Master of Arts in Music Education

This distinctive degree program is designed for practicing music educators seeking graduate study that combines theory and practice. Emphasis is placed on musical artistry and teaching style, together with developing students’ research skills. Students take core courses and choose one of the following concentrations:

Orff Schulwerk
Piano Pedagogy

Each concentration addresses the needs of music educators. Instructors are nationally recognized practitioners in the respective areas of concentration.

Program Structure

The Master of Arts in Music Education curriculum requires 33 semester hours and consists of three elements:

  1. Core courses cover teaching and learning, foundations of music education, musicianship and ensemble, perspectives in music theory, and music education research methods;
  2. A specialized field of concentration offers opportunities to develop specific skills; and
  3. A master's thesis or final project allows students to conduct applied research in music education.

Admission Deadlines

Admission deadlines are:

Summer Term     April 1
Fall Term             July 1
Spring Term        Dec. 1

Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Transfer Graduate Credits

A maximum of six semester hours completed at another accredited institution prior to entering the program may be considered for transfer to meet degree requirements if the course work was:

  • graded "B-" or better;
  • taken within the last seven years;
  • comparable in content and approach with those in the University of St. Thomas Master of Arts in Music Education degree program:
  • acceptable at the granting institution toward a graduate degree there; and
  • not used to fulfill requirements for a previously granted degree.

Transfer credits from another institution may not be applied to Level II or III of either the Orff Schulwerk or Kodály fields of concentration; however, they may be applied to the core requirements and Level I in these fields of concentration.

Six graduate credits earned as a nondegree student in UST courses that also are requirements for the graduate program may be transferred to meet the student's course requirements. The total number of transfer credits from other institutions and the University of St. Thomas may not exceed six.


The Master of Arts in Music Education degree program is designed for working music teachers who wish to pursue graduate study without interrupting their professional lives. All courses required for the degree are available during the summer term in an interlocking arrangement of day and evening courses. Field of concentration courses are offered in notations of even- and odd-numbered years. For the convenience of those teachers who live in the Twin Cities' metropolitan area, most core courses are offered also during the fall and spring semesters.

Core Courses

Core courses provide opportunities for students to place their specific skills within a broader musical and educational context. Areas of study include:

  • An introduction to scholarship and research methods in music education (GMUS 600).

  • An examination of conditions that affect the learning process and ways they can be mediated to influence student development (GMUS 601).

  • A survey of ideas, forces, philosophies, and values that have shaped American music education (GMUS 608).

  • An examination and application of traditional and contemporary music theory scholarship (GMUS 611).

  • In-depth consideration of music history, literature, and theory devoted to a particular historical period (GMUS 612).

  • Systematic study of applied musicianship skills in tonic solfa and choral ensemble (GMUS 750).

  • Application of music education research to final projects and thesis writing (GMUS 890).


The program director serves as academic adviser for all students until course work is completed. Degree plans are prepared during the admissions interview.

The University of St. Thomas Music Department is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Schools of Music.

The University of St. Thomas is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.