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6 Universities Offering An Online Music Education Degree

Music has the power to inspire and bring people together. It can bring change, and cause a myriad of emotions, and when you put that into perspective, imagine what a degree in music education could do for you. With a degree in music education, you can teach general music education at the elementary, middle, or high school levels.

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You’ll have the opportunity to lead bands, orchestras, choirs, and offer private music lessons. The best part about this is you can get your education from the comfort of your own home through online courses. Let’s take a closer look at some of the career paths you can explore with your new music education degree.

Here are the top schools that provide an online music education degree.

1. Liberty University

Liberty University

How long is the program and what’s the cost?

Liberty requires 39 total credit hours, for what is on average a two-year program. Each course is roughly eight weeks. Credit hours are roughly $250 per credit hour.

Why choose Liberty University?

Students in Liberty’s online music education program will be well equipped when it comes to teaching music theory, music technology, conducting, and so much more. Students will be well prepared for teaching K-12 students, or even at the college level.

Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs has not increased over the last four years. Liberty University’s school of music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

What are the courses offered?

A Master’s Degree program that focuses on the foundational study in music education (9 hours), music studies concentration (18 hours), music education studies courses (9 hours), a research studies course (3 hours), and a final project based around a thesis, lecture and performance recital, or music education curriculum project (3 hours).

What are the admissions requirements?

Admission application, application fee, official college transcript, proof of English proficiency. 

2. Southern Utah University

Southern Utah University

How long is the program and what’s the cost?

Graduate students can earn their Master’s in a year, and tuition tops out at $12,900. Students will have to meet on campus for a three-week session during the course (which is temporarily no longer required due to COVID-19), but aside from that, the rest of the course work resides completely online. Scholarships are also available.

Why choose Southern Utah University?

In the past five years, Southern Utah University has had a 100% job placement rate for graduate students. They have been awarded as one of the best regional colleges of the West by the Princeton Review six times in the last decade.

What are the courses offered?

Students will learn Research in Music Education (3 credits), Music Theory Pedagogy (2 credits), Music Teaching and Learning (3 credits), Conducting (1 credit), and more. Students will also have a variety of electives to choose from, such as Band Repair Workshop and Professional Development in Music Education.

What are the admissions requirements?

Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a teaching certificate, proof of current teaching position, resume and cover letter, and successful admission into the graduate school.

Prospective students will need to be currently employed as a music teacher in a school setting.

3. University of Florida

University of Florida

How long is the program and what’s the cost?

The Master’s program requires 33 credit hours, which can be completed in two years. Tuition is roughly $3,800.

Why choose University of Florida?

The skills and knowledge you will receive from the University of Florida will greatly benefit you in teaching K-12 students, as well as instruction through private lessons, leading a band or choir, and more.

You’ll learn the music and culture from around the world, giving you a deeper understanding of music knowledge, helping to build stronger lesson plans for post-graduation. 

What are the courses offered?

Psychology of Music (3 credit hours), Research in Music Education (3 credit hours), Music of the World (3 credit hours), Creative Thinking in Music (3 credit hours), and more. 

What are the admissions requirements?

Candidates will need a BA/BS/BM in Music Education. A 3.0 cumulative GPA in undergraduate study, and professional music teaching experience. No GRE score is required for admission.

4. The Baptist College of Florida

The Baptist College of Florida

How long is the program and what is the cost?

The Bachelor’s program is designed for those who are looking to teach music to K-12 students.

The course is 133 total hours, with an annual tuition cost of roughly $11,970.

Why choose the Baptist College of Florida?

First off, this is a Christian College, so if that is a consideration factor, you will be happy to know their courses incorporate those beliefs. They are an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASW). 

What are the courses offered?

Students will have the opportunity to take Technology for the Music Classroom (3 hours), Sight Singing/Ear Training (3 hours), Music Literature (2 hours), Basic Conducting (3 hours) and much more.

What are the admissions requirements?

50 hours of coursework which includes completion of the English Composition, Literature, and Mathematics portion of the General Education Foundation. Students must obtain a minimum of 2.5 GPA in the General Education Component of undergraduate studies. They must also pass the GKT (General Knowledge Test) section of the Florida Teacher Certificate Examination (FTCE).

5. Boston University

Boston University

How long is the program and what’s the cost?

Students will take at least eight courses and at least 32 credit hours to earn a Master’s degree. You will complete two courses each semester, and the entire program can be completed within 18-24 months. The cost is $855 per credit hour plus a $95 application fee.

Why choose Boston University?

Boston University’s instructors are highly qualified and will provide you with a lifelong education that will expand your music knowledge. Through writing, discussions, analyzing, and research, your music education with Boston University will set you apart from the competition. 

What are the courses offered?

Introduction to Music Education Research, History and Philosophy in Music Education, Music Technology Pedagogy, Community Music Perspectives, Jazz and Popular Arranging, and much more.

What are the admissions requirements?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Music or Music Education from a regionally accredited College or University. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and current or recent teaching experience.

Here’s What To Look For In a Music Education Degree

By now, you probably have a goal set in mind as to what you aspire to be, so now it comes down to the big decision: what school should you attend?

Ask About Career Placement Services

Most universities offer career placement services of some kind. Some are better than others, but you need to be proactive about career placement.

You should absolutely ask about career placement services as a part of your application process when considering different music programs.

After enrollment always keep career placement in mind and utilize their services as much as possible. Your goal should be to have career opportunities lined up prior to graduation.

See If The University Curriculum Suites You

Prior to enrolling in a music education program, you should have set up goals as to what you hope to learn and advance your skillset.

Not all curriculum is the same across universities and you won’t want to be spending your time (and money) on elective courses outside of what is core to a music education degree.

Consider Tuition Expenses

Tuition is a major factor in consideration when choosing to enroll in a music education program. There are three key aspects to analyze when calculating tuition expenses.

  • Cost of credit hours This is the hard cost of your tuition. Every university has credit hour requirements in order to earn your degree. If credit hour requirements are 120 credit hours and the cost per credit hour is $500, you can expect to spend $60,000 on tuition over the course of your enrollment.
  • Possible career paths — Earning potential may not be the biggest focus for some, but you should understand how it can affect your finances over time, especially if you are taking out loans that you will payback.
  • Earning opportunity cost — For each year you are in school with a tuition expense, you could be working and earning an income, and there are ways to become a music educator with less traditional routes.

Common Careers Available With a Music Education Degree

Elementary School Music Teacher

Median Salary: $44,000

Here, you’ll typically be working with kindergarten through fifth graders, so most of the teaching will be very introductory. So, think about teaching the basics here: learning to read music, scales, a basic understanding of treble and bass clef, and an introduction to their instruments. Helping students decide which instrument is right for them is important here too. Your focus will be either brass, woodwind, percussion, or strings.

Middle school/High school Music Teacher

Median Salary: $48,000

High school teachers make a little more on average compared to elementary teachers, with their median salary of $48,000.

As a middle school or high school teacher, your students will have an established musical foundation, and you will help them build off of what they have learned. You will have the opportunity to hold concerts, think every season or so.

Students will have a greater musical understanding, and you’ll have the chance to help those who are wondering just how much further they’re willing to expand their musical talents into high school or life after high school.

Professional Musician 

Median Salary: $48,000 (Can very dramatically)

Here, you’ll take the title of musician to the next level. As a professional musician, you’ll be able to join a professional symphony or band and perform in front of thousands of fans.

You’ll also be able to give lessons from the comfort of your own home. If you’ve ever wanted to make a living without having to leave your home, then this plays right up your alley.

That’s all music to my ears… so now what?

Researching your path is going to be crucial toward your education’s success and career path. Each university has a unique offering that fits prospective students differently.

Take a further look by visiting our study on the best music schools, and reading our guide on the best audio engineering schools.