Graduate opportunities

In the Department of Music Education, we're dedicated to developing strong leaders in the field.

With individual mentorship and guidance, our Doctor of Philosophy degree in Music Education prepares you for a career in higher education, capitalizes on your current knowledge and skills and broadens your perspectives through research.

You'll explore a wide range of areas, such as:

  • Pedagogy in practice
  • Philosophical foundations and principles of music teaching
  • Psychology of music
  • Research and measurement
  • Sociology of music

You can also enroll in courses offered by other academic departments to enrich your knowledge base. These courses, chosen in consultation with your advisor, prepare you for the final dissertation and guide you toward expertise in a related area. Our program's advantages over others include the following features.

Doctoral colloquia

Each month, Ph.D. students meet with faculty members to discuss special topics related to career preparation. Through interaction with peers at various stages of degree completion, you can prepare for research presentations at local, state and national conferences. In addition, the monthly colloquium can groom you for interviews and professional networking.

College teaching

Throughout the degree plan, you'll have multiple opportunities to develop teaching skills at the college level. Ph.D. students assist professors teaching undergraduate courses for Music Education majors and undergraduate music courses for non-music majors.

Community outreach

Ph.D. students can take advantage of teaching opportunities in the Early Childhood Music Program (ages 0-5), the Start Up the Band program (ages 10-12), the Adopt a Singer program (ages 11-14) and the New Horizons Senior Band (ages 50+).

Outstanding resources

Our faculty members remain current on trends through various research projects. Research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Instrumental and choral instruction
  • Community music
  • Issues in general music
  • Music in special education
  • Social justice in music education

Faculty members have also published many articles in peer-reviewed journals, written or contributed to textbooks and presented at regional, national and international conferences. They also remain active in music education through community outreach programs.

UNT provides a wide variety of services exclusively to graduate students. The Graduate Student Writing Lab can help you with writing, and the Office of Research Consulting offers assistance with statistical research.

The Toulouse Graduate School® offers several professional development workshops, including the Eagle Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camp. Many of the workshops are available online for your convenience.

The College of Music is one of the nation's most comprehensive music schools and is recognized internationally for its artistic and academic excellence. The college is vital to the region's arts community, presenting more than 1,000 formal and informal concerts annually. Its facilities include more than 300 practice rooms, seven performance halls, numerous classrooms, rehearsal rooms and computer labs.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

To apply to the doctoral program, you'll need a master's degree and three years of full-time teaching experience in a group setting. Other requirements include meeting the admission requirements for the graduate school, completing an online College of Music application and providing the following materials to the department:

  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • GRE scores
  • Personal statement addressing teaching, music and long-range professional goals
  • Teaching DVD or video tape
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Scholarly writing sample

The College of Music application process is outlined at our website. Applications to the program are accepted throughout the year. The graduate school's admission requirements are summarized at the graduate school site. Acceptance to the graduate school doesn't guarantee acceptance to the Music Education program.

Degree requirements

Deficiency course work doesn't count toward doctoral degree requirements. Specific course requirements and descriptions are available at the catalog.

  • 6 credit hours of required music education research courses
  • 15 credit hours of music education courses chosen in consultation with the program coordinator
  • 6 credit hours of statistics courses
  • 21 credit hours of electives
  • 12 credit hours of dissertation

Financial assistance

Our department funds several competitive, merit-based scholarships, teaching assistantships and teaching fellowships to help you pursue your degree. Teaching fellowships allow you to teach courses as the primary instructor. Teaching assistants often teach a music fundamentals course, work with the Early Childhood Music Program or the New Horizons Senior Band or oversee the Music Education Resource Room.

Contact the music education office for information about these opportunities. Visit the financial aid website for information about other financial assistance programs.


Elizabeth Chappel, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin. Music and human learning; music education; music therapy.

William J. Coppola, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of Washington. Positive psychology of music education; social justice in music education; cultural diversity in music education; music education philosophy and collective identity formation in participatory musical settings.

Donna Emmanuel, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Michigan State University. Cultural competence; urban and inner city issues.

Crystal Gerrard, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Ohio State University. Urban music education; music teacher education; culturally responsive pedagogy; culturally sustaining pedagogy and social justice in music education.

Warren Henry, Professor and Senior Associate Dean for the College of Music; Ph.D., Michigan State University. Administration; arts leadership and professional development schools.

Sean Powell, Associate Professor and Division Chair, Ed.D., University of Illinois. Instrumental music education; pre-service teacher preparation and teacher identity.

Debbie Rohwer, Vice President for Planning and Chief of Staff; Ph.D., Ohio State University. Instrumental music education; community music and adult pedagogy.

Donald Taylor, Associate Professor and Ph.D. Coordinator; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin. Elementary general music; diversity and social justice.