PhD in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with Emphasis in Music Education

The doctorate in music education, offered through the College of Education’s Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum (LTC), is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. This degree is designed to prepare students for careers in higher education as music education teacher/researchers, as ensemble conductors with a strong commitment to music education teaching and research, or as master teachers or music supervisors in the K-12 system. Applicants must be certified music teachers, with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in music education, or present evidence of equivalent experience. Individuals with music teaching experience in higher education but without music teaching experience in elementary or secondary schools are eligible for admission, but are required to complete field experiences in elementary and secondary schools prior to taking comprehensive examinations. 

This program is “research-intensive,” and students are expected to complete four to five research courses, read past and current research, assist and eventually collaborate with faculty and peers on research projects, develop the ability to translate research findings to classroom applications, and ultimately achieve independence as a researcher.

Within the general framework, the PhD program is relatively flexible and individualized for each student. The degree requires 72 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Specific coursework is planned by the doctoral student and the four- to five-member doctoral committee to meet the student’s individual needs and future goals. The committee must be chaired by a music education faculty member who is a member of the LTC Doctoral Faculty, and at least 2 members must be members of the LTC Doctoral Faculty and one must be from the School of Music. Students may choose two support areas, one comprising 12 hours and one comprising 9 (each may include 3 hours from the master’s degree work), one of which is in music and the other in either a second area of music or a related field. The support-area courses are not prescribed, but are selected in consultation with a faculty member in that area, who often serves as a doctoral committee member. In addition to the coursework requirements, students must complete one “research internship” and one “teaching internship,” which may or may not be attached to credit hours. These are faculty-supervised experiences designed to help prepare the students with skills they will need to enter the professoriate.


Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum and the minimum requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies.  Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program's graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process.  Your application materials will be reviewed by both the Office of Graduate Studies and the degree program to which you’ve applied before official admission to the University of Missouri.

Admission requirements will be based upon the following criteria.  Complete admission requirements for the PhD program.

  • Completion of an appropriate Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Completion of an appropriate master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation; three letters.
  • Statement of purpose clearly indicating that the proposed graduate degree is appropriate to the applicant's professional aspirations.
  • GRE scores taken within the last 5 years (preferred minimum scores should be V150, Q144, A4.0 or higher)
  • For students whose native language is not English, a score of 100 or better on the IBT TOEFL or a 6.5 on the IELTS taken within the past two years

The LTC graduate program cannot assure admission to all applicants who meet minimum standards specified for the degree program.  Resource constraints do not permit the admission of all qualified applicants.
A committee of faculty reviews the credentials of each applicant.  It is the responsibility of this committee to exercise professional judgment related to the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission to the program.