Music (Music Learning and Teaching), PhD

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Immerse yourself in a community of dynamic partnerships, research and teaching collaborations, and creative enterprise. Each semester, there is the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty on creative projects and initiatives that lead to independent and co-authored research and publication.

The PhD in music with a concentration in music learning and teaching is a scholarly research degree. Graduates of this program typically serve as faculty members at colleges or universities.

The music learning and teaching doctoral program includes highly specialized study in music education, elective studies with scholars and artists in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and opportunities for transdisciplinary elective study with faculty in schools and colleges across the university. A plan of study is designed by the student in consultation with the faculty to support a research trajectory identified by the student.

Research conducted by students in the music learning and teaching concentration aims to reexamine, interrogate and broaden discourse, practice and policy in music education, and to expand music and education scholarship by challenging methodological and disciplinary boundaries. The program concludes with dissertation research.

At A Glance

Music (Music Learning and Teaching), PhD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Application requirements

Application procedures + requirements

Application deadlines
Spring 2021: rolling (applicants are encouraged to apply by October 1. Applications will continue to be accepted until spaces are filled)
Summer 2021: rolling (applicants are encouraged to apply by May 1. Applications will continue to be accpeted until all spaces are filled)
Fall 2021: rolling (applicants are encouraged to apply by December 1. Applications will continue to be accepted until spaces are filled)

Curriculum check sheet

Check sheets break down the course requirements for each degree program.

Music learning and teaching (PhD) 

Professional licensure

Affording grad school

Music scholarships
All applicants are automatically considered for merit based scholarships, with priority given to those who audition and/or interview on-campus.

Teaching assistantships
Teaching assistantships are offered to graduate students who convey exceptional ability. Learn more about TA benefits, eligibility and application procedures.

Financial aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Degree requirements

Required Core (10 credit hours)
MSI 601 Contemporary Topics in Music Research (2)
MSI 602 Current Issues in Music Research (2)
MSI 755 Historical Research in Music (3)
MTC 520 Analytical Techniques (3)

Concentration (30 credit hours)

Electives (29 credit hours)

Research (6 credit hours)

Other Requirements (3 credit hours)
MUE 784 Internship (3)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
MUE 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
Completion of diagnostic exams in music history and music theory is required of all new graduate music students prior to enrollment in the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this degree. A minimum of two semesters must be spent in continuous full-time residence at ASU.

Additional information on degree requirements for all graduate music programs may be found on the check sheets:

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply if they have earned a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an institution in another country that is officially recognized by that country.

Applicants must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 ="A") in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee:
  2. School of Music, Dance and Theatre application (including curriculum vitae, personal statement and a writing sample):
  3. official transcripts
  4. teaching demonstration video
  5. GRE or MAT scores
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The School of Music, Dance and Theatre does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances. In order to meet English proficiency requirements, students should have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT), or an IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5, or a Pearson Test of English score of at least 60.

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all spaces are filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Students should see the program website for more information on application deadlines. To ensure prompt processing of application, students should email after submitting an application. An interview with the music learning and teaching doctoral faculty in person or via electronic media is scheduled after review of application materials. GRE or MAT scores may be submitted after deadlines, but these must be received before enrollment at ASU.

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