Graduate Bulletin

Music Education, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1

Spring: September 15

Applications are processed as they arrive up to the deadline date. Decisions regarding admission are rendered after the application is complete and all required admissions materials have been submitted.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Evaluations can be from a variety of sources who know the abilities of the applicant. Evaluators should be able to provide insight into your abilities and talents, as well as comment on your aptitude for graduate study.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours. Doctoral candidates must hold the Master of Music degree (or the equivalent) in the field of specialization from an accredited institution. At least one held degree must be in Music Education. Applicants accepted with deficiencies will find the deficiencies noted in the letter of admission. Deficiencies must be removed prior to the completion of the degree.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A degree in Music is expected. At least one held degree must be in Music Education.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A bachelor's degree in Music is required. At least one held degree must be in Music Education.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should include your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE/MAT is required.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.

Doctoral Writing Entrance Examination:

All applicants are required to pass a Doctoral Writing Entrance Examination as a condition of admission. The exam is scored by faculty members of the applicant's department and result are considered in the admissions decision. Additional coursework may be required to remediate inadequacies.


After the admissions application has been received by Temple University, applicants should contact the Department at 215-204-8310 to arrange a campus visit and schedule an interview with the department chair and faculty.


A resume is required.

Advanced Standing:

The program consists of 60 discrete credits taken beyond the Master's degree. At the time of admission, the entire master's degree serves as advanced standing credits; these credits are not counted toward the 60 required credits in the doctoral degree. However, students may transfer into the doctoral degree up to 12 additional graduate credits in coursework taken beyond the Master's degree. Typically, this coursework is undertaken after admission to the Ph.D. degree and must be approved by the major advisor, the department chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 32.


Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, Boyer College of Music specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in Boyer College of Music admission decisions. Graduate applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This Policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.

Applicants must be fully certified to teach in at least one state in the U.S.

A minimum of three years' successful elementary or secondary teaching experience is required.

Applicants are required to have a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission consideration.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 60

Required Courses (30 s.h):

Education: Introduction to Statistics

Education: Intermediate Statistics

Music Education: Music in Cultural Perspectives (or other graduate course in Ethnomusicology)

Music Education: Qualitative Research

Music Education 8652: Measurement and Evaluation

Music Education 8653: Learning Theory

Music Education 8655: Quantitative Research

Music Education 8656: Academic Writing Skills

Music Education 9999: Dissertation Research

Other Required Courses (30 s.h.):

Music History and Theory (18)

Electives (12) selected from graduate courses offered in Music, Music Education, Music Studies, Music Technology, Music Therapy, Advanced Research Methods, Educational Administration and Supervision. Applied music up to 6 credits with approval of department chair and the chair of vocal or instrumental music.

Ph.D. coursework stresses the development of university teaching skills and research experience.

View all COURSE OFFERINGS in Music, Music Education, and Music Studies.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

While a student is matriculated, completion of at least one pre-dissertation sole-authored article suitable for publication in a refereed journal is required.

For all doctoral programs, only grades from "A" to "B-" can be applied toward the degree requirements.

Lesson Fees:

Graduate assistantships and other forms of university-sponsored financial aid do not cover private lesson and Recital Extension fees.

Continuous registration of at least 3 s.h. must be maintained each semester, fall and spring but not summer from the time of acceptance into the program until the completion of all coursework.

Once all coursework is completed, Preliminary Examinations have been passed, and the Dissertation Proposal has been accepted by the Music Education faculty, the candidate should register for Dissertation Research (Music Education 9999) each semester, fall and spring, until the dissertation has been successfully defended. Doctoral candidates are required to register for a minimum of six credit hours of Music Education 9999 during their program as a whole, but must register for a minimum of one such credit each semester while working on the dissertation.

Each course or seminar will require an end-of-semester final grade based upon papers presented, recitals prepared, discussion and/or examinations taken during the course of the semester. Each semester of private study will culminate in a performance examination or jury, except during semesters in which the student has presented one of the required adjudicated recitals. Grades of less than "B-" cannot be counted toward the degree. Should the student earn a grade of less than "B-," s/he may, with permission of the department Chair and the Associate Dean, retake the semester of study one additional time. Screening for continuance in the program after the first semester of study will be conducted at adjudicated recitals, end-of-the-semester juries, and major examinations. This will ensure that only the most qualified students will be continued beyond the early stages of the program.

All doctoral students must take written entrance exams prior to or during the first semester of doctoral study. Candidates who fail the entrance examinations the first time may, upon application to the Associate Dean of the Boyer College of Music, be permitted to take the examinations a second time. A third opportunity will not be allowed.

To continue registration in the doctoral program beyond the second semester of study, all portions of the examinations must be passed or the appropriate review courses (or the equivalent, as determined by the examining department and the student's department chair) must be in progress. Students planning to take the written examinations should request a list of dates from the Graduate Secretary, and submit a written request to the Associate Dean one month prior to the administration date.

1. Music History Exam: a general examination covering the history of music will be administered. Questions relative to forms, styles, and periods of music will be included. It is expected that all examinees will be acquainted with the standard literature of music.

2. Harmony Exam: completion of a harmonic excerpt in advanced chromatic idiom and the creation of a bass line with figuration (figured bass) in Baroque style.

3. Counterpoint: from a given motive, complete approximately 20 measures of imitative counterpoint in three parts.

4. Form and Analysis: the analysis of specified passages from a designated score. The score will be provided at the examination.

5. Music Education: an examination which requires the consideration of contemporary theories, practices, problems, and trends in music education.

6. Writing Sample: a 90-minute examination of the student's ability to write at the doctoral level. Examination topics are of a general nature.

Written Preliminary Examinations:

These examinations may be taken during the final semester of course work, but no later than in the semester after completion of the course work. Students planning to take the written examinations should request a list of dates from the graduate secretary and submit a written request to the Associate Dean one month prior to the administration date.

Oral Preliminary Examinations:

For those students who pass the written preliminary examination, no oral preliminary examination will be required. (This refers only to the oral preliminary examination and does not refer in any way to the oral defense of the dissertation, monograph, or final project.) If a student fails one or more portions of the written preliminary examination, an oral examination will be administered by the major adviser and a minimum of two additional faculty members to be selected as follows: in the case of failure in one subject area, two members of that department will be asked by the student's major adviser to participate with the major adviser in the examination. In the case of failure in more than one subject area, at least one faculty member from each of the departments in which the failure occurred will be asked by the student's major adviser to participate in the examination. The examination is to be a formal oral examination rather than an informal meeting with graduate faculty from departments in which the examination revealed that the student needs further work. This does not preclude such informal meetings, however, in preparation for the oral examination. Upon passing the oral examination, the student as advised by the examining committee, will be permitted to schedule a second and final attempt at the failed portions of the written examination.

Independent Study Courses:

Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the students' major adviser, department chair, and the Associate Dean. Approval will be granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects will be granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.

Professional Development Policy:

All students in the Boyer College of Music, in addition to the required subjects toward their degrees, are obliged to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. The Boyer College believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes, tutoring, teaching private lessons, coaching, participating in the distribution and inventory control of University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials, participating in ensembles, accompanying, performing at admissions and open house events, supervising performance classes, and other academically related activities.

Acceptable English:

All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.

In addition to the written entrance examinations, students must demonstrate in one primary performance medium and also basic keyboard skill.

Performance Medium Guide:

a. Piano: a representative work by J. S. Bach (i.e., two or three-part invention, a movement of a suite or partita, or a selection from The Well-Tempered Clavier); the initial movement of a sonata; one of the shorter forms of the Romantic period (Schubert to Debussy); a contemporary twentieth century work.

b. Instrumental: submit a full recital program of 45 to 60 minutes duration, including the following: the first movement of a concerto from either eighteenth or nineteenth century literature; the first movement of a sonata from either nineteenth or twentieth century literature; two compositions representative of the smaller forms.

c. Vocal: submit a full recital program of 45 to 60 minutes duration, including the following: early Italian songs; German lieder; French art songs of the twentieth century (Impressionist era); Contemporary songs in English; two selections from standard operatic or oratorio repertory. The latter need not be from memory. (Note: From the above recital program the auditioning committee will select numbers to be heard for the examination. The applicant will submit the actual program, typewritten, to the committee on the day of the examination. The applicant will furnish his/her own accompanist. The vocal recital is to be memorized.) Additionally, all Music Education majors must demonstrate ability to: sing at sight single voice parts from a score, play a four-part Bach chorale at sight, and improvise piano accompaniments to simple melodies.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The written preliminary examinations are administered several times each calendar year, and span two consecutive days of six hours of examination each day.

Subject areas are in the major field, as well in the minor field areas (typically music history and music theory).

Written preliminary examinations should be taken no later than the end of the fifth year.

Faculty members within the student's major and minor subject areas are involved in preparing the examination questions. A study guide for the Music Education Preliminary Examination is available in the Music Education Office. Students are advised to prepare written answers to the questions in the study guide.

At least three graduate faculty members independently read and score each section of the written preliminary examinations.

Students are typically graded "Pass" or "Fail," based on a consensus of the examination readers.

Students planning to take the written examinations should request a list of dates from the graduate secretary and submit a written request to the Associate Dean one month prior to the administration date. Students are notified in writing of the specific dates and administration times of the preliminary examinations for which they have been scheduled.


Students enroll in Music Education 9998 (Dissertation Proposal Writing) and work with the Major Adviser to prepare a proposal. With the knowledge of the Major Adviser, the student may consult other faculty members. When the Major Advisor approves the Dissertation proposal, an oral defense of the Dissertation Proposal is scheduled with all Music Education faculty members present.  Faculty members must receive a hard copy of the Dissertation Proposal no fewer than 2 weeks before the scheduled defense. Upon approval of  the Dissertation Proposal  by department faculty and in consultation with the Major Advisor, the candidate may identify a potential Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC). The Major Advisor provide the names of the DAC members to the Associate Dean for consideration.  The DAC is appointed officially by the graduate School . The DAC consists of no fewer than three persons: the student's Major Adviser, a second person from the department, and a third person from outside the department.

When the Dissertation is complete and approved by the Major Advisor, the major adviser of the DAC asks the Associate Dean to appoint an outside reader. The DAC plus the outside reader comprise the Doctoral Examining Committee (DEC) for the oral defense.

Changes in the membership of a Doctoral Advisory Committee or a Doctoral Examining Committee must be approved by the Associate Dean. The change also must be communicated to the Associate Dean and to the Graduate School.

The completed dissertation demonstrates the capability to integrate course work, identify a viable research topic, develop an appropriate research design, systematically gain evidence toward resolving the stated problem, and to write, defend, and publicize the results in a professional manner.

After a proposal for the dissertation has been developed by the student and approved by the Major Advisor and Music Education faculty subsequent to a successful oral defense, the student prepares a final copy for approval. Each member of the DAC must sign the final proposal. Once all DAC members have signed the title page, the student copies the final proposal and delivers, within thirty days, one copy to each member of the DAC, the Department Chair, the Associate Dean, and the Graduate School.

All members of the Doctoral Examining Committee attend the oral defense, and vote to pass or fail the dissertation and its defense after the conclusion of the public presentation.

Early in the semester in which a defense is anticipated, the dissertation major advisor notifies the Associate Dean and requests from the Associate Dean that the Doctoral Examining Committee (that is, the dissertation defense committee) be appointed. The Doctoral Examining Committee consists of the Doctoral Advisory Committee plus at least one additional graduate faculty member from Temple or another university, but not from the faculty of the student's home department. One month prior to the requested defense date, the "Permission to Schedule Dissertation/Monograph Defense" form bearing all appropriate signatures must be submitted to the Associate Dean. This form is available in the Main Office and on the Graduate School website. Two weeks prior to the oral defense, the student submits individual copies of the abstract and the completed dissertation/monograph to the Associate Dean and each member of the Doctoral Examining Committee.

The graduate secretary notifies the Graduate School and posts notices of the impending defense on bulletin boards located within the Boyer College.

Program Contact Information:

Department Information:

Dept. of Music Education and Therapy

Boyer College of Music and Dance

2001 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Professor Deborah Sheldon


Graduate Chairperson:

Professor Deborah Sheldon



Professor Deborah Sheldon


About the Program

The Ph.D. program in Music Education prepares music educators with advanced skills in quantitative or qualitative research modes, to effectively translate research findings into music education practice, and to develop a cadre of music education professors who can assume leadership roles in the music education profession.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Music Education and Therapy

Boyer College of Music and Dance

2001 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



The Boyer College of Music has been ranked among the top 30 music schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.


The music education programs at the Esther Boyer College of Music are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) , the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Areas of Specialization:

The focus of music education research at Temple tends in one of the following topics of inquiry: psychology of music, measurement and evaluation of music aptitude and achievement, supervision and administration of K to 12 music programs, philosophical or sociological schools of thought on music, contemporary computer technology with implications for music education, or some aspect of choral conducting as it is practiced in music education.

Job Placement:

Students typically find employment in colleges and universities, public and private educational systems, as independent researchers, and also within other venues in the music industry.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may enroll in selected courses in music with permission, but may not take applied lessons until they have been fully admitted and matriculated.

Financing Opportunities

Boyer College offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the fall and spring semesters. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance, and/or direct service related to academic programs. Applicants must submit an assistantship/internship application by March 1 to obtain priority consideration for an award. Applications are available online at the Graduate Financial Aid page of Boyer's website. Typically these awards are made only in the fall semester for up to two semesters, fall and spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for Master's students and up to three years for Doctoral students) based upon departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.

May 2007