College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Music on the Move–Evolving Degrees

The Department of Music offers a rich variety of degree programs. Undergraduates can earn a B.A. in music or a B.M. with an emphasis in music performance or music education. Graduate students may pursue a Master of Music with an emphasis in choral conducting, music education or performance. Last year, the department converted the D.A. degree into a Ph.D. in music in response to recent trends in the profession, faculty strengths and student interest.

“Fewer music students are entering the teaching profession,” said Charlie Gates, chair of music. “This has been a trend for the last 20 years or more and has resulted in a critical shortage of qualified public school music teachers. A corollary problem is a shortage of well-prepared college and university music-education faculty.”

The new Ph.D. program — one of few devoted to music education in this region of the country — involves the scholarly study of the philosophical and psychological foundations of music education and the processes of learning and teaching.

“We’re excited to now be offering the Ph.D. in music education,” said Alan Spurgeon, associate professor of music. “We have students who are completely capable of Ph.D.-level work, and this new degree will make them more competitive for positions in top-level universities.”