Music Education

CWRU music faculty member sitting on the floor with young children playing instrument
Master of Arts

About the Program

Combine your passion for music and your dedication to teaching with a Master of Arts in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University, the #1 university in Ohio. With this advanced degree in music education, you'll be prepared to improve your teaching, apply research to your teaching practice, and take on leadership roles in the profession.


What to Expect

Our coursework combines the study of philosophical, research-based, and theoretical positions of teaching and learning music with pragmatic approaches to improving music learning. You will be guided through a background of many disciplines as they relate to music, education and research. As a graduate student, you will have an academic advisor who you will meet each semester to discuss the most appropriate trajectory for advancing through the program. 

This degree requires 30 hours of coursework including: Graduate Music Education Core (12-15 credit units of research-based coursework in music education); the Graduate Music Core (9-12 credit units of music theory, musicology, applied lessons, or ensemble performance); Electives (6-9 credit units, Plan B only); and either the Plan A, Thesis (6 hours) or Plan B,  Comprehensive Exam. 

As a full-time student, you can expect to earn your degree in two years with nine credits per semester. As a part-time student, you can expect to complete this degree in five years with three credits per semester. You can also earn a Master of Arts for Licensure (MAL) Concentration. The MAL is for those with an undergraduate degree in music who wish to obtain a licensure to teach music in the public schools while simultaneously pursuing graduate study in music education. Learn more about our MAL program.

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Beyond the Classroom

The Department of Music is committed to providing meaningful educational and artistic ensemble experiences. We open our ensemble to all qualified students, community members, alumni, and faculty and staff. Our large performing ensembles include concert choir, symphony orchestra, symphonic winds, jazz ensembles, and marching band. We encourage students to participate in small single-instrument or mixed groups in traditional or contemporary styles, jazz combos, vocal groups, various woodwind/brass or piano/string chamber music ensembles, and period (Historical Performance) ensembles. We also offer studio classes in flute, horn, saxophone, guitar, and brass.

Learn more about our ensembles.

By the Numbers

Top 5

music school in Ohio


faculty-to-student ratio


credit hours plus thesis / comprehensive exam

Admission Requirements

Applicants with good academic records from fully accredited universities and colleges will be considered for admission to graduate study at Case Western Reserve University. Admission must be recommended by the department or professional school of the university in which the applicant proposes to study and must be approved by the dean of graduate studies. 

Applicants for the MA in Music Education must have at least a 3.0 GPA from a completed undergraduate degree program in music education, minimum of one year of successful school music teaching experience in group settings, and evidence of strong written and spoken English skills. After initial review, applicants may be invited to campus for an interview. The MA does not require a vocal or an instrumental audition.

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