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Music Education - M.M and Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of the Arts

School of Music

E101 Center for the Performing Arts
Tel: 330-672-2172


The Master of Music in Music Education is offered online only and is designed to offer choral, instrumental and general music teachers the opportunity to develop and refine their professional skills as teachers. The degree program allows for enhancement and specialization relative to music teaching and learning in contemporary school contexts. The program is not intended to provide licensure and is constructed for those who have a music education background with the desire to improve the student and teacher experience in music classroom settings.

The Ph.D. in Music Education is for students to integrate teaching, theory, and research in inquiry about music teaching and learning. Through a unique collaboration with the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, emerging scholars will engage in coursework and research in areas connecting musical and educational pedagogies. Students pursuing the PhD in Music Education will be those interested in preparing music teacher educators at institutions of higher learning, engagement in arts education activities, and the exploration of emerging practices in curriculum, artistic instruction, and educational thought.

Admission Requirements

M.M.: Prior degree in MUED; official transcript(s); 3.0 GPA; three letters of recommendation; resume; statement of career goals; a current, accredited U.S. teaching certificate; and one year of full-time teaching completed before beginning coursework.

For more information about graduate admission, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Ph.D.: Prior degree in Music Education; current and valid state teaching license earned from an accredited US university program; three letters of professional and pedagogical reference; scholarly writing sample of related discipline; statement of philosophy for pursuit of the Ph.D. degree;  video/DVD sample of school music teaching; minimum three years of successful teaching experience at elementary and/or secondary levels; resume or curriculum vitae of professional musical and teaching work; official transcript(s); 3.0 GPA; and committee interview with Music Education Faculty (voice, video or personal campus visit).

For more information about graduate admission, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Graduation Requirements

M.M.: Minimum of 31 total credit hours.

Ph.D.: Minimum 75 total credit hours. The student must complete a residency requirement of 9 hours (minimum) each year until Qualifying Exams.

Program Learning Outcomes

Master of Music:

  1. Students develop and apply knowledge of foundational principles of music education (history, philosophy, sociology, psychology); research methods and practices; music technology; methods of music education in instrumental, choral, and general music contexts; western music theory and history; and world music.
  2. Students exhibit scholarly writing skills focusing on comprehensive knowledge of research methodology through projects that demonstrate applications within the field of music teaching. These projects are compiled into a portfolio.
  3. Students are actively involved with colleagues throughout the United States in online discussions of questions related to music teaching, music learning, research, and other topics of significance within music education and carry this professionalism into the wider teaching community.
  4. Students maintain a chronological and topical journal of their specific work in meeting goals and objectives for the program and the archiving of specified projects from all courses in a personal e-portfolio. These projects are based on the connections of theory to practice, readings in the literature, and feedback from experts in the field, professors and mentors.
  5. Students will complete a graduate level capstone project that requires reading, research, writing, and critical thinking skills related to contemporary music education contexts. A primary goal is to learn about the research process to help improve individual and student practice, along with potential preparation for further study and professional development.


  1. Students demonstrate knowledge of music education research and practice relative to primary, secondary, undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels through writing and oral communication.
  2. Students engage in research activities appropriate to doctoral and professional level practice in music education through participation in doctoral seminars, extensive reading of scholarly writings, conducting and writing independent research papers, and presentation of research at professional events.
  3. Students demonstrate active collegial involvement at local, national and global levels through diverse professional activities including but not limited to scholarly publications and presentations, collaborative research, and engagement with other scholars in order to share knowledge in music and related fields.
  4. Students communicate a comprehensive and sophisticated knowledge of music education through the lens of history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, research methodologies, advanced pedagogy, learning theories, and methods of curricular structure as needed for a career in higher education.
  5. Students complete a doctoral level dissertation project that requires reading, research, writing, and critical thinking skills related to contemporary music education contexts. A primary goal is to learn about the research process and add significantly to knowledge in the field, along with potential preparation for further study and professional development.


Thesis/ Dissertation

M.M.: Students complete a 12-week, individual research investigation (Capstone Project) comparable to a master's thesis. Under the supervision of a capstone advisor, students synthesize knowledge through the development of a curricular project applicable to the student's specific area of teaching. A prescribed description outlines requirements, goals, objectives, procedures, and assessment. Activities include student reading-research-writing, preparation of a project outline and drafts, regular interaction with a research mentor, and evaluation of conclusions for the final submission. A primary goal is to support students to critically analyze and improve their own music teaching and learning skills in classroom settings. The project is reviewed and evaluated by a graduate committee of music education faculty.

Ph.D.: Upon successful completion of the candidacy examination, students take a dissertation topic from the proposal stage through approval, writing, submission and an oral defense process with a faculty committee comprised of the music education advisor, one additional music education faculty member, one representative from music education or education, a member from another music discipline area or education, and an appointed graduate faculty representative.


For the Ph.D. a comprehensive, qualifying, candidacy examination is taken when the student has substantially completed his/her coursework and has received the consent of the advisor committee to attempt the examination. The examination includes an extensive written section consisting of proctored and non-proctored questions, and an oral section taken before a faculty committee. Material for both written and oral sections is drawn from the coursework taken during the degree program, current professional research literature, and current topics in music education. Students who fail the candidacy examination two times will be dismissed from the doctoral program.


National Association of Schools of Music; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education