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Music Education M.A. and Ph.D.

music education students singing and at a pianoOur graduate-level music education programs are nationally known for preparing excellent practitioners and scholars. 

Master of Arts in Music Education (M.A.)

Students pursuing the M.A. in Music Education choose either a practice-orientation or a research-orientation for the M.A. and select suitable courses in consultation with the coordinator for Music Education. Between one-third and two-thirds of the degree may be in music education courses. At least half of the credits must be in courses designated for graduate students only. The practice-oriented program emphasizes the extension of specialized performance and pedagogy competencies for music teachers. At least one-half of the curriculum will be in performance and/or pedagogy. A final project in performance and/or pedagogy is required. The research-oriented program emphasizes theoretical studies and research projects in music education. At least one-half of the curriculum will be in music education research and the associated research areas. A thesis is required.

Degree Requirements
Application Procedures

See Graduate Admission for a list of required application materials expected of all graduate applicants. In addition to those materials, applicants to the MA in music education degree program must

  • be a certified music teacher or be in the process of completing certification requirements. A grade-point average on undergraduate and graduate work of 3.0 (A= 4.0), is required for admission to regular status
  • submit a resume of professional experience

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Master of Arts in Music Education + Certification

This program is designed for those individuals who have already completed an undergraduate degree (most typically a B.A. or B.M. in music performance) and who wish to earn Iowa certification while concurrently pursuing the M.A. in music education. Applicants must be admitted to the College of Education’s Teacher Education Program (TEP) as well as the Graduate College. Students with undergraduate degrees in areas other than music performance must complete basic coursework in music (i.e., music theory, music history, composition, lessons on a major instrument, etc.) in addition to the certification and MA requirements. Each student also must successfully complete a semester of student teaching.

The M.A. + Certification program will probably take at least five semesters of coursework to complete. Candidacy for the M.A. degree in music education is contingent upon completion of the certification requirements in the area of concentration (K-12 instrumental or vocal music) as well as the course requirements for the M.A.  

Application forms for the Teacher Education Program may be obtained from the College of Education’s Office of Teacher Education and Student Services. For graduate students seeking certification through the College of Education Teacher Education Program, the deadlines for submitting an application are March 1 for summer or fall-term enrollment and October 1 for spring semester enrollment.

Transfer Credit

Of the 33 semester hour minimum required for the M.A., 24 s.h. must be completed at The University of Iowa. Nine hours of graduate coursework completed at other accredited graduate institutions may be accepted toward the degree if such credit duplicates required or elective coursework at The University of Iowa.

Teaching Assistantships

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to students with K-12 school teaching experience. An on-campus interview is expected for applicants wishing to be considered for a teaching assistantship. Please contact the music education area head about scheduling. Students applying for assistantships should write to the music education area head for further details. Priority is given to applications received by February 1st. Applicants need to supply a copy of teaching certificate or documentation that a certificate can be obtained.

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Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. program in music education is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching, research, or administration in: (a) College positions—teachers of music education or music therapy classes; band, chorus and orchestra directors; and administrators of music departments; (b) Public school positions—music supervisors; research and curriculum consultants; directors of city or district school music programs.  Music therapy students may obtain the Ph.D. in music education and apply courses from the music therapy program. Applicants whose background and career goals are focused on music therapy should contact Dr. Kate Gfeller to discuss admission requirements and curricular options. Dr. Cohen and Dr. Gfeller will co-advise students with a music therapy emphasis on program requirements (including curricular requirements, comprehensive examinations, research expectations, and assistantships).

Degree Requirements & Guides
Application Procedures

See Graduate Admission for a list of required application materials expected of all graduate applicants. Additional requirements for the Ph.D. program are

  • a 3.50 graduate grade-point average in graduate school
  • scores from the General Aptitude Test (Verbal/Quantitative/Analytical portions, not the Music specialty test) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are requested but not required
  • holding, or being qualified for, a valid teaching certificate
  • a minimum of two years of successful music teaching experience
  • materials/documentation attesting to teaching success, academic and musical abilities, and writing ability (Master’s thesis or term papers)
  • an interview
Transfer Credit

Coursework completed at other accredited graduate institutions may be accepted toward the degree if such credit duplicates required or elective coursework at The University of Iowa.

Teaching Assistantships

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to students with K-12 school teaching experience. An on-campus interview is expected for applicants wishing to be considered for a teaching assistantship. Please contact the music education area head about scheduling. Students applying for assistantships should write to the music education area head for further details. Priority is given to applications received by February 1st. Applicants need to supply a copy of teaching certificate or documentation that a certificate can be obtained.

Questions?

More information on this program may be obtained by contacting Dr. Mary Cohen, Music Education Area Head, at 319-335-3030.

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