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Best Online Master’s Degrees in Music Education

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Music Education

Get a detailed look at the best schools for earning an online master’s in music education. Read our guide for program specifics, and learn what you need to know to apply, get in, and graduate.

Music elevates us and changes lives. From choir to band, teaching music to eager and talented students is a fulfilling career. If you’re thinking about teaching music, you will want the best master’s in music education program. We’ve created an extensive guide detailing master’s in music education online programs, courses, and services that put students first. Online learning is a great alternative to traditional classroom settings because it lets you put your schedule first and fit your schooling around your life. The best programs let you personalize your higher education experience. Read on to learn more about the top online master’s in music education.

Top Online Master’s Degrees in Music Education for 2024

We have ranked the top schools below. Our Rankings Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES.) Click the About the Ranking link below for more information about our methodology.


    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2024 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
    1. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.
    • For degree-specific pages, ex: Psychology degrees, we list the current number of online programs available at that school for that degree type, as self-reported by the schools.


    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: January of 2024

  • Anderson, SC
    Private not-for-profit $$

    Anderson University’s Master of Music in Music Education provides students with flexible options for expanding their skillset. All students can take additional elective courses to expand on areas of interest. While all classes are available entirely online, Anderson provides in-person educational opportunities with optional on-campus workshops. Teaching students can opt to complete an original research study and apply coursework to the classroom. Students graduate with their master’s in just 22-24 months.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Music in Music Education

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 22-24 months
    • Cost: $430/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: NASM
  • Saint Charles, MO
    Private not-for-profit $

    The Master of Music Education from Lindenwood University is perfect for K-12 music educators and other music instructors who want to grow their knowledge and teaching skills. Classes are led by experienced musicians and educators and cover topics like research methods, contemporary issues, and conducting. Students can choose between an applied project or traditional thesis as their capstone project. Online students can expect to graduate with their MME from Lindenwood in one to two years.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Music Education

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 1 to 2 years
    • Cost: $551/credit
    • Mode: Fully online
    • Accreditation: CAEP
  • Alamosa, CO
    Public $

    With the 100% online MA in Music Education from Adams State University, students can graduate with their advanced degree in as little as two years. The unique program curriculum is designed to be used in students’ classrooms, meaning they can apply what they’re learning in real time. Classes include topics like world music and culture and composition and arranging. Students who can spend their first year on campus are eligible to earn a concentration in performance, conducting, or composition.

    Program Highlights:

    Master of Arts in Music Education

    • Credits: 30
    • Length: 2 years
    • Cost: $444/credit
    • Mode: Fully online or hybrid
    • Accreditation: NASM
  • Las Cruces, NM
    Public $
  • Murray, KY
    Public $
  • Aberdeen, SD
    Public $
  • Hattiesburg, MS
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Greenville, SC
    Private not-for-profit $
  • Kent, OH
    Public $$
  • Stephenville, TX
    Public $
  • Kutztown, PA
    Public $
  • Greensboro, NC
    Public $
  • Tampa, FL
    Public $
  • Hattiesburg, MS
    Public $
  • Normal, IL
    Public $
  • Cedar Falls, IA
    Public $
  • Lubbock, TX
    Public $
  • Buffalo, NY
    Public $$
  • Philadelphia, PA
    Public $$$
  • Miami, FL
    Public $
  • Rochester Hills, MI
    Public $$$
  • Milledgeville, GA
    Public $
  • Gainesville, FL
    Public $$
  • Athens, GA
    Public $

Program Spotlights: Music Education Master’s Degrees Online

Every online degree program in music education will be a bit different. You’ll want to research several programs before applying to one to ensure it’s the right program for you. Some programs are self-paced, while others are instructor-led. While each program will vary in goals, outcomes, and courses, any school you choose should be regionally accredited. To achieve regional accreditation, schools must meet specific content standards, achieve certain goals, and deliver promised outcomes. To start your search for the best master’s in music education online programs, check out our program spotlights below.

Ball State University

Program details: This program can be completed completely online. However, you can participate in on-campus workshops and symposiums if you’d like. You’ll be able to take various courses, including a balance of selected courses in music history, music theory, and music performance. You have the option of doing a thesis. 

  • Admissions requirements (undergraduate grades, testing, application process, etc.): You need at least a 2.75 GPA, with nine cumulative hours at a 3.0. No GRE is required.
  • Cost (in-state, out-of-state, online): In-state tuition for a year is $2,956. Out-of-state tuition for the year is $4,306.
  • Length of program and credit requirements: The program is 30 credits.
  • Financial aid opportunities: Contact the school for financial aid opportunities.
  • Accreditation status: Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Boston University

Program details: Boston University’s master’s in music education online program can be completed entirely online, but there are summer intensives you can take in person. The program offers a three-course focus on music technology, which allows students to qualify for Level 1 certification through TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators).

  • Admissions requirements (undergraduate grades, testing, application process, etc.): To apply, you’ll need to submit an online application, transcripts with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.
  • Cost (in-state, out-of-state, online): Tuition is $63,798 per year.
  • Length of program and credit requirements: The program requires 32 hours of instruction – 12 credits of music education, four credits of music theory, and 16 credits of approved electives.
  • Financial aid opportunities: Contact the school for financial aid opportunities.
  • Accreditation status: Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, and NASM accredits the music program.

Eastern Washington University

Program details: This master’s in music education online program focuses on social justice and critical philosophy as well as critical music theory and music best practices. The curriculum features project-based learning, including a graduate project related to scholarly exploration.

  • Admissions requirements (undergraduate grades, testing, application process, etc.): You’ll need a bachelor’s in music or a minor in music, with core classes in music theory, music history, aural skills, and performance skills. Students with a degree in an area other than music may demonstrate evidence of a solid foundation in music theory and music history through prior coursework or work experience in K-12 music classrooms. An overall GPA of 3.0 or cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the last 90 quarter or 60 semester-graded postsecondary credit hours is required. An official transcript from the college or university where the degree was earned is also needed. You’ll have to submit a professional resume.
  • Cost (in-state, out-of-state, online): $14,400 for the entire degree.
  • Length of program and credit requirements: You can complete the 48 credit hours in as few as 12 months.
  • Financial aid opportunities: Contact the school for financial aid opportunities.
  • Accreditation status: Eastern Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and is an accredited institutional member of NASM.

What to Expect in Your Online Master’s Degree Program in Music Education

Your master’s in music education online program should offer the same caliber of courses taken by students attending campus-based programs. You will acquire technical music skills such as foundations of music education, analytical techniques, principles of music technology, and contemporary arranging techniques. 

Music education teaches you the fundamentals of teaching music to K-12. Analytical techniques broaden your horizons about musical techniques and abilities. The principles of music technology teach you how to integrate music into the classroom. Finally, Contemporary arranging techniques will teach you how to arrange music. 

Depending on your degree program and the career path you plan on following, you can further specialize your degree. This usually happens during the latter half of your degree program during your capstone project. 

Your degree program dictates how you learn online. You’ll use a platform like Moodle, Canvas, or Blackboard to communicate with your professor and turn in assignments. You’ll also have access to a university email. Your program will let you know whether you turn assignments in at your own pace or at the pace of the course. 

Common Online Masters in Music Education Courses

Curriculum in Music Education: Vision and Design

This 14-week course focuses on developing a site-specific music curriculum, including the philosophical, psychological, and sociological foundations for that curriculum, as well as the prospective implementation and assessment of the project. This course builds on other courses, and you create a specific capstone project. It’s usually graded by a project or a comprehensive examination.

Introduction to Music Education Research

This course focuses on research components of music education. In this course, students become acquainted with various research that informs music education, learn how to critique and apply that research, and develop their scholarly writing skills. Students are graded on quizzes, assignments, and end-of-semester research papers on a specific topic of their choosing.

History & Philosophy in Music Education: Perspectives and Practice

You’ll need to learn about the history and philosophy of music education to be an effective and well-rounded music teacher. The course examines and discusses historical and contemporary philosophical ideas and problems in music and music education. A goal is for students to develop a sharpened sensitivity to past and present thought (primarily, but not limited to, historical and philosophical thought) in the field of music education to inform their own curricular and instructional choices better.

Psychology & Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications

You’ll need to understand the psychology of your students to teach them well. In this class, you’ll critically examine psychological and sociological concepts related to music and education. Topics include fundamental issues and concepts in psychology and sociology, psychology as related to music education processes, problems encountered in the sociology of music education, and cultural influences that affect both the psychology of the individual and the sociological aspects of group dynamics.

Community Music Perspectives

Drawing upon the social, cultural, political, and economic milieu, including movements in music education, music therapy, and ethnomusicology, this course examines reasons for the growth and development of community music. Students will be asked to trace an aspect of community music that may be considered part of its heritage and evaluate and critique a contemporary community music project through fieldwork.

How Much Does an Online Master’s Degree in Music Education Cost?

Depending on your master’s in music education online program, you could pay $300 per credit or $10,000 per semester. Check your specific program before attending to ensure you can afford to attend. You’ll want to have a plan for paying for it before you enroll. Don’t worry, though, because there are options. For instance, you can apply for scholarships and grants, student loans and other financial aid, fellowships, work-study, or employer tuition assistance. Ask your school’s student aid office what scholarships are available. Thousands of scholarships go unclaimed every year. Apply to everything, even if you don’t think you qualify. Who knows, you might get it anyway because you could be the only applicant.

How Much Your Online Master’s in Music Education Could Cost

SchoolNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition
Florida International University30$455.64$13,669.20
Eastern Illinois University32$412.79$13,209.28
Campbellsville University Online32$432$13,824
Bowling Green State University 30$563.30$16,899
University of Georgia33$629$20,757

Job Outlook: What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Music Education?

Just because you’re getting a degree in music education doesn’t mean you have to become an educator, although that is the desired path of many people who take this degree route. If you’re already a teacher, getting an online master’s degree in music education will allow you to pursue a higher calling and growth in your current role. Some roles, like being a choral director at a small community college, require a master’s in music instead of a bachelor’s of music education, and pursuing a graduate degree can enable you to secure that role.


This is likely the most common career path you can take with a master’s degree in music education. You can work at the K-12 level or some colleges and universities as an adjunct professor. This degree prepares you to be a teacher because it teaches you the mechanics of teaching and the technical aspects of music. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Payscale, 2024

Choral Director

Becoming a choral director is an exciting and challenging way to use your master’s degree in music education. Choir directors, called choral leaders, are pivotal in guiding and orchestrating choir performances. Their responsibilities encompass directing musical renditions and organizing choir practice sessions, curating fitting musical compositions, and overseeing the financial aspects of the choir’s annual budget.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Salary.com, 2024

Music Composer

While it might not seem the most direct route, you can become a music composer with a master’s in music education online degree. Music composers work to create new music for singers and musicians. You could use the technical skills you gather during your degree program in this career field. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Salary.com, 2024

FAQs About Online Master’s Programs in Music Education?

Here are 5 of the most pressing questions about master’s in music education online according to our readers.

  • Are online master’s degree programs in music education entirely online?

    Some programs are 100% online, and you can complete your coursework from anywhere. Others might have a summer intensive that requires you to be on campus, while some might be a hybrid program with multiple meet-ups and check-ins throughout the year. You’ll want to check with your admissions counselor to ensure the program meets your needs academically so you aren’t blindsided by any in-person learning requirements.

  • What does the admissions process look like for this degree?

    To get into a master’s in music education online program, you’ll need some classroom experience teaching music. You’ll likely need to have an undergrad in music or at least a minor in music. Not every degree program will require the GRE or a specific GPA, but those that do will have the requirements listed in the admissions portion of their website.

  • How long does it take to complete a master’s degree in music education online?

    Depending on the program, it could take anywhere from 14 months to 2 years to complete your master’s in music education online. It could also depend on whether you’re going part time, full time, or in an accelerated program. Part-time students will take longer to graduate than full-time students, but graduation in two or three years is still a feasible goal. An accelerated program might have in-person requirements, so check with your program to ensure it’s entirely online.

  • What academic and career support services are available to online students earning their master’s in music education?

    Each school will be different, but you can expect to have career support services like career advising, online tutoring, and financial aid counseling. Check with your school to see what scholarships, fellowships, and financial aid they offer. Overall, graduate online learning is very similar to graduate in-person education with the level of support you receive.

  • Can I work while pursuing an online master’s in music education degree?

    Most master’s programs, particularly those in education, are designed to accommodate the schedules of professionals already working in education. Online learning provides a lot of flexibility to meet work and family obligations. Each master’s in music education online program will be different, so talk to your advisor before deciding if the program is right for you.

Other Master’s Degree Options in Psychology

If you are interested in a master’s degree in education but are unsure what specialization to pursue, check out these other degree pages to learn about your options:

Master’s Degrees in Education – Curriculum and Instruction

Master’s Degrees in Education – Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Master’s Degrees in Education – Educational Leadership

Master’s Degrees in Education – Higher Education

Master’s Degrees in Education – Library Sciences

Master’s Degrees in Education – Special Education (SpEd)

Master’s Degrees in Education – Teaching