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    Jul 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Education, PhD

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The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in music education degree is an individualized, research-oriented program that allows for optional emphasis in a number of areas of specialization within music education. The degree is offered by the Federation of North Texas Area Universities and conferred by UNT, with the other participating institutions offering appropriate staff, courses, equipment and libraries.

Degree requirements

The program for the degree includes a minimum of 60 hours in addition to the master’s degree, or its equivalent, or at least 90 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

For a detailed description of the program, including areas of specialization, admission and acceptance procedures, leveling courses, qualifying examinations and dissertation requirements, please consult the Bulletin for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Music Education, available through the graduate office of the College of Music or through the administrative assistant for the division of music education.

Some degree programs require participation in a performance laboratory and/or ensemble. Music Laboratories are choir, orchestra, band, jazz lab band, and accompanying. Ensembles available for graduate student participation are: opera theater, early music ensembles, NOVA ensemble, intermedia performance arts, brass ensembles, chamber wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, chamber orchestra, percussion ensembles, string ensembles, vocal ensembles, harp ensemble, and Mariachi Aguilas.

Course requirements

Beyond the fulfillment of leveling and review course requirements and of tool requirements, minimum course requirements for the 60-hour program are as follows.

Electives, 24 hours

Three hours must be a dissertation advancing tool course; 9 hours must be in an academic cognate area; 12 hours may be at the discretion of the student and advisor.

Dissertation, 12 hours

The student must complete 12 dissertation hours.

Special program requirements

Acceptance into the degree program

Acceptance into the degree program occurs in three steps: (1) permission to enroll in course work; (2) acceptance into the doctoral program in music education; and (3) admission to doctoral candidacy at UNT.

To obtain permission to enroll in course work, the student must:

  1. apply for admission to UNT through the Graduate School (an evaluation of the student’s transcript will determine leveling course requirements);
  2. contact the College of Music or the Toulouse Graduate School for standardized admission test requirements; pass an in-house writing exam administered by the Division of Music Education;
  3. submit an example of scholarly writing (a research paper);
  4. document a record of three years of successful teaching experience in group instructional setting; and
  5. submit a DVD or videotape of teaching that highlights classroom instructional episodes, such as rehearsals or warm-ups.

After arriving on campus for the first semester’s work, the student must:

  1. attend all orientation sessions scheduled by the director of graduate studies in music; and
  2. enroll in at least 4 hours of courses in music education.

To be accepted into the doctoral program in music education, the student must have taken a minimum of 12 hours of music education courses. The application for acceptance is directed to the coordinator of the music education PhD program and should contain:

  1. a cover letter, and
  2. an academic resume.

In making the acceptance decision, the music education graduate committee will take all available information about the student under advisement. Success in course work alone does not guarantee acceptance to the program.

Upon acceptance to the doctoral program in music education, the student will choose a doctoral (dissertation) committee under whose counsel a degree plan is devised and submitted to the Toulouse Graduate School. The qualifying examinations cannot be taken unless the approved degree plan is on file in the Toulouse Graduate School.

Doctoral residence

A doctoral student is officially in residence when carrying at least 9 hours of course work in each of two consecutive long terms/semesters.

Students who acquire residency toward another doctorate in the College of Music may, with the approval of the music education graduate committee, receive favorable consideration for residency in music education. Each case will be considered on an individual basis.

Demonstration of professional activity

Either prior to or shortly after the qualifying examinations, the student must demonstrate specific professional skills within a chosen area of specialization. This demonstration may consist of a workshop/clinic on a given subject, presented at a conference or in a pre-approved UNT College of Music course, or completion and submission of an article to a refereed journal.

Qualifying examinations

To obtain admission to doctoral candidacy at UNT, the student will take the qualifying examinations upon the completion of most of the course work.

There are two portions to the Qualifying Examination in Music Education:

Portion 1: Students will submit a portfolio that includes the following materials: (a) a vita, (b) a 15-minute unedited music teaching video demonstrating the student’s best pedagogical skills, (c) an original syllabus suitable for teaching a university course for music education majors, and (d) an empirical research study suitable for publication (either as the sole author or as first author), (e) a research conference proposal based on the research article, and (f) a 25-minute research presentation (20 minutes for author presentation, 5 minutes for audience questions) based on the research article with accompanying handouts and appropriate visual aids (e. g., PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.).

Portion 2: Students will submit an annotated bibliography with a minimum of 100 references on a proposed dissertation topic. Each annotated entry should include a succinct description of the author’s work in the student’s own words. (Merely copying abstracts from published works is not acceptable.) The student may use complete sentences or sentence fragments as long as details of the study are provided.

​Public Presentation and Private Defense

Approximately two weeks after all materials described in Portions 1 and 2 above have been submitted to all committee members, students will present their empirical research article in a 25-minute public forum, followed by an hour-long private defense of their materials with a three-member committee of Music Education faculty, chosen by the PhD Coordinator.

The examinations are usually given in November, March and June. The student must pass at least 50 percent of the examinations (B minus or better). If less than 50 percent is passed, all portions of the examination must be retaken; if more than 50 percent is passed, only those portions must be repeated in which the student scored below B minus. No more than two repeats are allowed. Oral examinations may be requested by the music education graduate committee in cases for which a repeat of the written examinations is not feasible.


After the successful completion of all portions of the qualifying examinations and upon being admitted to candidacy by the Toulouse Graduate School, the student must maintain continuous enrollment in MUGC 6950  each long term/semester until the dissertation has been completed, defended and accepted by the graduate dean.

The dissertation process is divided into two steps:

  1. preparing and defending the dissertation proposal; and
  2. writing and defending the dissertation.

The proposal and its defense

The proposal is a public hearing during which the candidate presents to the doctoral committee in writing the purpose, research questions and proposed methodology of the dissertation. The proposal serves as a structural model for the dissertation itself and usually will be from 30 to 50 pages in length.

The dissertation defense and final steps in completing all requirements

The dissertation defense is a public hearing during which the candidate will defend the completed dissertation before the doctoral committee and any other interested students, faculty and members of the community. The dissertation must follow the UNT rules for preparing theses and dissertations.

The successful defense is indicated by the signatures of all members of the doctoral committee. The approved dissertation must be in the office of the dean of the College of Music at least a week before the deadline for filing theses and dissertations in the graduate office of the university. An abstract of the dissertation must be prepared and submitted with one original and two copies of the complete work to the Toulouse Graduate School for final reading and approval. A reading copy of the dissertation is due in the College of Music Graduate Office one week prior to the Toulouse Graduate School submission deadline.


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