Music Education | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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School of Education

Music Education

Music student giving piano lessons to child
School of Education

Music Education

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Undergraduate

152 - 160 credits

required for program

152 - 160 credits

152 - 160 credits

required for program

The music education major prepares you to teach vocal or instrumental music to children in grades K–12 in public or private school settings. Graduates qualify for licensure in Minnesota.


meets licensure requirements for the Minnesota Board of Teaching


of Northwestern’s education graduates felt professionally prepared


University of Northwestern music degrees hold accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music, the principal U.S. accreditor for higher education in music


Entrance auditions are required if you wish to pursue a degree in music. Auditions are held during the spring semester. You must be admitted to both Northwestern and the Department of Music & Theatre in order to major in music. Please refer to the Music Auditions & Scholarships for audition requirements and deadlines.

Why study music education at Northwestern?

This program normally takes 4.5 years to complete, which includes a semester of student teaching. You will select one of the following specializations for your major:

  • Vocal and Classroom Music Specialization with emphasis: vocal
  • Vocal and Classroom Music Specialization with emphasis: vocal with primary instrument piano
  • Instrumental and Classroom Music Specialization with emphasis: instrumental
  • Instrumental and Classroom Music Specialization with emphasis: instrumental with primary instrument piano

The School of Education offers you the opportunity to travel to Haiti for one week to learn how education is different outside the U.S. This will equip you to teach in diverse communities. You can also study abroad in China over spring break or participate in a Civil Rights Pilgrimage spring break trip with other education majors. You can gain even more experience by participating in our international student teaching program.

Northwestern’s School of Education provides you with four levels of classroom practicum experience. The first allows you to find your personal "fit" within the teaching profession. The second level focuses on developing theory and skills related to diversity. The third level engages you to apply methodologies within your chosen field by creating, teaching, and evaluating lessons in a school classroom. The final level is full time student teaching in a chosen licensure field.

The School of Education provides teacher education programs approved by the MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and as a result meet the state standards adopted for licensure programs as defined in state rule 8710.2000 through 8710.8080. All licensure programs are aligned with INTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) standards and the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice.

The School of Education has hosted Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) events, and is a member of CEAI.

The School of Education attends the Compass Educator Breakfast each fall (through Grace Church in Eden Prairie, MN).

With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving education system.

If you enjoy vocal or instrumental music, are eager to serve, passionate about teaching, and are interested in a career in education, this might be the right degree for you.

What will you learn?

You will learn to analyze sheet music, think critically, and be able to teach music to children in grades K-12.

Some classes include:

  • Field Experience
  • Conducting
  • Sight Singing and Ear Training
  • Music in World Cultures
  • Private Lessons
View Course Catalog
I received a great and well-rounded music education . . . [and] currently teach a highly successful band program that competes favorably on a national level.
Sam Anderson
School of Education - Class of 2006

Careers in music education

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in music education.

Discover Careers

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Meet your professors

Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.

Meet the entire department

Lara Bronson, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean/Chair, School of Education
Associate Professor of...

Dr. Lara Bronson serves as the Assistant Dean/Chair at University of Northwestern – St. Paul in the School of...

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Kristen Bugos, Ph.D.

Assistant Chair, Department of Music & Theatre
Associate Professor...

Kristen Bugos, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education, joined UNW in 2018. She holds...

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School of Education

Nazareth Hall, N3008
3003 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55113

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