Music Education, BS

Degree: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Major: Music Education

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Music Education is a professional degree for students who are interested in teaching music in K-12 schools. Undergraduate music education majors pursue a fully accredited curriculum that develops musical knowledge through a sequential program of instruction, critical thinking, and practical teaching experiences. Students develop skills, concepts, and methodologies in music theory, composition, general musicianship, music history, arranging/orchestrating, improvising, conducting, and music performance. This intensive four-year degree leading to teacher licensure prepares students to become professional music educators. 

Program highlights include:

  • Full time faculty with specialties in all areas of music education (choral, general, instrumental) who provide personalized attention to students and support teacher preparation 
  • An emphasis on experiential learning that is based on current research and best practices
  • Active participation in music teaching beginning in the introductory courses with fieldwork continuing throughout the degree program
  • Opportunities to perform with outstanding ensembles (orchestra, band, choral, early music, jazz)
  • Experiencing a variety of liberal arts subjects (humanities, literature, history, social sciences, foreign language) and conservatory instruction (performance, music theory) by participating in our Joint Music Program with the internationally renowned Cleveland Institute of Music
  • An active chapter of NAfME Collegiate, a student-led organization dedicated to professional development
  • Advanced technology and a dedicated music education resource center
  • Earning a degree from a program approved by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Additional program information is available on the Department of Music Music Education webpage.


The BS in Music Education requires submission of the Common Application with corresponding Music Arts Supplement (digital questionnaire and video audition) on an acceptable primary instrument or voice and a live interview/performance audition (by invitation of the music education faculty) for entrance to the major. Students may pursue the minor in music or participate in ensembles and lessons as non- majors without passing an audition. However, all students applying for music scholarships must submit a Music Arts Supplement with the Common Application. 

Incoming undergraduate music majors are expected to enter CWRU with a fundamental working knowledge of and proficiency in reading of treble and/or bass clef, key signatures, and major and minor scales, along with the ability to vocally match pitches played on the piano. These skills are necessary for music theory courses taught through the Cleveland Institute of Music, which are a significant part of the required music major curriculum. Incoming undergraduate students are placed into a music theory course based on a diagnostic exam and a sight singing placement exam that are administered online prior to orientation. 

More information about the undergraduate admission and audition process is provided on the Department of Music Undergraduate Application Procedures webpage

For students who do not major or minor in music but want to participate in musical activities on campus, our many ensembles are open to all CWRU students (regardless of major), and we offer music lessons through the Joint Music Program with faculty from the Cleveland Institute of Music. 

Music Handbook and Advising

Current undergraduate music majors should review departmental policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Music Handbook, and use the Advising Forms as a tool to track academic progress in all course requirements.

Additional resources and forms are available on the Department of Music Resources for Current Undergraduate Music Majors webpage.

Undergraduate Policies

For undergraduate policies and procedures, please review the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.