University of South Florida

School of Music

USF College of The Arts

Music Education

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Arts
  • Doctorate

Music Education at the University of South Florida is a visionary laboratory for the preparation of the next generation of music educators and scholars, and serves as a dynamic site for progressive and foundational teaching/learning and research in music education, within the context of contemporary life. Comprehensive degree offerings include the Bachelor of Science, the Master of Arts, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education.

The B.S. degree prepares students for the challenges and realities of the twenty-first century classroom. The master's degree is offered in a totally at-a-distance format. Classes are available via a convenient, asynchronous online design, particularly accessible to practicing music educators and musicians globally. The doctoral program is designed to develop global leaders in music research, teaching, and administration. The Center for Music Education Research provides support for all of our programs.

The BS Program

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Music Education is a professional degree for students who are interested in teaching music in K-12 schools in the ever changing music classrooms of the 21st century. This program is an intense study of music and education courses that provide students with state certification upon graduation. In addition to private study on their principle instrument and participation in ensembles, students complete music theory, history and literature sequences, and take a variety of music education courses. Our degree program challenges and prepares future educators to not only embrace the traditions of music education, but also to incorporate new potentials that can reach additional populations of students interested in making music using alternative methods. The program progresses towards a semester-long, student-teaching experience in area schools and can also include a study abroad experience in and around London, England. Admission into the program requires an audition on your major instrument as well as a faculty interview.

The MA Program

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Music Education Degree Program at USF is an innovative curriculum unlike anything in the field. The program focuses on learner centered and informal pedagogical techniques as applied in music, as well as techniques of research. This degree is intended for k-12 music teachers who are interested in broadening the pedagogical possibilities in their classrooms as well as those teachers who would like to develop their action research skills to better assess their work.

All required coursework is offered via distance learning with the exception of a one week, intensive summer experience on the USF Tampa campus. The first course in the required sequence, Informal Learning in Music Education I, is an alternative calendar class which begins with online study in May and ends with a one week on-campus experience in June.

The PhD Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Music Education is the highest degree in the field. At the University of South Florida, this program is designed to develop global leaders in music education research, teaching, and administration. The curriculum prepares the student to engage in original research in music education and related fields (aesthetics, arts education, creativity, engineering, gerontology, music technology, neuropsychology, philosophy, social psychology, special and gifted education, speech and communication sciences, etc.). In coordinating with faculty mentors, the student has great flexibility in designing a program that fits his/her interests and strengths.

Admission requirements include the submission of writing samples and GRE scores and an interview with the music education faculty. A limited number of assistantships and fellowships are available for qualified students.

Music Education Faculty

Jennifer Bugos, Professor of Music Education
Phone: (813) 974-2311 |

Victor Fung, Professor of Music Education
Phone: (813) 974-2311 |

Matthew McCutchen, Director of Bands
Phone: (813) 974-0845 |

Catherine Michelsen, String Techniques
Phone: (813) 974-2311 |

Clint Randles, Professor of Music Education, Co-Director of Contemporary Commercial Music
Phone: (813) 974-2311 |

David A. Williams, Director of the School of Music, Professor of Music Education
Phone: (813) 974-9166 |