Music (Music Learning and Teaching), PhD

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Immerse yourself in a community of dynamic partnerships, research and teaching collaborations, and creative enterprise. Each semester, you have opportunities to work with outstanding faculty on creative projects and initiatives that lead to independent and co-authored research and publication.

The PhD in music with a concentration in music learning and teaching is a world-class transformative degree for musician-teacher scholars who seek careers in musical and educational leadership.

Music learning and teaching doctoral students are immersed in an open, inclusive and multifaceted community of dynamic partnerships, research, and teaching collaborations. Students work each semester with outstanding faculty on creative projects and initiatives that lead to independent and co-authored research and publication, and they have opportunities to diversify their thinking and further their goals by collaborating with internationally recognized faculty in other schools and colleges at ASU.

The music learning and teaching doctoral program includes highly specialized study in music education, elective studies with scholars and artists in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and opportunities for transdisciplinary elective study with faculty in schools and colleges across the university. A plan of study is designed by the student in consultation with the faculty to support a research trajectory identified by the student.

Research conducted by students in the music learning and teaching concentration aims to reexamine, interrogate and broaden discourse, practice and policy in music education, and to expand music and education scholarship by challenging methodological and disciplinary boundaries. The program concludes with dissertation research.

At A Glance

Music (Music Learning and Teaching), PhD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (10 credit hours)
MSI 601 Contemporary Topics in Music Research (2)
MSI 602 Current Issues in Music Research (2)
MSI 755 Historical Research in Music (3)
MTC 520 Analytical Techniques (3)

Concentration (30 credit hours)

Electives (29 credit hours)

Research (6 credit hours)

Other Requirements (3 credit hours)
MUE 784 Internship (3)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
MUE 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
Completion of diagnostic exams in musicology and music theory is required of all new graduate music students prior to enrollment in the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this degree. A minimum of two semesters must be spent in continuous full-time residence at ASU.

Additional information on degree requirements for all graduate music programs may be found on the check sheets at

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply if they have earned a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an institution in another country that is officially recognized by that country.

Applicants must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 ="A") in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee:
  2. School of Music, Dance and Theatre application (including curriculum vitae, personal statement and a writing sample):
  3. official transcripts
  4. teaching demonstration video
  5. GRE or MAT scores
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The School of Music, Dance and Theatre does not offer conditional admission under any circumstances. In order to meet English proficiency requirements, students should have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT), or an IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5, or a Pearson Test of English score of at least 60. More information about English proficiency requirements is available on the Admission Services website at

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all spaces are filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Students should see the program website for more information on application deadlines. To ensure prompt processing of application, students should email after submitting an application. An interview with the music learning and teaching doctoral faculty in person or via electronic media is scheduled after review of application materials. GRE or MAT scores may be submitted after deadlines, but these must be received before enrollment at ASU.

Information about this program

Visit the School of Music website for full details.