Conservatory of Music FAQs

The following are some additional questions you may have in applying to the Conservatory of Music. Please contact music@wheaton.edu if your question is not answered here.

Should I apply to the College of Arts and Sciences or to the Conservatory of Music?

Applicants may apply to the College of Arts and Sciences or to the Conservatory of Music, but not both. Those who wish to pursue a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music Education degree should apply to the Conservatory of Music. All other applicants should apply to the College of Arts and Sciences.

What is the difference between the Conservatory of Music and the Arts and Sciences division of Wheaton College?

The Conservatory of Music offers professional music degrees: Bachelor of Music (BM) and Bachelor of Music Education (BME). Our Conservatory is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and offers professional music degrees, which have at least 55% of the course work in music.

The College of Arts and Sciences offers the following liberal arts degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS). In the College of Arts and Sciences, more than half of the course work is in the liberal arts. It is broad based, including natural and social sciences, foreign language, math, English, Bible and many other courses. There are about 35 majors to choose from including the liberal arts music degree (BA Music). Music classes taken for the BA in Music are taken in the Conservatory of Music; there are just fewer courses in this degree than in the BM in Music. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences can pursue a music minor which is 20 credit hours.

What ensemble groups does the Conservatory of Music offer?

The Conservatory of Music maintains nine performing ensembles, open to all Wheaton College students.

Can I be in an ensemble if I'm not a Music Major?

Yes. In fact, while our Conservatory of Music students are all involved in our ensembles, about 50% of ensemble participants are not majoring in music. All liberal arts students are welcome to fill our nine ensembles. Ensemble auditions are held during student orientation. We hope you will join us!

Can I double major?

Yes. See our catalog for details of each major. It is also possible to double major with two music degrees, such as Music Performance and Pedagogy.

Another option might be to explore the Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in an Outside Field. It is a professional music degree from the Conservatory of Music, but built into the program is a 24-hour track of non-music coursework. There are thirteen options with coursework in these fields:

  • Arts Ministries
  • Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Business
  • Christian Education and Ministry
  • English
  • Math/Computer Science
  • Media
  • Modern Languages (French, German or Spanish)
  • Pre-Law Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociocultural Studies
  • Theater
  • Third World Studies (including HNGR internship)
  • Alternate Field - design your own

Do I need to audition if I want to be a Liberal Arts Music Major or Minor?

No. The only students required to audition are those applying to the Conservatory of Music. Please note, however, that a brief music fundamentals assessment is required to enroll in Music Theory 1.

May I schedule my audition now, even though I don't have my application finished?

You are welcome to fill out an online audition request form before you have completed your application. Please do not make travel plans until you have confirmed your audition.

We offer three  audition dates for the early action round (including a regional audition in California) and two in the regular action round.

If you cannot come for one of our audition days, please contact music@wheaton.edu to schedule an individual audition.

Is it better to come in person for my audition?

Yes. On campus auditions are strongly recommended. In fact, they are required if you live within 350 miles of campus.  Audition dates are available for the upcoming audition season.

What are the extra costs for music classes?

Conservatory of Music fees vary from semester to semester depending on how many music courses a student takes. A complete listing of undergraduate costs is in the catalog.

Can students who are not applying to the Conservatory of Music receive music scholarships?

At this time, only Conservatory of Music Students are eligible for merit-based music awards.

Do Conservatory of Music students have to demonstrate piano proficiency?

All Conservatory of Music majors, as well as minors and BA Music majors, must be able to play piano at a certain level as part of your professional music training.