Interdisciplinary Conservatory

Offered in: Chicago

The Interdisciplinary Conservatory was founded in 2022 as a unit of the Chicago College of Performing Arts in which degrees and programs provide students with a larger ratio of coursework between the College's two traditional units, the Music and Theatre Conservatories or a larger ratio of coursework from Roosevelt University's other colleges.

The Interdisciplinary Conservatory is led by a Chair and organized into program areas coordinated by directors. At the graduate level, the curriculum with a major in composition leads to the degree of Master of Music; curricula in Performing Arts Administration and Theatre Directing lead to the degree of Master of Arts.

For information on the master’s programs, consult the university’s graduate catalog.


Admission to Roosevelt University does not include admission to the Interdisciplinary Conservatory. To be admitted to the Interdisciplinary Conservatory, students must present a successful audition, interview, or other evidence of aptitude in the chosen major in addition to meeting the university’s entrance requirements. Prospective students should contact the CCPA Office of Enrollment and Student Services and consult the CCPA website to obtain specific audition requirements for each major program.

Applicants for the Master of Music degree must hold a Bachelor of Music degree or the equivalent. Qualified students holding a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music may be admitted if they fulfill departmental entrance requirements. Students' programs may be extended by the need to complete undergraduate prerequisite courses in their field of study.

Before registering for the initial semester, students seeking the Master of Music degree must complete diagnostic examinations in music theory, music history, and analysis. Study and review materials for the diagnostic examinations are available online during the summer prior to matriculation. Other specialized assessments will be conducted according to the student's major (e.g., language skills, orchestration, sight-reading).

International students will be assessed for English proficiency upon arrival at the University.

Degree requirements

All candidates for the Master of Music degree must meet the following requirements:

  • Residency and enrollment of two academic years;
  • Satisfactory completion of program course requirements;
  • Presentation of a recital or thesis composition in fulfillment of program requirements;
  • Completion of the Graduate Dossier with contributions throughout the students time in coursework.

Academic policies

Academic policies, practices, and requirements are published each year in the CCPA Student Handbook.


Regular and punctual attendance at classes, rehearsals, and lessons is the academic equivalent of a recognized standard of professional conduct, without which it is not possible to maintain a career in the performing arts.

Many classes have an attendance requirement, which will appear in the syllabus. However, students should be aware that attendance is the expectation in the Interdisciplinary Conservatory, even if attendance does not constitute a portion of the grade. Students should notify their instructors if they cannot attend classes (e.g., for reasons of illness) and should make up missed assignments promptly.

Perfect attendance in applied music subjects (private lessons) is expected. If a student must cancel a lesson for unavoidable reasons, the instructor should be notified 24 hours in advance when possible. Failure to notify the applied instructor by 9 a.m. on the day of the lesson removes any obligation on the part of the teacher to make up the lesson. Regularly scheduled lessons falling on school holidays will be made up; the student and instructor are responsible for making the necessary arrangements. Any student who misses three lessons without properly notifying the instructor will receive an immediate failing grade for the semester and will not be permitted to present the jury examination at the end of the semester. Students who do not appear for the required jury examination will receive a failing grade in the course at the end of the semester.

Because membership in a performing ensemble entails a responsibility to the director, the other students in the ensemble, and the Conservatory itself, school functions take precedence over outside activities. Please see Ensembles below, for additional information. Students are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances.


Enrollment in ensembles is contingent upon placement and assignment. All students in the Interdisciplinary Conservatory are required to participate in all ensembles to which they are assigned by the Chair. Students who are assigned or receive permission to enroll as zero-credit participants in any ensemble will receive a grade; they must complete the same requirements as students enrolled for credit. Assignments are made at the beginning of each semester following placement and seating auditions.

A yearly calendar of ensemble schedules, including all rehearsals and performances, is published and distributed to students and faculty prior to the start of the fall semester. Excused absences from ensemble services may occasionally be granted (e.g., for competitions, auditions, professional performance opportunities, or illness) with appropriate advance notice and documentation. All requests for excused absences are administered by the Performance Activities Office.

Students from other departments of Roosevelt University may audition for Interdisciplinary Conservatory performing ensembles.