The Master of Arts in Popular Music Pedagogy is a flexible online program which prepares individuals for education-related careers in the field of popular music; also referred to as Contemporary Commercial music. Popular music, defined as music from the era of recording technology, consists of a variety of ever-evolving genres whose names derive from industry and distribution.

This degree is designed to serve a variety of learners: current certified and practicing music educators and studio teachers wishing to strengthen their focus on the diverse traditions that make up popular music, entrepreneurs looking to grow their skills in connection to popular music education, and artist educators wishing to improve their understanding of stage presence, performance, and communication.

The core curriculum of this degree covers relevant topics, including popular music artistry and pedagogy, popular music instrumental and vocal methods, and the business enterprise of popular music.

Beyond these core areas of focus, students have the option to tailor their education to serve their career aspirations and interests. Elective courses include further exploration of technology and media creation, entrepreneurship, arts leadership, marketing strategies and the practical and legal elements of the popular music industry.

The culminating experience for this program is a capstone project that aligns with the student’s career goals. This digital portfolio is designed to highlight the student’s skills and abilities and brand them in their key areas. This project, designed in collaboration with the professor, aims to enhance job opportunities and helps establish a sustainable career in the continually evolving industries of popular music education, entrepreneurship, and/or performance practices.

Applying to UOnline

How to Submit Your Application

When you decide to pursue a degree with UOnline, you’ll have a dedicated enrollment advisor to guide you through the application process. Follow the steps outlined below and contact your enrollment advisor with any questions.

1. Start your Application

Go to our online application.

2. Compile Documents 

Upload the following required documents in the upload section:

  • Unofficial Transcript: Submit a copy of your transcript from all academic institutions attended.
  • Résumé: Submit your most recent résumé that appropriately illustrates your professional experience.
  • Personal Statement: Submit a one-page personal statement addressing your interest in the program concerning your professional background and career aspirations.
  • Language Proficiency: International students who do not hold an undergraduate U.S. degree must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. For more information, please see the Student Handbook

3. Request your Official Transcripts 

Request your transcripts electronically (preferred) or by regular mail:

to etranscripts@miami.edu, or mail it to:

Online Enrollment – Admissions Office
1320 S. Dixie Hwy, Suite 902
Locator – 2291
Coral Gables, FL 33146-2291

Please note: All graduate applicants who have attended a college or university outside the United States must submit official transcripts and diplomas (if available) from all colleges and universities attended to one of the three approved evaluation services (See International Students below).

4. Obtain Three Professional Recommendations 

Enter the names and contact information for three (3) people who can comment on your professional ability in the online application. Your references automatically receive an email to fill out your recommendation online. You can then track the status of each recommendation in the system. Recommendations must be received by the application deadline to be considered for admissions.

5. Apply for Financial Aid 

Click here for more info about financial aid and the scholarships available to our students. Our enrollment advisors are also available to help you every step of the way.

International Students (who attended college/university outside of the United States)

All graduate applicants who have attended a college or university outside the United States must submit official transcripts and diplomas (if available) from all colleges and universities attended to one of the three approved evaluation services listed below. Follow the specific instructions of the selected evaluation service to request a course-by-course evaluation with degree equivalency and grade point average (gpa) calculation. We do not issue any student Visa's for International UOnline students. 

All online international students who have been admitted to an online program at the University of Miami are not eligible for an F-1 visa. 

The evaluation report and copy of all the official documents used in the evaluation must be sent directly from one of the three approved evaluation services to the address below. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their evaluation is sent to the correct address. Evaluations sent to other addresses on campus will not be received and will delay the admissions process. 

University of Miami
Online Enrollment Office
1320 South Dixie Highway
Gables One Tower –Suite 902, Locator Code: 2991
Miami, FL 33146

The evaluation report and supporting documents are required before the Admissions Committee can review the application.  Any documents received by the University will become the property of the University and will not be returned to the applicant or sent to a third party including the evaluation services.

Approved Evaluation Services

All Applicants: Additional Admission Requirements

6. Degree Requirement 

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in a music, artistic, or education related field. Alternatively, applicants may have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in another discipline, along with documented experience with vocal or instrumental performance/teaching.

7. Submit a video performing on your chosen primary instrument/voice:

  • Perform two (2) selections (original or covers) from one or more contemporary music genres such as pop, rock, R&B, folk, gospel, country, etc., that you feel best represent your unique artistic abilities. You are invited to demonstrate aptitude on multiple instruments if you have that ability.
  • Each selection must be submitted separately in a video format with yourself visible and clearly heard, with our without a microphone.
  • All selections may be self-accompanied, accompanied by others (accompanist or band), or performed with accompaniment tracks.
  • We encourage you to reinterpret covers in an original and creative way.
  • If original music is submitted, selection must include one lyric sheet in PDF format containing the lyrics to that song and clearly identifying any additional co-writers and their contributions.

  • Upon submission of your application, you will receive specific instructions on where and how to upload your video.

8. Demonstrate Basic Music Theory Knowledge:

If admitted and choose to enroll, you will be required to complete a theory assessment during your Student Readiness Orientation (SRO). This assessment will be administered and completed inside the SRO course. If you do not pass the assessment you will be required to complete a Music Theory Fundamentals course prior to enrolling in MMI 709: Popular Music Theory Pedagogy. Please note: the Frost School Graduate Theory Entrance Exam for on-campus students is not required as part of this degree program. 

Admission Decision Timeline

Once you have submitted your application, we will be in touch in the next two days.

Once your application is complete, we will try our best to provide you with an admission decision in 1-2 weeks. If you are accepted to study online with the University of Miami, you have 24 hours to accept your offer and can then start your online Student Readiness Orientation. 

Curriculum Requirements

Core Courses
MMI 708Popular Music Pedagogy and Administration (New Course: Popular Music Pedagogy and Administration)3
MMI 709Popular Music Theory Pedagogy (New Course: Popular Music Theory Pedagogy)3
MMI 711Popular Music Methods (New Course: Popular Music Methods)3
MUS 745Peak Performance Strategies for Musicians3
MCY 726History and Critical Studies of Popular Music (New Course: History and Critical Studies of Popular Music)3
MMI 712Introduction to Music Business for Artists (New Course: Introduction to Music Business for Artists)3
Elective Courses
Choose 9 credits from the following:9
Entrepreneurship for Musicians
Arts Leadership
Tour Management and Production
Marketing in the Music Industry
Global Live Entertainment
World of the Working Musician
Financial Management in Live Entertainment
Legal Aspects of the Live Entertainment Industry
Media Creation
Communication, Marketing, and Publicity for the Musical Artist
Capstone Project
MMI 810 (New Course: Capstone Project in Popular Music Pedagogy)3
Total Credit Hours30

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
MUS 745 Peak Performance Strategies for Musicians 3
MCY 726 History and Critical Studies of Popular Music 3
 Credit Hours6
MMI 712 Introduction to Music Business for Artists 3
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours6
Approved Elective 3
MMI 709 Popular Music Theory Pedagogy 3
 Credit Hours6
Year Two
MMI 708 Popular Music Pedagogy and Administration 3
MMI 711 Popular Music Methods 3
 Credit Hours6
Approved Elective 3
MMI 810 3
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours30


The mission of the Master of Arts degree in Popular Music Pedagogy is to strengthen the popular music focus for students pursuing skills in connection to popular music education, and artist educators wishing to improve their understanding of stage presence, performance, and communication. The underlying philosophy is that the best teachers are not only skilled and engaging performers themselves but are open and adaptive to the ever-changing landscape of the music business, current artistic trends, and technology.


  • Prepare students for education-related careers in the field of popular music
  • Strengthen the popular music focus of the student’s educational and artistic expertise
  • Enhance students’ popular music performance skills and stage presence
  • Teach key concepts and popular music pedagogical practices, including popular music instrumentation and equipment
  • Train students in popular music theory pedagogy
  • Demonstrate music technology usage and the creation of relevant media including video, photo, and audio content
  • Provide strategies for successful administration of a popular music education or education related business enterprise
  • Guide students through the cultivation of a plan for their capstone project

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to develop proficiency in pedagogical strategies, music theory, and technology necessary for career preparation in popular music instruction/education
  • Students will be able to understand the popular music enterprise
  • Students will be able to improve their own popular music stage presence and/or build tools to help their own students’ performance skillset
  • Students will be able to create syllabi, lesson plans, and mock lessons/modules
  • Students will be able to develop personal branding that will prepare them for sustainable careers as working education professionals in popular music
  • Students will be able to demonstrate their accomplishments by creating a digital portfolio, which will contain assets from their core coursework. Students will finalize their portfolio in their Capstone Project course.