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Rackham Graduate Requirements & Dates

Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education


Required Materials

The application for the PhD in Music Education includes the following:

  1. Academic transcripts
  2. Professional resumé
  3. Academic statement of purpose: a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how this PhD program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  4. Personal statement: describe how your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. Please do not repeat your academic statement of purpose.
  5. Three letters of recommendation: letters should be from persons who are familiar with your work and who can provide information concerning your qualifications for graduate study. At least one recommendation should be from a supervisor, principal, or colleague who has observed your teaching.
  6. A writing sample on which the faculty can assess your preparation for doctoral work - the sample should be from a recent research manuscript, a term paper, or publication that relates to music education.
  7. 15-minute teaching video

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required for this program.

Teaching Video Submission Guidelines

  1. Video should be of a class rehearsal, not a performance.
  2. Teacher should be in frame during the entire video. If possible, position camera so students are also in the frame (e.g., in the back of the room, zoomed in so that the teacher is centered in the frame and backs of students are visible)
  3. Provide a brief background for the viewer: what type of class, age of learners, focus of lesson, goals for the lesson - this can can done with an opening title screen, or an opening clip with a verbal explanation from the teacher.
  4. Long segments unrelated to lesson (e.g., students entering room, morning announcements, teacher needing to leave frame to fix a student instrument, etc.) should be edited out of video.
  5. The committee is interested in the breadth of applicants' teaching expertise. If possible, edit together 2 or 3 excerpts from different types of classes (e.g., different ages, different ensembles or classes). Video examples involving active student music-making through singing or playing insturments are preferable to lectures about music.
  6. Please put your strongest, most representative teaching first. Total video length should be no longer than 15 minutes.

Application Deadline and Campus Interview

All materials for the PhD in Music Education are due by December 1. Applications will be reviewed by the faculty and candidates may subsequently be invited for a campus interview.

View the Interview Schedule


Application Procedure

The PhD in Music Education is administered through the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. In addition to completing the application through the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, all applicants must also create an Artistic Profile to upload the teaching video and writing sample. Please use the links below to begin the application process.

Apply to the Rackham School of Graduate Studies

Create a Decision Desk Profile


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