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Music Education: Prospective Graduate Students

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Welcome music educator. The Master of Music (MM) in music education at Boise State is designed to meet the needs of music education specialists who work in the K-12 school system and who aspire to further graduate study and teaching in music education. Students engage in critical inquiry in music education through graduate courses related to research, pedagogy, history, and philosophy, as well as graduate courses in music theory and history

Frequently Asked Questions (click a question below):

What is required to apply to the Department of Music to enter the Master of Music in Music Education program?

Applicants must submit a teaching portfolio that includes: (1) a formal writing sample, (2) lesson plan samples including assessment tools, (3) a program sample, (4) a teaching video, and (5) three letters of reference from professionals who are familiar with the applicant’s teaching. The portfolio can be dropped off or mailed to the Department of Music, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID 83725-1560, to the attention of the Director of Music Education. Applicants must also separately apply to the university’s Graduate College.

Do I need to apply to the university separately from the music department to enter the Master of Music in Music Education program?

Yes, students must apply to the Graduate College separately from submitting an application portfolio to the Department of Music. It is best to apply to the Graduate College prior to or at the same time as submitting your music application portfolio. Visit the Graduate College application page by clicking here. Note that there is an application fee of $55, and official transcripts will be required to verify undergraduate GPA. The Department of Music does not require GRE or other test scores for graduate admission.

Can I enroll in graduate music education classes without being admitted to the Master of Music in Music Education degree program?

YES, music educators who already have a teaching certificate and undergraduate degree can take Boise State graduate music education courses “a la carte” without being enrolled in a degree program. You must first be admitted as a “non-degree seeking student,” which gives you student status to access all university courses. To apply as a non-degree seeking student, visit the Graduate College application page by clicking here. Note that there is an application fee of $55, and official transcripts will be required to verify your undergraduate credentials. There are no other special requirements to be admitted as a non-degree student.

What happens if I start taking classes as a non-degree seeking student and later choose to apply to a degree program?

You can transfer some graduate credits taken while in non-degree status if you are admitted to a degree program, but you need to be careful. There is a limit to the number of credits that can be transferred in this way, and university policy specifies that a minimum of 2/3 of the total credits used in a graduate degree must be earned at Boise State after being formally admitted to the degree program. To make the most of your credits and avoid re-taking classes later, you should seriously consider applying to the degree program after taking no more than six credits in non-degree status if you think there is any chance you may someday want to earn a degree.

How do I register for classes?

After you are admitted to a degree program or as a non-degree seeking student, the university will provide you with access information for BroncoWeb, Boise State’s online registration system. All university courses are listed in BroncoWeb and can be found using the Search for Classes tools. Students simply select the desired classes, register, and pay tuition, all in BroncoWeb.

What does it cost to attend BSU as a graduate student?

Click here to visit the Student Financial Services website for information on current tuition rates.

Can I use graduate credits to renew my Idaho teaching certificate?

Yes, graduate credits earned at Boise State University represent transferable academic units from an accredited university. You can apply graduate credits toward recertification in Idaho, or other states.

Can I use teacher professional education credits toward a graduate degree program?

Professional education credits for teachers may not be used toward any degree programs under any circumstances. Professional education credits are offered at teacher in-service events for reduced fee (usually $60), and are numbered by Boise State as 553 courses (sometimes also 453 or 253). You may use courses toward a degree that are numbered as 594 “workshop” credits, for which you pay full graduate tuition. The Master of Music in Music Education degree permits no more than four 594 workshop credits to be counted toward the degree, due to the fact that these workshops are typically limited in academic rigor, learning outcomes, and assessment of outcomes.

Are graduate credits the same as teacher professional development credits I can get for $60?

There is a lot of confusion about the $60 “credits” versus the actual graduate course credits the Department of Music offers. These professional education “credits,” the $60 ones, are not really credits, but the state requires universities to track them for this reduced fee to help keep track of teacher professional development. Other states have different names for these, such as continuing education units (CEUs), to help eliminate confusion. These professional education credits are numbered as 553 classes at BSU, they cannot be used in any degree program, and they are only good for recertification purposes.

The other thing about these professional education credits is that the universities are specifically prohibited from spending any funds on such programs. All the $60 does is to pay for the tracking and transcripts for our extended ed division to certify that you attended something that someone else paid for, like a school district or a professional association, or you if the event charges an fee beyond the credit fee. That all being the case, we can’t do that with actual classes offered through our department When we offer a class we have to offer it for full-fee graduate credits. This comes with all the benefits of actual college credits, and the fees actually pay for our instructors, facilities, materials, etc. The credit cost makes it seem like it couldn’t compete with the professional education “credits,” but they are really not the same thing, and the costs are just divided up differently.

For questions and further information about the Master of Music in Music Education, please send an email to Dr. Jeanne Belfy at

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