The Catholic University of America


Music Education Petition to Pursue Certification Process
Contact Dr. Battersby for the latest updates to this process


When should I Petition to Pursue Certification in music education?

All music education majors must submit a petition to pursue certification. Music students generally Petition to Pursue Certification (PPC) during their sophomore year, no later than the end of the sophomore year spring semester. This is generally done upon the completion of MUS138, Introduction to Music Education.  We encourage music education students to begin the petition to major process as early as possible, even during their freshman year, in order to enroll in music education courses at the earliest possible point. More importantly, you should petition to pursue music education when you are fairly confident that teaching is the appropriate career choice for you. The Petition to Major is a component of MUS138, Introduction to Music Education and should be completed as a part of that course. Transfer and other students may make application in the Fall. The Music Education committee meets in October to consider these applicants. 

What materials do I need to submit as part of the process?

The petition materials include:

a) PPC application which includes personal data, GPA and Praxis I scores

b) an essay describing rationale and purpose for seeking to become a music teacher

c) three letters of recommendation from music faculty (ensemble director, piano instructor, harmony/ear training teacher)

d) disposition survey (signed by one cooperating teacher in the field)

e) an unofficial transcript from CUA or and official transcript from the institution awarding the candidate’s Bachelor of Music. These materials are reviewed and appropriate determination made (i.e. acceptance or non-acceptance into the program) by the Music Education Committee. This committee is comprised of full-time music faculty, including ensemble directors and all music education faculty members.

How do I petition to pursue certification in music education?

The applications can be found in this handbook and on the music education website. The MUS138 instructor will also provide them on the first day of class. All candidates must submit these forms to the MUS138 instructor during the last week of class. Incomplete packets will be returned. Transfer students should complete the forms and submit them to the Music Education Division chair. Students need to schedule an interview with the Division chair, who will then send recommendation forms to your applied, ensemble, musicianship, and piano class instructors. It is your responsibility to collect these recommendations in sealed envelopes with the recommender’s signature across the envelope flap. Once the materials are gathered together, the committee will review the applications and determine whether to accept, accept conditionally, or reject the applications. The Music Education Committee will send you a letter notifying you of the committee’s decision.

What is the committee looking for when deciding whether or not to accept my application?

The committee examines each application on an individual basis. Generally, the following criteria are taken into consideration:

  • Is there sufficient evidence of excellent musical knowledge and skills?

  • Is the candidate in good academic standing?

  • Does the candidate exhibit the potential to teach effectively?

  • Does the candidate possess the appropriate interpersonal skills for teaching?

  • Does the written essay reflect a clear sense of purpose and a desire to teach?

  • Has the candidate demonstrated work and study habits necessary to complete the program successfully?

If my (PPC) application is not accepted, what can I do?



You may schedule an appointment with representatives from the Music Education Committee to clarify any questions you may have. If you remain convinced that you wish to major in music education, you can re-apply the following year.




If my (PPC) application is accepted, what should I do?

It is essential that you schedule an appointment with your advisor as soon as you are notified of your acceptance. The course requirements for music education certification are very specific, and you will need a lot of guidance in planning your schedule.

You and your advisor will draft a four-year (or four and one-half) plan, outlining all the courses you will need to take until graduation. This rough draft should be checked every semester, in order to make necessary adjustments and changes. You should maintain a copy of all advising records, for these will serve as a guide in your course selections. Cardinal Station may also be helpful in the tracking process, though this system is not considered to be the official iteration of your degree progress.

It is also important that you meet with an advisor to maintain a continuing dialogue about your personal growth and your goals. Your advisor is there to help resolve any questions or concerns you may have. At all times, we welcome your comments and suggestions, for we wish to be responsive to your needs.