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CEMB Songwriting

Admission to the Songwriting Major in the

Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business


Applicants for admission to the Songwriting major must first complete the Application for Undergraduate Admission. They are then required to submit a portfolio of their compositions to be considered for admission to the Songwriting major. An email with details regarding the admission and portfolio process as well as portfolio deadlines will be sent to an applicant upon submission of the Application for Undergraduate Admission.

Portfolios will be reviewed four times annually and must be postmarked by November 1st, January 15th, March 15th or May 1st for consideration.  The Songwriting portfolio will be reviewed once the applicant’s admissions file is complete in the Office of Admissions. Portfolios will be reviewed by the Songwriting Steering Committee and approved by the Songwriting Program Chair. Applicants will be notified of an admissions decision within four weeks of the respective portfolio deadline providing the University application for admission is complete.

Instructions for portfolio:

  • 2 original songs on a compact disc. Song files must be recorded to a compact disc (in iTunes, Windows Media, etc.) in standard audio CD format so that they are playable on a commercial CD player. (No mp3, video, or other data file types will be accepted. WAV files suggested.)
    • Applicant must write full name, date of birth, email address, the song titles and name of the individual(s) performing each of the songs on the compact disc.
  • Hard copy lyric sheet for each song included on the compact disc.  (No lead sheets or charts need to be submitted.)
    • Applicant must write full name, date of birth, email address, the song titles and name of the individual(s) performing each of the songs at the top of each lyric sheet.
  • Supplemental Questions. In addition to submitting the portfolio, please respond to the questions below. Please type your responses and submit them with your application.
    • How long have you been writing songs?
    • How many songs have you written?
    • What style(s) of music do you typically write?
    • What instruments do you play and for how long have you played them?
    • Name three songwriters you admire and why.
    • What are your three favorite songs and why?
    • Are you currently a member of any songwriting organization(s)? If so, please describe briefly.
  • Submit a 200-300 word essay about two books you have read outside of school coursework and how they have impacted your life.

Please mail the Songwriting portfolio materials to:

Admissions Coordinator
Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business
Belmont University
1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should each song be?

Each song should be between two and four minutes.

Can songs be any genre of music?

We welcome a variety of commercial genres (rock, country, pop, contemporary Christian, etc.)

Should the song genres vary?

Applicants will want to demonstrate the breadth and variety of their skills in the songs they submit. Genres, tempo, and other elements may vary in your submissions.    

Can I submit a song that I co-wrote with someone else?

No.  Songs must be written by the applicant alone.  No co-written pieces should be submitted.

Do I have to perform the songs I wrote on the compact disc?

No.  Applicants may have someone else perform the songs submitted for the portfolio.  If the song is performed by someone other than you, indicate the name of the performer(s) below the title on the cover of the compact disc and on the lyric sheets.

Do the songs have to have lyrics or can they be instrumental?

The songwriting discipline involves putting words to music.  For that reason, songs submitted by applicants must contain both lyrics and music.  Students interested in writing only words might consider an English major.  Students interested in writing only music might consider a music major.

Will my portfolio be returned to me?

Songwriting portfolios will not be returned to the applicant.

Will I receive feedback on my work, regardless of whether I am accepted into the program or not?

The Songwriting portfolio is designed to evaluate songwriting ability only as it is related to the requirements and expectations of the Songwriting program at Belmont.   It is not designed to be evaluative of your overall strengths as a songwriter nor to provide you feedback.  Although many good songwriters will apply, we are limited in enrollment and able to admit only those students who are the best fit for our program.