Mu Phi Epsilon was founded at the Metropolitan College of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 13, 1903, by Professor Winthrop S. Sterling, Dean of the college, and Elizabeth Mathias a member of the faculty. Professor Sterling had in mind an organization for women comparable in aim to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity for men. First he considered associate membership in Phi Mu Alpha, but decided to establish an organization for women only, to advance the cause of music in America and at the same time develop fine young women bound together in friendship through their common interest in the art of music.
Alpha Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon was organized, with eight charter members including Miss Mathias, who were soon joined by six more. The Constitution and Bylaws were adopted, the design of the badge and shield selected, the colors and flower chosen and the aims and ideals of the sorority definitely established at the first meetings.
The Sorority was expanded within a month with the installation of Beta Chapter at New England Conservatory, Boston, on December 13, 1903 and within the first year, with the installation of Gamma Chapter, University of Michigan School of Music, Ann Arbor, May 20, 1904.
The Sorority changed status from the originally chartered National Music Sorority to function as an Honor Society in 1936. In 1944 it changed again to function as a Professional Music Sorority, after definitions of general, honor and professional sororities were formulated and accepted by the National Conference on College Fraternities and Societies.
With the installation of Alpha Tau Chapter on November 13, 1962, at the Philippine Women's University in Manila, Philippine Islands, Mu Phi Epsilon became international.
Mu Phi Epsilon became a co-educational Professional Music Fraternity in 1977 in compliance with federal regulations of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.
Today Mu Phi Epsilon has 128 collegiate chapters, 74 alumni chapters and more than 75,000 members.