chicago. Some of the other names that the college now uses include CCC and Columbia.

CCC now consists of three schools, including the School of Media Arts and the School of Fine and Performing Arts. Most of the programs offered on the Columbia campus give students opportunities to perform in front of others or to present their work in public. Instead of having just one large campus in Chicago, the college operates out of several buildings, each attached to one of its schools. Students can also sign up for a program that lets them spend five weeks in Los Angeles each summer. The college worked with YouTube to create one of two institutes in the country for students who want to create content for the web. More than 6,100 students now enroll in the college’s programs every year.

Columbia College Chicago Accreditation Details

The accreditation held by Columbia College Chicago includes both program and institutional accreditation. Its institutional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the agency within that organization responsible for accrediting colleges in the north central region. The college also has accreditation for its interior design program from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

Columbia College Chicago Application Requirements

Though Columbia College Chicago accepts both undergrads and graduate students, it has different requirements for them. Undergrads can use the Common Application and request that the site send their applications to the college, or they can use the college’s own application. They need to pay a $50 application fee and submit their high school transcripts too. Students who want to show that they can handle college can also submit a standardized test score. The college also encourages students to share samples of their work online. They can upload digital images and videos to the application to show the college the work they created in the past.

Graduate students pay a $60 application fee and complete the college’s graduate school application. All programs require official transcripts, and most programs ask for two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a self-assessment essay. This essay asks students to assess their skills and talents in terms of what they bring to the program and what the program can do for them. Some departments and programs will require that students do an interview too. Most creative programs have a portfolio requirement too. Students can view the requirements of this step when they apply to the college. A few programs will require a GRE score also.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergrads pay Columbia more than $26,000 a year for tuition or $13,000 each semester. They also pay fees that total more than $600 each semester. Though room and board packages are available, the cost of those packages will depend on the residence hall and meal plan that the student chooses. The cheapest residence halls charge $6,819 per semester. Graduate students pay a rate based on their programs. This rate ranges from $1,107 to $1,253 per credit hour. Grad students also pay more than $500 each semester in fees.

Any student who wants financial aid at CCC should submit the FAFSA. This will automatically enter them into the pool for the scholarships offered by the college. Students can qualify for scholarships based on their individual talents, but they’ll need to submit an application for those programs by January 15 and include portfolios that showcase their work. Similar scholarships are available for graduate students too. CCC also awards students traditional types of financial aid based on the results of their FAFSA forms. They can qualify for loans and some grants. All the degree programs at Columbia College Chicago have financial aid for students.