Online Music PhD Degree Program Information

Dec 04, 2019

Find out about online doctoral programs in music education. Get program and course information, and read about career options to determine if online learning is for you.

Essential Information

Online Ph.D. programs in music education are not common, but a few schools do offer them. Incoming students must have a master's degree in music education, and many programs have a limited enrollment. Specializations in the program may include vocal music or instrumental music.

These programs generally combine online courses with on-campus courses or a brief residency for dissertation completion. The online study allows students to view lectures and download class materials as their schedules permit, and then present their dissertation during the residency period. Researching, writing and presenting a dissertation is a major part of these programs.

Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education

Music educators with a master's degree can earn a Ph.D. in Music Education online, although enrollment may be limited to a small number of individuals. Different specializations exist, such as vocal or instrumental music. All specialties teach technology, evaluation and research as they apply to music education. Students conduct research and connect with peers through the schools' online networks. A similar online program may lead to a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education, but availability of this type of program is also limited.

Information and Requirements

The coursework portion of online Ph.D. programs in music education takes 2-3 years. The dissertation component, which is required in many doctoral programs, takes an additional 1-2 years to complete. The hybrid format combines on-campus and online course requirements. Online instructors reach students via the Internet, using message boards, video and e-mail to share information. Students must often complete an on-campus residency, during which time they present their dissertation.

List of Common Music Education Courses

Online coursework for music education Ph.D. programs involves learning about research methodology and the principles of music education. Students can also take courses that highlight specific types of music or periods in music history.

Music Education Research

In this course, students learn how to form hypotheses and recognize problems. Research methodology is discussed at length, and historical research is also covered.

Music Education Curriculum and Teaching

Students examine the historical, philosophical, sociological and psychological aspects of music education. Curriculum and program development are also discussed.

Music Criticism

This course discusses the role of music criticism in music education. Students read commentary from various historical and sociopolitical perspectives.

Career Information

Graduates of online Ph.D. programs in music education qualify to become professors in college-level music programs. Some professionals might continue to work as associate or assistant professors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for postsecondary art, drama and music teachers in 2018 was $69,960. Available jobs for postsecondary art, drama and music teachers are expected to rise by 11% between 2018 and 2028.

Although rare, online doctoral programs in music education are available for students wishing to become postsecondary music teachers. Students may need to complete an on-campus residency to finish their dissertation, and they will also take courses in topics like music education curriculum and teaching.

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