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The Top 30 Master’s in Music Programs in 2021

August 6, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Music
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Every school that made this list is accredited and offers a Master’s in Music Program.  To rank the schools, a matrix using the cost, faculty to student ratio, and graduation rate was used.  With these three items of information we can determine a student’s success rate in completing the program and the value teh program provides.  Schools that have a lower tuition and lower faculty to student ratio will rank higher.  Programs with higher graduation rates will also rank higher.  

Here are the Top 30 Master’s in Music Programs!

1. Georgia College and State University        Points:  13

A public liberal arts institution, Georgia College and State University enrolls approximately 7,000 students each year.  In-service music teachers will find a graduate program designed for them.  Those seeking to earn a MMED degree will find a flexible online program that provides support in enhancing pedagogical and leadership skills of current music teachers of ages K through 12.  Students will develop new curricula, participate in research, as well as develop new skills.  Students will complete 30 credit hours in courses of curriculum development, research, analysis, music history, and politics and more.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Millidgeville, Georgia
  • Resident Tuition: $4,056 Per 12 Credits
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $4,056 Per 12 Credits
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 59.3%

2. Berklee College of Music        Points:  13

A private music college in Boston, Berklee College of Music is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.  Those enrolling in the online Master’s of Music degree will find a high quality education from the same world-renowned faculty that teaches on campus. With a flexible schedule and online community of musicians, executives, and industry leaders students have access to resources that will propel their career.  Students can pursue a Master of Arts in Music in Music Business or a Master of Arts in Music Production, both are conveniently online.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Resident Tuition: $17,964 Per Three Semesters
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $17,964 Per Three Semesters
  • Faculty to Student Ratio:  10 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 60.8%

3. University of Southern Mississippi           Points:  13

A public research institution, the University of Southern Mississippi was founded in 1910 and has grown to operate two campuses and an online program that awards degrees at every level.  For those who music is their passion, this is the program that will help advance their skills and knowledge as they share it with their students.  This particular online program is designed specifically for those who are already working professional teaching music in the K through 12 ages.  This program can take 1 to 3 years to complete depending on how many credits students take per term.  Students will improve their teaching techniques, curriculum, and address topics of today’s music educators.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Resident Tuition: $4,448 Per Semester
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $4,448 Per Semester
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 56.7%

4. Southern Utah University          Points:  11

A public institution, Southern Utah University was founded in 1897 and has grown to offer 140 undergraduate degree programs and 19 graduate programs. The online Master of Music is a unique degree with an emphasis in Music Technology.  Students will gain skills and knowledge of the use of technology platforms in video, audio recording, music for games, and producing and mixing music.  This industry is growing and evolving with the multiple media platforms.  This is a high-level learning experience where students learn from experienced faculty in this innovative online program.  This program can be completed in 12 months or less and does include a capstone project.      

At A Glance

  • Location: Cedar City, Utah
  • Resident Tuition: $12,900 Total Cost
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $12,900 Total Cost
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 90%

5. University of Nebraska Kearney               Points:  11

A public institution, the University of Nebraska Kearney was established in 1905 as a teaching school and has since grown to enroll over 6,000 students across 117 major and 52 graduate programs.  Those seeking to expand their professional goals in music can earn a Master’s degree in Music Education entirely online.  The entire program is 36 credit hours and is taught by faculty that have extensive experience in both performing and educating.  Students gain experience in research, advanced concepts and methods of teaching.  The core curriculum consists of music theory and music history as well as research.  Students can choose electives from courses such as music philosophy, brass pedagogy, string pedagogy, and many more.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Kearney, Nebraska
  • Resident Tuition:  $315 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $504 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 56.9%

6. Eastern Illinois University              Points:  11

A public institution, Eastern Illinois University was established in 1895 as a school to teach and train teachers.  Those seeking to earn a Masters in Music Education degree online will find a comprehensive program at Eastern Illinois University.  Students will complete all their coursework online and attend campus for one week in a summer residency as part of the program.  Students can enroll from anywhere in the nation.  The curriculum is designed for working adult music educators.  All online graduate students will be charged the same low cost for Resident tuition, making this a very affordable program.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Charleston, Illinois
  • Resident Tuition: $308.04 per credit hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $308.04 per credit hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio:14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: ~100%

7. Indiana University              Points:  11

A public research institution, Indiana University is the flagship institution of Indiana and enrolls over 40,000 students annually.  Indiana University also operates an impressive online program with a wide array of accredited programs that are delivered in an entirely online format.  Students desiring to earn a Master of Science in Music will find two degrees they can enroll in, a Music Technology program or a Music Therapy program.  Each of these degrees is offered entirely online and are 30 credit hours.  Students of the Music Technology program will participate in music technology courses, cognate courses, and electives of their choice.  Students of the Music Therapy program will learn advanced research and clinical skills in using  music intervention to promote wellness.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Bloomington, Indiana
  • Resident Tuition: $420 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $1,275 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

8. Bowling Green State University        Points:  11

A public research university, Bowling Green State University that offers high quality and affordable undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as a large offering of online programs.  Professional music educators can enroll in a flexible online Music Education program that starts in the Spring and runs for 15 months.  Students of this program will complete traditional coursework as well as work alongside a teaching mentor that will create a personalized plan of study based on each student’s own teaching situation.  This program is designed to utilize each students current teaching situation as their laboratory.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Resident Tuition:  $1,439 Per 3 Credits
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $1,472 Per 3 Credits
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 54.5%

9. West Virginia University          Points:  11

A public research institution, West Virginia University was established in 1862 as a land-grant institution.  Students seeking to earn a Music Industry Master of Arts will find a flexible online degree program that requires 11 courses to complete.  Students will participate in an integrated methodical program that helps students master current music industry systems.  Students will develop an acute awareness of regulations, income streams, and business models.  This is an integrated and multidisciplinary program that prepares students for advancement in the performing, recording, and publishing sectors.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Resident Tuition: $642 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $642 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 55.9%

10. East Carolina University        Points:  11

A public research university, East Carolina University was established in 1907 as a teacher training school and has since expanded to include a medical school, dental school, and college of engineering.  ECU has consistently ranked among the top public universities across a variety of areas including graduate programs, innovation, economic engagement and more.  The entirely online Master’s of Music with Concentration in Music Education is designed for professionals that are seeking to advance their education in music education. To complete the degree students will be required to present and defend their capstone project.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Greenville, North Carolina
  • Resident Tuition: $249 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $893 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 60.4%

11. University of North Carolina at Greensboro       Points:  11

A public research institution, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been nationally recognized for its excellent programs, social mobility, and affordability. As a top ranking institution students enrolling in online programs will find the same high quality academic programs taught by award winning faculty.  THe online Master of Music in Music Education can continue their professional careers while earning an advanced degree in their field of study.  Students of this program will advance their teaching, scholarly and creative skills as they engage in coursework and a capstone project.  The program is 32 credit hours and can be completed in as little as one year.      

At A Glance

  • Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Resident Tuition: $300 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $555 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 53.7%

12. Ohio University         Points:  11

A public research institution, Ohio University was chartered in 1787 and began teaching students in 1809.  Ohio University offers over 250 programs of study with expert faculty that have experience in their field of study.  Students enrolled in the online Master of Music Degree in Education program will find a program that is focused on preparing students to become more skilled educators.  Participants will be able to interpret and evaluate research in music education, fill leadership roles, increase student learning, and contribute to the field of music education.  Graduates are often music educators in K through 12 schools or they continue their education through the doctoral level.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Athens, Ohio
  • Resident Tuition: $334 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $628 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 62.3%

13. Florida International University          Points:  11

A public research university, Florida International University was established in 1965 and has quickly grown to be one of the largest institutions for higher learning in Florida.  Students have over 190 degree options both on campus and online.  Those seeking to earn a Master of Science in Music Education will find flexibility in earning their degree, the program is offered in person, online, or a hybrid delivery method.  This particular degree is highly personalized as students increase their understanding of  music research, curricular theories, philosophy, psychology, and history.  The program is designed for practicing educators.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • Resident Tuition:  $15,074 For 30 Credit Hours
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $15,074 For 30 Credit Hours
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 25 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 72.3%

14. Anderson University          Points:  11

A private institution, Anderson University has ranked among the top regional universities for innovation and teaching excellence by the U.S, News and World Report.  As a private Christian liberal arts institution students participate in coursework that integrates faith with secular learning.  Those enrolled in the online Master of Music in Music Education will participate in 30 hours of coursework that includes music theory, history, and performance, as well as a portfolio of their research and teaching projects. The entire program can be completed in two years while students continue working as professional music instructors.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Anderson, South Carolina
  • Resident Tuition: $390 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $390 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 52.2%

15. North Greenville University        Points:  11

A private institution, North Greenville University is associated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and is an accredited institution.  Professional music educators will find an online Masters in Music in Music Education degree at North Greenville University that enables them to advance their career while they continue teaching.  This degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to advance their career or change their career path.  The program takes 18 months to complete with 5 start dates throughout the year.  Students will learn methods of instruction, planning musical programs, technology in the classroom and more. 

At A Glance

  • Location: Tigerville, South Carolina
  • Resident Tuition: $415 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $415 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 57.7%

16. Colorado State University        Points:  9

A public institution, Colorado State University was established as a land-grant university that has now expanded to include a large online program offering numerous degrees.  CSU Online has been recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for offering quality and innovative online education.  Students desiring to earn a Master’s of Music Education can enroll in CSU Online and specialize in conducting.  This program allows students to complete the coursework entirely online then gain hands-on experience and the skill set necessary during the summer on campus.  Students will find a customizable program to meet their teaching situation.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Resident Tuition:  $641 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $641 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

17. Azusa Pacific University         Points:  9

A private Christian evangelical institution, Azusa Pacific University was established in 1899.  Azusa is home to a School of Music that offers a wide array of programs and degrees for students studying music.  The online Master’s degree offered is a MA in Music Entrepreneurship.  This unique degree is designed for independent musicians and managers.  Students will learn under the direction of professionals in the music industry.  This is a interdisciplinary program that provides skills in music publishing, social media management, finance, entertainment law,  and management.     

At A Glance

  • Location: Azusa, California
  • Resident Tuition: $673 Per Unit
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $673 Per Unit
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

18. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey         Points:  9

A public research institution, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey was chartered in 1776 and is the eighth oldest college in the nation.  Rutgers offers a wide array of online learning opportunities for people of all ages and stages from online summer camps for children to professional graduate degrees for adults.  Rutgers ranks among the top public institutions in the nation for education.  Those seeking to earn a Master of Music in Music Education Online will find an online program designed for K-12 Music teachers that will expand their music opportunities.  Those enrolled can complete the coursework on their schedules allowing them to continue their careers while they advance their education. Visit the Mason Gross School of the Arts page for more information.

At A Glance

  • Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Resident Tuition: $900 to $940 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $900 to $940 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 80.4%

19. Stephen F. Austin State University          Points:  9

A public institution, Stephen F. Austin State University was founded in 1923 as a teachers college and has since grown to enroll over 11,000 students annually across multiple fields of study.  Those seeking to earn a Master’s of Music online will find SFA offers a few different tracks for students to earn that degree entirely online.  Students can choose one of the following three tracks online; the elementary education music track, the general music education track, and each of the music theory tracks.  Each program will require 36 credit hours to complete for graduation.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Nacogdoches, Texas
  • Resident Tuition: $7,273
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $14,869
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 41.9%

20. Morehead State University            Points:  9

A public institution, Morehead State University offers over 140 undergraduate degree programs and 70 graduate programs at its campus in Kentucky and online.  Students can earn a Masters of Music with a concentration in education and performance. Students that desire to earn a MA of Music Education can choose from concentrations in voice, instrumental or choral conducting, brasswinds, woodwinds, percussion, orchestral strings, keyboard instruments, guitar, jazz, or Kodaly.   Graduates will have advanced knowledge and skills to advance their careers as music educators.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Morehead, Kentucky
  • Resident Tuition: $570 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $570 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 45.7%

21. Liberty University            Points:  9

A private evangelical Christian university, Liberty University was founded in 1971 and enrolls most of its students online.  Liberty University has one of the largest music schools in the nation and as such has a wide array of resources to help students pursue their music education. The graduate program provides practical music and ministry skills training.  Faculty that teach the online Masters program are the same faculty on campus that have real world experience in both music training and ministry.  There are four degree tracks students can choose from a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology, a Master of Arts in Music Education, a Master of Arts in Music and Worship, or a Master of Arts in Worship Studies.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Resident Tuition:  $565 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $565 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 33.8%

22. University of West Georgia        Points:  9

A public institution, the University of West Georgia is a forward thinking institution that prepares students for their future.  With an approximate enrollment of 13,400 students, UWG has grown to operate their main campus, satellite campuses, as well as an online program to provide affordable education to residents of Georgia and beyond.  Students desiring to earn a Master of Music in Music Education will find the program accredited by the National Association of the Schools of Music.  Every course is taught by expert faculty that are credentialed and have professional experience.  The program requires 30 credit hours to be completed for graduation.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Carrollton, Georgia
  • Resident Tuition: $517 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $517 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 39.2%

23. University of South Florida         Points:  9

A public research institution, the University of South Florida was established in 1956 and has grown to operate three campuses as well as a large online program with both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.  The Master of Arts in Music Education program can be earned online.  This particular degree program will focus on learner-centered pedagogy, skills in teaching in classrooms, research, and peer mentoring.  The program is 30 credit hours and can be completed in about one year.  Students will also participate in a one week on-campus experience where they will work alongside peers solving musical problems, creating new material, and practicing skills covered in the previous coursework.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Tampa, Florida
  • Resident Tuition: $347 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $424 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 23 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 69.4%

24. Tarleton State University            Points:  9

A public institution, Tarleton State University was the founding member of the Texas A&M University system.  Tarleton State University is situated in Stephenville and has helped transform the city into a bustling college town where 67% of the residents are college students.  For those living elsewhere but still seeking a personalized education, Tarleton State University offers a wide array of online degree programs.  The Master in Music in Music Education program offers three tracks for students to complete the degree.  The first is to complete 12 courses (36 Credit Hours), the second is to compete ten courses (30 Credit Hours) and a thesis, the third is to complete ten courses (30 Credit Hours) and a curriculum project.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Stephenville, Texas
  • Resident Tuition:  $500 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $909 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 22 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 43.2%

25. Campbellsville University          Points:  9

A private institution, Campbellsville University was established in 1906 and is a Christian based institution affiliated with the Baptist Church.  Enrolling more than 12,000 students annually, Campbellsville welcomes students of all denominations.  The online Master’s of Music in Music Education is designed for students that are music educators.  This program takes about two years to complete and offers students some flexibility as to how they complete their degree.  All students will study two music ears and then can either complete a thesis or a capstone project to complete the program.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
  • Resident Tuition: $399 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $399 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 33.8%

26. Adams State University         Points:  9

A public institution, Adams State University was founded in 1921.  Adams State University offers affordable online degree programs taught by their attentive faculty that promotes the success of students both in the classroom and professionally.  Adams State offers an entirely online Master of Arts in Music Education program that can be completed in two years.  If students choose to complete the first year on campus they can specialize in one of the following concentrations, performance, conducting, and composition.  Students do not have to do this to complete their degree, but it doesn add to the experience and provides a relevant curriculum.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Alamosa, Colorado
  • Resident Tuition: $452 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $452 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

27. University of Northern Colorado         Points:  9

A public institution, the University of Northern Colorado was founded in 1889 as State Normal School for educating teachers.  UNC offers an online Master of Music degree that integrates current innovations in music and the classroom.  Students learn from the renowned faculty and guest instructors that are current leaders in music instruction.  Students will need to attend a three week Music Intensive during the summer.  The remainder of the program is entirely online allowing students to continue their profession while advancing their education and careers.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Greeley, Colorado
  • Resident Tuition: $555 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $555 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 47.7%

28. Northern State University           Points:  9

A public institution for higher learning, Northern State University was established in 1901.  Known for its affordability, students have 59 majors to choose from across a variety of fields.  NSU offers a Music of Education Master’s degree online that helps advance students careers as music educators and open doors for future leadership in the field of music education.  Students learn from the same expert faculty that teach on campus as they expand their knowledge and gain new skills in their profession. Students will complete 30 credit and will need to attend campus one week during the summer term.     

At A Glance

  • Location: Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • Resident Tuition: $6,665 Per Year
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $11,814 Per Year
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 43.8%

29. Eastern Kentucky University            Points:  7

A public institution, Eastern Kentucky University operates its main campus in Richmond, five branch campuses throughout Kentucky, as well as a large online program.  Students have access to over online undergraduate and graduate programs that are flexible and accredited.  Those seeking an online Master’s in Music degree will find a flexible and accredit program online that is designed for music educators of grades K through 12.  THis program allows for working professionals to continue their profession while they learn advanced knowledge, skills, and teaching methods to add to their teaching repertoire.     

At A Glance

  • Location: Richmond, Kentucky
  • Resident Tuition:  $600 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $600 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 39.9%

30. Southeastern Oklahoma State University            Points:  7

A public institution, Southeastern Oklahoma State University enrolls approximately 5,000 students per year.  Students can attend on campus or online, either path will be affordable as they pursue a Master’s in Music Education degree.  Students will connect with faculty-mentors as they build their skills, knowledge and gain increased experience.  Students graduate as advanced practitioners and educators that develop curriculum to enhance students’ musical experiences.  Students are able to build on their bachelor’s degree in music as a foundation as they add to their knowledge.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Durant, Oklahoma
  • Resident Tuition:  $337 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $337 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate:  22.4%

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