Bachelor of Arts in Music Education



137 credit hours

Program Length

4 years


Accredited by the SCDE

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Education program will prepare students for teaching in public or Christian schools in the United States and around the world.  In addition to learning how to perform, education courses and music methods classes will prepare candidates for a student teaching experience in a local classroom.  Upon completion of the degree, students will be eligible for licensure to teach PK–Grade 12 General and Choral music. 

What You’ll Learn

Students will be able to

  • perform competently on primary instruments as ensemble members, as conductors, and as soloists.
  • demonstrate knowledge of current methodologies and the ability to deliver instruction successfully to diverse groups of students.
  • design effective lesson plans and assessments using appropriate methods, materials, and technologies.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the history and literature of western and non-western music, with an appreciation of the social, political, and cultural role in shaping history.
  • apply one’s own musicianship, content knowledge, and pedagogical skill to the teaching of music in an effective and engaging manner.

Program content includes course work in the background of music education, along with current trends, courses in music history, a foundation in music theory and additional preparation in music technology, composition/arranging, conducting, and performance. Methods courses will include classroom observation and fieldwork, as well as clinical practice during the senior year. Students will develop their own philosophy of music education based on a Christian worldview.

For a comprehensive list of courses related to this program visit the Academic Catalog.

Admission Requirements

General Admission and Continuing Requirements

  • Meet the university undergraduate admission requirements.
  • Each prospective music education student must audition on his/her primary instrument prior to being admitted into the CIU music program.
  • Music Convocation (MUS 1000) is optional, but attendance is encouraged of all music education students and is offered every semester.
  • Private Lessons and Ensembles: Students are required to take seven semesters of private lessons in their applied instrument. Students are required to take six credit hours of ensembles. At least four of those credits must be Ambassador Choir.
  • Piano Proficiency Exam: Students must take and pass the Piano Proficiency Exam to demonstrate the skill appropriate for a college-level music major.
  • Senior Recital: In their final semester, students will register for and perform a 35-minute recital of level appropriate literature in which they will demonstrate the skills befitting a graduating college senior.
  • Students must earn a cumulative average of 2.3 (C+) in Music Theory. Any private lesson grade lower than a 2.7 (B-) will not count toward graduation requirements.

The Bachelor of Music Education provides a major in Music Education which provides intensive studies in both music and education. Upon completion of the degree, students are eligible for recommendation for licensure to teach Choral (PK-Grade12) music.

Stage I (Initial) Admission to the Professional Program in Music Teacher Education

Music Education majors will submit a formal application, typically at the end of the Spring semester of the sophomore year, for admission to the Professional Program in Music Teacher Education.  The following evidence is required and reviewed before admission to the Professional Program in Teacher Education:

  1. Evidence of the ability to succeed in an academic program, as demonstrated by a 2.75 GPA.
  2. Basic academic proficiency as demonstrated by one of the following:
    1. Official score of 1100 or higher on the two-part SAT, 1650 or higher on the three-part SAT, 22 or higher on the ACT (within the last five years).
    2. Official Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) report with prescribed minimum scores: Reading 156, Writing 158, and Math 150 (within the last five years).
    3. Composite Score of 464 or higher on Praxis Core three subtests, with no individual subtest score more than four points below the required passing score for that subtest.
  3. Disposition and motivation toward teaching, as demonstrated by completing a successful interview with the program director and/or an education faculty member in person or by phone.

Stage II (Advanced) Admission to Clinical Practice

Candidates complete an application and submit it to the Music Education’s Office of Clinical Experiences with the following evidence:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Program adviser and faculty recommendation
  • Passing scores on all required Praxis II Content Exams
  • Satisfactory completion of all professional classroom requirements, which include a faculty review of student dispositions and a Student Life recommendation.
  • Satisfactory completion of specialized professional association (SPA) assessments: EPP lesson plan, TWS, Teacher Candidate Professional Dispositions assessments (2), Diversity Affirmation forms.
  • Satisfactory completion and performance in a minimum of 100 hours in Field Experiences I, II, III, and IV.
  • TB Skin test clearance
  • SLED and FBI fingerprint clearance and criminal background disclosure statement
  • Approval of Faculty Committee

While enrolled in Clinical Practice, candidates will spend all of each school day for a period of no fewer than 60 instructional days in the assigned schools.  Of these 60 days, at least 36 days must be full-time teaching days.  Music teacher candidates participate in two placements:  elementary music (PK-5) and secondary choral (6-12).  A minimum of 18 full-time teaching days must be completed in each placement.  Students are responsible for their own transportation and insurance.  Students are prohibited from enrolling in any additional coursework during this semester without program faculty approval and the consent of the Dean of the College.


Accreditation and Accolades

SC Department of Education
SACSCOC (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)

The program will prepare students for teaching music in public or Christian schools in the United States and around the world.  It will also provide the training to become a music studio teacher,  work in a church music or contemporary music ministry, and build relationships through music in missions.