Music Education, Ph.D.


The general requirements for admission are: a master’s degree in music education (or the equivalent); satisfactory score on the general section (verbal/quantitative/analytical) of the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test; master’s thesis or equivalent demonstration of the ability to undertake and complete significant, original scholarly work; evidence of successful full-time teaching at the elementary or secondary level (a minimum of three years and an expectation of five years); an interview; and fulfillment of the general requirements for admission to The Graduate School, including the submission of three recommendations preferably written on School of Music forms. Applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 100 (internet-based) or 600 (paper-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 7. Applicants for the Doctor of Music Arts degree in composition, conducting, or performance whose TOEFL score is below the minimum acceptable score will be considered on an individual basis for conditional admission. Such applicants must demonstrate exceptional abilities in the major area and evidence through past academic or professional activities strong promise for future professional success.Additional admission requirements for specific areas are listed online. Admission decisions are based upon the applicant’s total portfolio with particular weight being given to a record of successful music teaching at the elementary or secondary level and documented evidence of an ability to undertake and complete significant, independent research and writing.

Degree Requirements (60 Post-Master’s Hours)

Prior to taking any graduate music study, all doctoral students must take the Graduate Music Diagnostic Examination and, early in their studies, complete all deficiencies or courses resulting from the exam. Ph.D. students must be admitted to degree candidacy no later than the completion of the equivalent of two semesters of full-time study (12 credits total for graduate assistants and 18 credits total for others) and must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of graduate work past the master’s degree. At least 18 of the credit hours must be completed as part of doctoral residency (18 approved credits taken within a span of three consecutive semesters, with at least one semester being spent in full-time study on the Columbia campus)  Prior to the scheduling of the comprehensive examination, degree candidates must have satisfied the proficiency in research methods by successfully completing MUED 795, MUED 796, EDRM 710, and  EDRM 711. Doctoral candidates in music education must also complete written comprehensive examinations in music education (and any minor area) as well as an oral comprehensive examination that covers music education, music history/literature, music theory, and any doctoral minor. In addition, degree candidates must complete a written dissertation. The final doctoral requirement is the successful oral defense of the dissertation.

Major Area (36 Hours)

Course Title Credits
MUED 790Principles of Music Education3
MUED 795Research in Music Education and Pedagogy3
MUED 796Seminar in Music Education Research3
MUED 890Research Project3
MUSC 899Dissertation Preparation12
Select MUED courses 700-level and above12
Total Credit Hours36

Educational Research Core (9 Hours)

Course Title Credits
EDRM 710Educational Statistics I3
EDRM 711Educational Statistics II3
EDFI 731Qualitative Inquiry3
Total Credit Hours9

Other Studies in Music and Related Fields (15 Hours)

Minimum of 9 MUSC credits including the following:

  • One advisor-approved course in Music History
  • One advisor-approved course in Music Theory

Remaining credits will be selected from advisor-approved courses including applied music, ensembles, conducting, literature, and up to six hours of courses in related areas such as psychology and general education.