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Music Education Department

Bachelor of Music Education Degree


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The Bachelor of Music Education (BME) degree prepares students to teach in public schools through professional course work, as well as through observation and participation in a variety of public school settings. A full semester of supervised teaching in both elementary and secondary schools is a requirement in the final year of the degree. This degree contains many components that lead toward obtaining licensure to teach music in grades K-12 in the State of Illinois.


Current requirements for the BME degree include:

  • A minimum of 38 course units of credit units, divided between Professional Education courses, General Education Coursework, and Content Area (Music) Coursework, with minimum GPAs of 2.85 (by the 2nd semester of the second year) and 3.0 (by the end of the third year)
  • Grades of C or higher in all Professional Education and Content Area (Music) courses
  • Completion of a minimum 100 hours of observation and teaching in public schools (many of these hours are built into Music Education coursework)
  • Passing scores on all areas the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (or the equivalent on the ACT exam (including writing)
  • Successful completion of the Teacher Education Program (TEP) and Upper Division interview during the fourth semester
  • One semester of student teaching in a combination of elementary, middle, and high school classrooms
  • As of Fall 2015, a passing score from Pearson on the edTPA portfolio (completed during student teaching)


Once all requirements are met, students then submit an application to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to be issued a teaching license in the state of Illinois.


Below is a list of course requirements for the BME degree. One of the hallmarks of the Illinois Wesleyan University Music Education program is that students enroll not online in music education courses, but also have the opportunity to take liberal arts courses, which help them gain a well-rounded education during their college careers.

General Education (9 units)


School of Music (16.5 units)

Course Course Units
Applied Concentration (private instruction in primary instrument)




Survey of Music History (.5 per semester)


Keyboard Basics (or proficiency)


Functional Piano

     OR if piano concentration


Music History & Literature


Upper Division Theory

     Choose from:



     Choose from:


Ensembles (7 semesters) *
(Pianists must include 0.5 units of MUS 031 Accompanying)
*In addition to a major ensemble, all wind and percussion instrumental music education majors must participate in MUS 025X Titan Band for a minimum of two semesters.


MUS 015X: Experiencing Live Performance of Concert Repertoire
     6 semesters


MUS 014X: Colloquia in Music 
     1 semester


Music Electives

     Choose from: Diction, Vocal Pedagogy, Chamber Ensembles, Jazz Ensembles, etc.



Professional Education (10.5 units)

Course Course Units

Instrumental and Vocal Techniques Courses:


MUS 132 Foundation & Principles of Music Education


  • EDUC 257 The Exceptional Child



EDUC 365 Reading, Writing, and Communication in the Content Areas  1
MUS 232 Elementary Music Methods


MUS 333A Instrumental Music Methods


MUS 333B Choral Music Methods


MUS 497A Student Teaching in Music (1 semester)



Additional Requirements

Upon satisfactory completion of the requirements for the degree, the student must make application to the Illinois State Certification Board in order that a certificate may be issued granting the holder authorization to teach music, grades K-12, in the public schools of the state of Illinois. In addition, the student must meet the minimum standards of the Illinois State Board of Education Certification Testing Program in basic skills knowledge in the areas of reading, writing, grammar, and mathematics and tests of content knowledge in music.

Students who contemplate teaching in another state should consult with the Educational Studies Department and the Music Education Supervisor concerning certification requirements and adjust the pattern of academic and professional studies accordingly.

Candidates for the Bachelor of Music Education Degree are required to complete a minimum of one-hundred clock hours of clinical experience by the end of the second semester of the junior year in approved sites selected by the Music Education Department.  Consult the Teacher Education Handbook for a complete listing of specific courses which will satisfy both State Certification and Illinois Wesleyan requirements.

Helpful Links

IWU Educational Studies Department

Illinois State Board of Education

Information about edTPA