Doctor of Arts (Music Education)

The doctor of arts degree with a major in music is designed to prepare superior musicians for careers that combine teaching, performance, and scholarship. The program integrates depth of preparation in one of the traditional disciplines of music with a School of Music core, an area of secondary emphasis, several supervised college teaching experiences, and the dissertation.

The graduate with a DA primary in music education will be prepared to be a productive artist/scholar with special expertise as a music teacher educator and additional qualifications to take on more diverse responsibilities characteristic of many higher education faculty positions. The program requires a minimum of 90 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the bachelor's degree. Upon the recommendation of the student's committee, credits from the master's degree are applied.

Candidates pursuing a primary emphasis in an area other than music education may apply to pursue a secondary emphasis in music education.



All applicants for doctor of arts degrees must be admitted to the Graduate School and the School of Music. See SOM doctoral admissions information for details.

In addition, the following is considered when reviewing those who wish to apply for a DA with a primary emphasis in music education and/or a graduate assistantship in music education:

  • The candidate must have a minimum of 3 years of public school teaching experience and hold, or recently have held, a valid teaching license.
  • The candidate must submit 3 letters of recommendation (standard requirement for the graduate admissions; at least one should address your teaching experience).
  • The candidate must submit a professional writing sample. This may be in the form of a research paper, an article submitted for publication, a statement of educational philosophy, etc.
  • The candidate must submit a professional essay relevant to teaching in the music education discipline which details his/her teaching experience, music education training, desires for the doctor of arts in music education as a primary or secondary area and/or graduate assistantship in the area, and future goals or potential use of this portion of your degree in your professional future.

Upon review of these submitted materials, the music education area requires the candidate to interview with the music education faculty members and then a formal decision of acceptance may be acted upon. 

DA candidates interested in a secondary emphasis in music education will submit all of the above application materials. These candidates are not required to have school teaching experience but at least one letter of recommendation must address the candidate's potential as a teacher. The music education secondary requires 15 credit hours in music education.  


Required Courses

  • Interdisciplinary studies -- 18 hours
  • Area of primary emphasis -- 24 hours (see courses below)
  • Area of secondary emphasis -- 15 hours
  • College teaching and learning -- 17 hours
  • Dissertation -- 10 hours
  • Electives -- 6 hours

Courses: Primary Emphasis in Music Education
Foundational Courses in Music Education (9 hours)

  • MUSE 681 Psychology of Music
  • MUSE 743 Music in Collegiate Education
  • A third course selected from the following:
    • MUSE 600 History and Philosophy of Music Education
    • MUSE 610 Music Teaching and Learning
    • MUSE 620 Assessment Techniques in Music Education

Research Tools (5-6 hours)

  • MUSE 668 Research in Music Education
  • One additional course in research methodology, addressing the needs of the candidate (selected in consultation with the committee chair).

Classroom Music Education, General and Special (9-10 hours)

Select from the following courses:

  • MUSE 593 Workshop in Music Education (1-13); maximum of 4 credit hours may be applied to degree requirements.
  • MUSE 600 History and Philosophy of Music Education
  • MUSE 610 Music Teaching and Learning
  • MUSE 620 Assessment Techniques in Music Education
  • MUSE 640 Advanced Studies in General Music Education
  • MUSE 650 Advanced Studies in Choral Music Education
  • MUSE 660 Advanced Studies in Instrumental Music Education
  • MUSE 692 Special Topics in Music Education  

See the SOM Doctoral Degrees page for more information and access to the SOM Graduate Handbook.