Top Music Education Programs: List of Schools

This article identifies two of the best schools to offer music education programs in the U.S. Learn about school rankings and locations, degree titles and curriculum, as well as program requirements.

Schools Overview

The following two schools have been ranked by the U.S. News & World Report and offer some of the best music education programs in the country. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education are available at both educational institutions. The programs offered by at least one of the schools includes music teacher certification as part of the curriculum, ensuring that graduates are qualified to find employment as educators. Read on for more information about the best music education programs offered in the U.S.

1. Columbia University in New York, NY

School Highlight: Special programs at Columbia University include an early childhood music education concentration.

Columbia University's music education program draws its education coursework from the Teachers College, which was ranked as the seventh best graduate education program by U.S. News & World Report for 2015. The program offers graduate degrees, such as the Master of Arts in Music Education, Master of Education in Music Education, and Doctor of Education in Music Education. Columbia has a number of performing arts groups, including the Columbia Musical Theater Society.

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

School Highlight: The University of Wisconsin in Madison (UW-Madison) was named as having the fifth best graduate education program in 2015, as well as the 18th best fine arts program in 2015, by U.S. News & World Report.

UW-Madison offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including the Bachelor of Music, Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Music, and Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction, which offer concentrations in music education. Music education programs offered at UW-Madison can prepare students for music teacher certification and coursework is taken from the School of Music and School of Education. An audition is required for admission to the music education program, located in the School of Music; students are expected to have at least one performance area in addition to their early childhood and adolescent music education training.

Top Music Education Schools

College/University Name Distinction Location
Johns Hopkins University JHU offers three study options - undergraduate, master's degree and professional certification - to meet the needs of students with a variety of backgrounds Baltimore, MD
Northwestern University Northwestern has relationships with 60 Chicago area schools for practical experiences, and boasts a 100% placement rate for music education bachelor's degree graduates Evanston, IL
University of Colorado at Boulder In addition to courses such as music theory, conducting and music education, students focus on studying and performing with their own major instrument Boulder, CO
University of Kansas Student organizations at KU include a chapter of the National Association for Music Education and participation in the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference Lawrence, KS
Vanderbilt University Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music works with the university's top-ranked Peabody College of Education to offer a 5-year Bachelor of Music/Master's of Music Education degree Nashville, TN

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