Music Theory Pedagogy (Graduate Certificate)

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Strengthen your skills as an instructor while you build a strong foundation on the practices and possibilities of music.

This certificate in music theory pedagogy offers specialized study in music theory to help prepare students to teach undergraduate courses in fundamentals, harmony, musicianship and basic form analysis. Completion of this certificate indicates the student is prepared to offer instruction in basic music theory at the college level.

The certificate is intended to be pursued concurrently with enrollment in a master's degree program or doctoral degree program in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

At A Glance

Music Theory Pedagogy (Graduate Certificate)

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 (3 credit hours)
MTC 525 Pedagogy of Theory (3)

Other Requirement (3 credit hours)
MTC 584 Internship (3)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Additional Curriculum Information
Completion of diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory, administered by the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, is required of all new graduate music students before enrolling in any graduate academic courses towards the certificate program.

Electives are selected with advisor approval from MTC courses in analytical topics. Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

Admission requirements

Students who are interested in this certificate should email the academic unit prior to submitting an official application, to express their interest in the certificate.

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

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a U.S. bachelor's degree in music or music education from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an international institution officially recognized by that country. Other majors may be considered if applicants submit transcripts showing formal study in music theory and musicianship at least equivalent to what is required of ASU's undergraduate music majors (MHL 140, MHL 341 and MHL 342, MTC 125, MTC 221, MTC 222, and MTC 223). The music theory faculty review transcripts for equivalency. In some cases, course descriptions or syllabi are required to verify equivalency.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 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 any applicable graduate work.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. samples of work
  4. statement of interest
  5. proof of English language proficiency

Additional Admission Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

International students who need an F1 or J1 visa first need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission to be considered for admission to this certificate program.

  • TOEFL score of at least 550 (PBT) or 80 (iBT)
  • IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5
  • Pearson Test of English score of at least 60

Official transcripts must show a completed bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country. Also, if applicable, transcripts showing all coursework in music at the graduate level are required. The committee supervising this certificate program consider an applicant's undergraduate record (and graduate record if appropriate) in music theory, evaluating courses taken and grades received. A minimum GPA of 3.00 in these courses is required. International students applying to this certificate must also be in a degree program at ASU.

Applicants must submit a statement of interest offering reasons for applying to the certificate program and describing their experience and coursework in music theory. The essay should also indicate the applicant's level of piano proficiency (a necessary classroom skill) through a description of their study and their experience in keyboard performance.

Applicants also are asked to show proficiency in music theory by submitting samples of work, such as analytical papers and examples of music writing (harmonic part-writing or counterpoint exercises).