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Master of Music Education

For music teachers who want to further their professional development.

Blending theory and practice, the M.M.E. program allows music teachers to develop professionally as both instructors and potential researchers. The program provides the opportunity for advanced study in music, music learning and teaching, and research-based practice.

Program Application Deadline

Applications received and completed by December 1 will be fully considered for admission and funding. Applications including auditions and interviews, by February 15 will be given consideration for admission and potentially for funding.

To be assured full consideration, please apply by this deadline. Review individual program descriptions for details on program and admission requirements.

Earn an M.M.E. at Penn State

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Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

The School of Music requires the completion of a recognized baccalaureate degree in music or music education, with a junior/senior grade-point average of 2.80 or higher (on a 4.00 scale). Admission to the M.M.E. program requires the completion of 12-15 credits in music education methods at the undergraduate level. Applicants are encouraged to submit evidence of successful teaching or student teaching experience. Admission to the Ph.D. requires an interview, submission of videotapes of teaching or conducting, and a portfolio of requested documents.

Additional requirements may include an interview in person or by interactive video to assess language skills.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

The Master of Music Education degree provides the opportunity for advanced study in music, music learning and teaching, and teaching as reflective practice. The program requires one to two full-time year(s) of residency at the University Park campus. Fullfillment of degree requirements includes successful completion of 30 credits of course work at the 400, 500, or 800 level that includes a final project designed by the student with the guidance of a faculty member. Twenty credits must be earned at the University Park campus and 18 credits must be at the 500 or 800 level, with at least 6 credits at the 500 level.

Required courses include upper-level (400, 500 or 800 level) course in music theory (2 cr. min)  and music history (3 cr. min.), at least one credit of music elective, one upper-level MUED course (3 cr.) (MUED 545MUED 556MUED 557 or MUED 558), one emphasis course (3 cr.)  (MUSIC 441WMUSIC 442WMUSIC 443WMUSIC 444WMUSIC 445W or MUSIC 446W), MUED 860 (3 cr.), one enrichment course (1-5 cr.) (MUED 547MUED 597*, MUED 559MUED 895* or MUSIC 460), one research course (2 cr. min.) (MUED 540MUED 550MUSIC 500 or CI 501), and one education elective (3 cr. min.) (EDPSY 421EDPSY 524SPLED 403A or SPLED 403BEDUC 806 or EDUC 839, The courses that satisfy the music theory and music history requirements can be chosen from a list of approved courses maintained by the graduate program office. The culminating experience for the degree is a capstone project completed while the student is enrolled in MUED 860.

*MUED 597 and MUED 895 must be approved by the program to fulfill this requirement.

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

The Ph.D. in Music Education is designed to provide opportunities for the highest level of scholarly study in the processes of teaching and learning music. Students are expected to develop and test new knowledge in the field of music education while preparing themselves for positions in higher education or other leadership roles within the profession. A qualifying exam, a doctoral dissertation, and comprehensive written and oral examinations are required.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Music Education (MUED) Course List

Music Education at Penn State

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.


Linda Thornton, Ph.D.

Music Education Graduate Student Coordinator

Professor, Music EduationPhone: 814-863-5723Email:

Is the M.M.E. right for you?

The M.M.E. program is designed to provide candidates with (1) a deeper level of musical skill and understanding, (2) an increased knowledge and skill in the pedagogy of music teaching, and (3) skills in interpreting and applying research. The courses and experiences in this degree program are most meaningful for teachers who have taught music in K-12 settings beyond the student teaching experience.

School of Music class rehearsal.

Considering the M.M.E? Consider this.

Classes blend theory and practice so you can build on your music teaching experience.

  • You’ll earn a master’s degree after 30 credits of coursework.

  • Program can be completed in two years.

  • Share your own teaching experiences and learn from your classmates’ experiences.

Alumni Spotlight

Alex Meixner playing an accordion, posing against a blue sky background

Alumni Spotlight

Alex Meixner

Master of Music 2001

Meixner is a nationally acclaimed musician, performer, bandleader, educator, and a leading advocate of polka music. Formally trained in classical, jazz, and ethnic music, he has cross-pollinated his versatile playing styles through pop music, funk, jazz, and polka. Photos: Chris Spiegel and Michael G. Stewart.

Alex Meixner playing an accordion
Alex Meixner enthusiastically playing an accordion over his head

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