Skip To Main Content

#GivingTuesday – Last year, more than 7,600 Penn Stater’s raised their voices in support of nearly 90 University campaigns and contributed over $700,000 in less than 48 hours. Help make #GivingTuesday 2020 a record-breaking success!

Read More >
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Select where to search:


Ph.D. in Music Education

Scholarly studies in the processes of teaching and learning music.
The Music Education Ph.D. program offers advanced study in the processes of teaching and learning music from a research-based perspective. It’s aimed at individuals seeking greater breadth and depth in the music education profession and/or careers in higher education and music administration.

Investigate the processes of teaching and learning music from a research-based perspective.

The Music Education Ph.D. program consists of courses, internships, and other experiences designed to prepare individuals for specific leadership roles in music education. Courses cover various areas of music; theories and practices in teaching, learning, and assessment; and research. The exact number of credits required in the program will vary according to a student’s previous experience and degrees, but the minimum is 47. The program culminates with a major research project and thesis that is not included in the minimum credit requirement. At least one academic year of full-time residency is required, and a portion of the course work can be completed through summer study. Students must demonstrate knowledge of the history and theory of Western art music through competency exams or completion of courses beyond the curricular requirements.

Is the Ph.D. in Music Education right for you?

This program is designed to provide opportunities for a high level of scholarly study in the processes of teaching and learning music. Candidates 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. This program accepts rolling admission with first priority for funding to applicants who apply prior to January 15. The Graduate Record Exam general test (GRE) is required for admission.

Learn more!

We know that it’s important to make sure that a Ph.D. program is the right fit, that’s why we’ve compiled facts and figures and had current Ph.D. candidates frame their experiences for you. To find out more about this amazing program, visit the Music Education Ph.D program focus website.

A music education Ph.D. student shows a blue and white Penn State Nittany Lions garden flag to an older individual sitting on a couch.
A Penn State School of Music student conducts an ensemble of elementary school students during a pre-researsal of the tenth anniversary Partners in Music concert held at Eisenhower Auditorium.

Considering the Ph.D. in Music Education? Consider this.

You’ll delve deeper into the processes of teaching and learning music.

  • Upon completion, you will be prepared for careers in higher education or music administration.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to learn from other music educators with a range of experiences.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State alumnus and McMaster University professor Michael Schutz.

Alumni Spotlight

Michael Schutz

B.M. in Music 2002

Michael Schutz, who combined a B.M in Music with a B.S. in Computer Science at Penn State, now is associate professor of music cognition/percussion at McMaster University, where he conducts the percussion ensemble and teaches courses on music perception and cognition. He was named a University Scholar in recognition of his innovative work bridging music performance and music perception.

Penn State alumnus Michael Schutz playing a Glockenspiel.

News from A&A

Tony Leach produces "One Mo’ River to Cross" featuring responses to race issues

Tony Leach's "One Mo' River to Cross" features Penn Staters' response to race issues via music and spoken word performances.

Penn State School of Music Professor Emeritus Anthony Leach, longtime director of Essence of Joy, has released “One Mo’ River to Cross,” a video compilation featuring musical and spoken word


Read More

School of Music receives $2 million endowment to establish faculty chair

The David P. Stone Chair in the School of Music has been established in the name of the late Penn State alumnus, philanthropist and music enthusiast.
Read More

Music Education alum compiles book with fellow School of Music contributors

Music Ed alum Dr. Brian Winnie compiled "The Conductor's Companion: 100 Rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative Ideas, Quotes and Facts" with contributions from Music alums and faculty.
Read More