Music Education Department
Music Education Degree Information
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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 36 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
- 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 of the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of
Academic Proficiency (or the equivalent on the ACT or SAT exam (including writing)
prior to the fourth semester.
- Passing scores on all areas of the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) music
content area test prior to student teaching.
- 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
- As of Fall 2015, a passing score from Pearson on the edTPA portfolio (completed during
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
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)
There are 9 General Education courses that students must take that fall under the
following categories: Gateway Colloquium (GW), Analysis of Values (AV), The Arts (AR),
Contemporary Social Institutions (CSI), Cultural and Historical Change (CHC), Formal
Reasoning (FR), Intellectual Traditions (IT), Literature (LIT), Second Language (LA),
Natural Sciences (LSI, LSL, PSI, or PSL), and Physical Education (PE).
Courses included in the core music sequence fulfill the requirements for AR and CHC,
and Music Education majors are not required to take LA classes. Thus, the required
number of General Education courses is fewer for Music Education students.
School of Music (16.5 units)
Professional Education (10.5 units)
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.
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. The IWU assistant
director for the teacher licensure and assessment will contact students about issues
Helpful Links and Forms
IWU Educational Studies Forms and Information
IWU Educational Studies Department
Illinois State Board of Education
Information about edTPA
Field Observation Log
Observation Hour Form (word)