Music Education, PhD

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Field of Study: Music Education

Program Overview

The PhD in Music Education is for individuals who wish to teach at the college level or obtain positions of leadership in school music programs (P-12). A core of studies centered on philosophy and research is supplemented by coursework in music and related fields. The program focuses on encouraging each doctoral student to develop to their fullest capacity through individual research projects, independent studies with music education faculty members, presentations at professional conferences, and publications in music education research journals. Every effort is made to plan a program based around the needs and interests of students while maintaining standards of musical and scholarly excellence.

The PhD program in Music Education prepares students for music leadership positions at a time when music teaching and learning—both in and out of the schools—is experiencing great change. Graduates of the music education doctoral program consistently secure faculty positions in college and university music programs, community music schools, and K-12 settings.

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


Applicants with good academic records from fully accredited universities and colleges will be considered for admission to graduate study at Case Western Reserve University. Admission must be recommended by the department or professional school of the university in which the applicant proposes to study and must be approved by the dean of graduate studies. 

Applicants for the PhD in Music Education must have (a) at least a 3.0 GPA from a completed graduate degree program in music education, (b) a minimum of 3 years of successful school music teaching experience in group settings, and (c) evidence of strong written and spoken English skills. After initial review, applicants may be invited to campus for an interview and teaching demonstration. There are no vocal or instrumental auditions associated with the PhD admission process.

More information about the graduate application and audition process in music is provided on the Department of Music Graduate Application Procedures webpage.

Handbook and Advising

Current graduate and professional students in music should review departmental policies and procedures in the Graduate Music Handbook. The handbook provides additional information regarding graduate assistantships, general expectations and responsibilities, program outcomes, decision points, performances, scholarly activity, outside work, prizes/awards, deadlines, petitions, examinations, advancement to candidacy, and student record-keeping.

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

Graduate Policies

For graduate policies and procedures, please review the School of Graduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.