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Undergraduate | In-Person

Songwriting, BA/BS

Songwriting is not an easy career path. Our award-winning, professional songwriting faculty are here to help you acquire skills to serve the world with your songs and the conditioning to overcome adversity.

Why Major in Songwriting? 

songwriting studentThere is no better place to pursue a career as a professional songwriter. Students come from across the U.S. and several foreign countries to study commercial songwriting in the heart of Music City.

As a Songwriting (SNG) major, you’ll study with faculty who have won every major industry award from Grammys to CMAs, ACMs, Dove Awards, Emmys and more.

Belmont's Songwriting Department is housed on Music Row at 34 Music Square East, the historic home of the Quonset Hut and Columbia Studio A Recording studios where iconic artists such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Patsy Cline, Leonard Cohen and Simon and Garfunkel have recorded.

What You'll Learn 

  • devin dawsonGetting out of your comfort zone to see the multitude of places and genres your writing can exist.
  • Collaborating to co-write songs and discover how that generates different and exciting outcomes.
  • Improve your skills of recording your own songs.
  • Interactions with music business professionals is continuous throughout our program. Discover which sectors your music fits into, and collaborate with instead of being intimidated by the industry.
  • Our curriculum encourages performance. There are a multitude of opportunities to perform original songs on small and large stages.

Belmont Tracks: Arden Snead

Arden Snead is a songwriting major who was glued to music even as a baby. She learned to play guitar at a young age, and songwriting soon followed after. Arden takes most of her inspiration from her family and the stories of others— she believes that the most truth is found in the things that take time. Her primary genres are country and singer-songwriter, and she has been known to pick the banjo on occasion.

Program Details

Course Requirements

The songwriting major leads to either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. It requires 128 hours of coursework.

  • BELL Core requirements: 53 hours
  • Major requirements: 43 hours
  • Minor requirements: 18 hours
  • General Electives: 14 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses you'll take:

  • SNG 2100. Seminars, Workshops, Showcases: Program-specific sessions intended to demonstrate practical application or explore philosophical and current issues related to the music and entertainment industries.
  • SNG 2110. Commercial Songwriting I: This is the practical application and technique of the working songwriter. Students will study fundamentals of melody, lyrics, “hooks,” points of view and song logic. Students will also cover solo writing as well as the concept of collaboration.
  • SNG 2120. Commercial Songwriting II: This course is an advanced study of songwriting on demand, cataloging creative works and developing professional habits as related to the business of songwriting.
  • SNG 3110. Songwriting Practicum: The development of an individual’s unique songwriting “voice” is encouraged while demo production occurs and the study of the songwriting business continues. Groups will be genre specific - pop, country, show tunes, hip-hop, Christian, jazz, etc. Internships at song-publishing companies on Music Row are encouraged.
  • SNG 3120. Lyric Writing: A study of lyric writing. Historical masters of composition and lyric writing will be analyzed. Students will learn title/concept development and write lyrics based on selected readings.
  • SNG 4015. Songwriting Senior Capstone: This course is a culminating experience in the major, which also addresses the goals for the Senior Capstone as defined in the course description for BEL 4015. These goals include reflection on the students’ whole educational experiences and on their transition from the university setting to post-graduation.

Our location in the heart of Music City provides unmatched opportunities for industry engagement. Students in upper-level classes have written songs for Sony Records Nashville, Universal Music Publishing, Big Machine Records, Warner Chappell Music, TV shows like “Nashville,” Curb Publishing, Warner Brothers Records Los Angeles and other companies.

Studying songwriting at Belmont’s Curb College offers an incredible collaboration between Songwriting, Audio Engineering and Motion Pictures majors for the production of music videos.

Your studies are enhanced by classes in commercial songwriting, audio engineering, music business and the choice of dozens of minors.

Study Abroad opportunities are plentiful with songwriting courses taught in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Germany.

Songwriting Portfolio

All applicants must submit a short video portfolio explaining why they would like to be a part of the Belmont Songwriting community and displaying two original songs. Video should be no longer than seven (7) minutes.

Acceptable talking points include:

  • Why you chose Belmont University and how you will benefit if accepted
  • Your personal goals and how Belmont Songwriting can help you accomplish them
  • Your musical influences and how long you have been writing songs
  • Why you are a strong candidate
  • Your long–term career goal(s) in the music industry

Submission Instructions:

Once you've created your Video Portfolio, upload it to YouTube and submit the link to our steering committee via our online submission form. Lyrics to each song must be pasted in the description box of your YouTube video for consideration. If you only wish to have Belmont University view your video, mark it as "Unlisted" when uploading to YouTube. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

DO NOT mark it "Private" as this will prevent the selection committee from seeing it and you will forfeit participation in the submission round.

Submission Requirements: 

Complete the online submission page in its entirety. Capture a video of yourself singing two of your original compositions. If someone else is accompanying you, you must make an on-camera introduction of each song and its instrumentalists and/or performers. All songs must be written solely by you. Valid submissions must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. (CST) on the due date to be considered in that round.

Portfolio Due Dates:

  • September 15 (Decisions by October 15)
  • November 1 (Decisions by December 1)
  • January 15 (Decisions by February 15)
  • March 1 (Decisions by April 1)
  • July 1 – transfers only (Decisions by August 1)

Where to submit your portfolio: 

If you are an incoming student, please submit your portfolio through your BU4U account.

If you are a current student, please use the link below to submit your portfolio.

Current Student Portfolio Submission

Please reach out to with any questions!

Career Possibilities

0225-concert-269.jpgThe Songwriting (SNG) major equips students with the essential knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career as a songwriter in today’s entertainment industry. An emphasis on critical thinking and collaboration encourages individuality and creativity as you develop skills in lyric writing, musical composition and demo production. This practical knowledge gained through this program prepares students for all aspects of the songwriting and publishing industry.

The following is mere snapshot of some of the jobs student pursue upon graduation.

  • Staff Songwriter: A contract position with a music publishing company, typically a one year, exclusive contract with a series of 1 – 3 year options. Staff songwriters are hired to write songs that will be promoted to recording artists, used in film or television and other commercial uses. Belmont Songwriting graduates have signed publishing contacts with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, This Music/Warner Chappell Music, Sea Gayle Music and others.
  • Creative Director: Within a music publishing company, the creative director works directly with the staff songwriters on direction in song creation. The creative director also meets with record producers and industry executives to pitch songs for recording and other commercial applications.
  • Touring Musician: Perform live on tour with recording artists on U.S. and International tours.
  • Studio Musician: Perform on recording sessions in studios in Nashville, Los Angeles, Miami or New York.
  • Entertainment Industry Entrepreneurs: Belmont Songwriting major graduates have built many successful companies, including MadeIn Network (Kevin Grosh/Keith Johnson) and Evamore (Channing Moreland).

Alumni Testimonials

“[I] have every person on staff in the Songwriting thank for even having a degree....They were just all so supportive and encouraging of everything that I was doing outside of the classroom and the actual music industry, and if it weren't for them lifting me up in that area the whole way through, I wouldn't be the writer that I am.”

Emily Weisband, Class of 2015
Sony Songwriter, Warner Brothers Artist, Grammy Award winner

“Studying songwriting at Belmont was awesome because it just gave me the opportunity to connect with a lot of different people and people on Music Row, and that was thanks to my professors....”

Anna Vaus, Class of 2018
Big Machine Songwriter, Independent Artist


“For my career, it's changed my whole life. It put me in front of the publishing company I’m with now and everything has changed because of this program.”

Jake Wesley Rogers, Class of 2018
Sony Songwriter, Warner Brothers Artist


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Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

Natalie Peterson
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