Interdisciplinary Conservatory

Offered in: Chicago

The Interdisciplinary Conservatory was established in 2022, as a home to the performing arts degree programs that cross traditional boundaries of the Music and Theatre units and/or degree programs in which important portions of the curriculum draw on courses delivered in Roosevelt University's other colleges. Such programs include our offerings in Art, Entertainment, and Media Business (BA); Music and Computing (BA); Music Composition (BM & MM); Music Education (BM); Interdisciplinary Performing Arts Industry (BMA); Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies (BA); Jazz and Contemporary Music (BM); Performing Arts Administration (MA); and our Bachelor of Arts in Music (BM) and Bachelor of Musical Arts Interdisciplinary Honors (BMA) programs.

Also housed within the Interdisciplinary Conservatory is the Center for Arts Innovation and Leadership (CAIL), a creative incubator of the Chicago College of Performing Arts. CAIL is committed to cultivating process oriented collaborative spaces for students, faculty, staff, and community partners making innovative, progressive, and profound changes in the arts across the university and within the broader Chicago community.

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. Programs of the Interdisciplinary Conservatory require a range of admissions materials in keeping with program accreditation standards. Prospective students should contact the CCPA Office of Enrollment and Student Services and consult the CCPA website to obtain specific application, audition, interview, or portfolio submission requirements for each program.

Entering students (freshman and transfer) typically complete placement examinations to determine their already acquired skills in the areas of musicianship and keyboard proficiency. Students will then be placed in the core sequence courses at an appropriate level. Study guides and other materials that students may use to prepare for the placement exams are provided during the summer before matriculation. Students exempted from any required courses by placement examination may replace those hours with free electives.

Transfer credit in require validation by proficiency examination, audition, consultation with program faculty, or successful completion of a more advanced course.

Degree requirements

Degrees are conferred upon regular students in good standing who have met the following requirements:

  • Residency and enrollment of at least two academic years (no less than 48 semester hours).
  • Completion of at least 120 semester hours of credit, following the curriculum for the major field, with a grade point average of at least 2.0 (2.7 in music education) and with core and major course grades that satisfy program requirements.
  • Completion of the University Writing Requirement.
  • Jazz and Contemporary Music – senior recital, in fulfillment of program requirements.
  • Composition majors: senior recital of original works in fulfillment of program requirements.
  • Music education majors: for choral and instrumental emphases, a senior recital including both solo performance and conducting components; for songwriting and production emphasis, an individually designed senior project; for all emphases, satisfactory completion of student teaching internship.
  • Bachelor of Musical Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees: individually designed senior project.

Academic policies

Academic policies, practices, and requirements are published each year in the CCPA Student Handbook. The following areas are of particular importance.


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. The Interdisciplinary Conservatory’s attendance policies are designed to habituate a professional’s sense of responsibility in regard to all school-related commitments and obligations.

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 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. Students in the Interdisciplinary Conservatory are required to participate in all ensembles or productions to which they are assigned. 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.

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 of the Music Conservatory.

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


The minimum passing grade for courses within a student's major is C-. Students who receive less than a C- in a course within the student's major area must repeat the entire course.

Please refer to the program of study pages for other specific minimum grade requirements.

Performance classes and performance attendance

Departmental performance classes, guest lectures, and master classes offer students the opportunity to gain experience and poise in public appearances. Attendance at departmental offerings is required unless otherwise described as "optional."

The faculty of the Interdisciplinary Conservatory strongly advocate for student attendance at a wide variety of performances. The performing arts are a fundamental human mode of communication, and artists engage in this discourse through their own performance and attending the performances of others as audience members. The Interdisciplinary Conservatory's expectations for performance attendance are dispersed across all programs; each mandates appropriate attendance at in-house and professional performances through various course syllabi.