2010 - 2011 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Music Therapy, M.M.T.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1

Applications are processed as they arrive up to the deadline date.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents, and aptitude for graduate study.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants for the M.M.T. degree are expected to have a bachelor's degree and certification in Music Therapy while also demonstrating the musicianship, self-awareness, and interpersonal skills needed for in-depth clinical work. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in another area of music but who are not certified in Music Therapy are eligible to apply for the combined master's equivalency program. This program integrates undergraduate courses in Music Therapy required for entry-level certification with the master's program. Applicants who hold undergraduate degrees outside of music, or applicants who do not have at least 60 undergraduate credits in music or the equivalence must apply initially for the bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in Music Therapy, Music Education, Music History, Music Performance, or Music Theory is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should include your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.


Applicants must submit a recorded audition (DVD preferred or CD) consisting of two pieces in different styles in the applicant's major performance medium (with accompanist when needed) and three standard or popular songs sung and played by the applicant on piano and/or guitar. Appropriate audition repertoire is found at www.temple.edu/boyer.


After all application materials have been reviewed, an in-person or phone interview is scheduled with the applicant by the Program Coordinator. (Please allow at least three weeks after submission.) Any applicant applying for an assistantship must interview in person with the Music Therapy faculty. If the onsite interview is not feasible for any other applicant, a telephone or SKYPE interview is required.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

A student who wishes to transfer credit should speak with her/his academic advisor and obtain a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form, available at: www.temple.edu/grad/forms. Transfer credits must be approved by the advisor, the department chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.


Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions of the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This Policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 36

Required Courses (21 s.h.):

MUSIC ED 8601:  Qualitative Research in Music Therapy (3)

MUSIC ED 8602:  Quantitative Research in Music Therapy

MUSIC ED 8603:  Theories of Music Psychotherapy

MUSIC ED 8615:  Advanced Music Therapy Internship

MUSIC ED 8617:  Multicultural Music Therapy (2)

MUSIC ED 8618:  Music in Medicine

MUSIC ED 8621:  Music Therapy Ethics (2)

MUSIC ED 8626:  Models of Clinical Supervision in Music Therapy (2)

MUSIC ED 9687: Advanced Music Therapy Practicum

MUSIC ED 9995: Independent Project in Music Therapy

Electives (15 s.h.) selected from Music, Music Education, Music Studies, and other graduate departments. Advisor approval required.

View all COURSE OFFERINGS in Music, Music Education, and Music Studies.

All degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

Diagnostic Examination:

The Diagnostic Examination in Voice, Piano, and Guitar is required for all students entering the master's degree program in Music Therapy. The examination covers two broad areas of competence: the ability to sing and play by memory a large repertoire of songs from the standard, popular, traditional, folk, rock, or country literature; and the ability to sight-sing and sight-harmonize songs from a fake book. For the examination, students bring in a list of at least 12 songs that they are prepared to sing and play by memory. The examiners then select one or more songs to be sung and played on the piano, and one or more to be sung and played on the guitar. In the next portion of the examination, students are asked to sight-sing and sight-harmonize tunes from a fake book, using piano and guitar as accompaniments.

If a student has not studied voice, piano, and/or guitar, or if the student is not prepared to play popular music or use a fake book, s/he may waive any or all portions of the examination and opt to take the appropriate remedial course(s). This is not unusual. Most students entering the program need instruction or practice in one or more of these areas. Students are therefore encouraged to view this as merely a placement examination. Depending on each student's background and competence, as demonstrated on the examination, students may be placed in the following remedial courses for 1 s.h. each: Voice 1211 and/or 1212; Functional Voice 3415 and/or 3632; Jazz Piano 2105, 2106, 3105, and/or 3106; Functional Piano Skills 3633 and/or 3634; Guitar 1658 and/or 1659; and/or Functional Guitar 3635 and/or 3636. Credits earned in required remedial courses do not apply toward the master's degree.

NOTE: All students must present themselves for the Diagnostic Examination at the designated time or permission to register for the first semester of study will not be granted. Students who wish to waive any portion of the examination by taking the remedial courses are still required to present themselves for the scheduled Diagnostic Examination, unless they send written notification to the Music Therapy faculty stating their intent to waive all portions of the exam. When students waive all portions of the exam, they are required to take all remedial coursework without any further opportunity for taking or retaking the examination. Appropriate repertoire for auditions and diagnostics can be found at www.temple.edu/musictherapy/program/mmt.htm.

Clinical Experience:

Ongoing clinical experience is required.

Tuition and Fee Payments:

All tuition and fees must be paid according to the deadlines given by the Bursar's Office at the time of registration. This means that all payments must be received prior to the first day of the semester in which the course is offered—not prior to the first day of the course, which in Music Therapy may be very late in the semester. When payments are not received by the University deadlines for each semester, registrations are automatically canceled, and late fees are imposed for reregistering. Often students do not receive written notification of this until well into the semester. Students are encouraged to be punctual in meeting all registration deadlines, as failure to do so is very costly—in time, effort, and money.

Professional Development Policy:

In addition to taking the required subjects for their degrees, all students in the Boyer College of Music and Dance are obligated to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. Boyer College of Music and Dance believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes; tutoring; teaching private lessons; coaching; participating in the distribution and inventory control of Temple University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials; participating in ensembles; accompanying; performing at admissions and open house events; supervising performance classes; and engaging in other academic activities.

Independent Study Courses:

Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the students' major advisor, and the Associate Dean. Approval will be granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects will be granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.

Acceptable English:

All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.

Applied Music Study:

1. Graduate students in non-performing curricula may take up to 6 credits of applied study toward the degree with the permission of the major advisor. Such non-required lessons may be taken only if the student can pass the normal graduate-level performing audition expected of performance majors. In this event, a fee of $200, not covered by tuition remission, is charged.

2. Regardless of major, graduate students with a demonstrable performing proficiency that may not meet the more rigorous requirements of a graduate-level audition may, by audition, qualify to take 2 credits of applied study per semester for graduate credit. These courses carry a fee of $400 plus tuition and may be applied to the non-performing curriculum for degree credit. Up to 6 credits may be taken with the approval of the major advisor.

3. Graduate assistantships and other forms of University-sponsored financial aid do not cover private lesson or Recital Extension fees.


All incomplete grades must be fulfilled within one year.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

Upon completion of the final projects and with permission of the Program Coordinator, the student may request permission to take the written qualifying examination. Students should contact the Program Coordinator regarding administration dates of the comprehensive examination.

The written qualifying examination in Music Therapy does not limit its scope to the coursework taken at Boyer College of Music and Dance. Instead, the student is expected to study comprehensively in preparation for this examination. The written qualifying examination in Music Therapy covers:

1. Basic methods and techniques of Music Therapy.

2. Principles of assessment and evaluation.

3. Various client populations.

4. Various theoretical approaches to individual and group therapy.

5. Existing research literature and research approaches.

6.  Professional ethics.

Final Project:

As part of the Music Therapy curriculum, students undertake a final project that encompasses a pilot research study.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Music Education and Therapy

Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Professor Darlene Brooks




Professor Deborah Sheldon

About the Program

The master's degree program in Music Therapy is designed to provide professional music therapists with advanced clinical training, supported by studies in research, theory, and ethics. The curriculum focuses on two areas: music medicine and music psychotherapy. A broad range of clinical populations, orientations, practices, and research paradigms is presented, and opportunities for self-directed learning are provided through independent study projects. Emphasis is given to integrating professional and personal development through self-experiences in Music Therapy.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 6 years

Campus Location:


Students may fulfill some credits at TUCC and through online classes.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Music Education and Therapy

Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Boyer College of Music and Dance has been ranked among the top 30 music schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The program in Music Therapy is led by four world-renowned music therapists, and the Ph.D. program is the first true Ph.D. degree in Music Therapy in the country.


The degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

Areas of Specialization:

The M.M.T. in Music Therapy provides two tracks of advanced study, with a variety of course offerings in each track. The Music Medicine Track provides didactic and experiential training in how music and the client-therapist relationship are used to facilitate mind-body communication and health. The Music Psychotherapy Track provides didactic and experiential training in how music and the client-therapist relationship are used to promote emotional and interpersonal growth. Coursework is designed to give students in-depth knowledge of creative, receptive, recreative, and verbal methods of Music Therapy; the ability to utilize and integrate these methods within medical and psychotherapeutic settings and with a broad range of clientele; the ability to apply theory and research to practice; and an understanding of ethical issues in practice and research. In order to relate theory, research, and practice, all courses involve extensive readings along with experiential training in their clinical applications. Additional requirements are a final project and courses on both quantitative and qualitative approaches to research. The experiential components of the program are designed to sensitize students to the effects of their own personality on the client, the music, and the therapy process, while also identifying ethical issues indigenous to music therapy practice. Various theoretical orientations are presented for medical and psychotherapeutic areas of practice.

Job Placement:

Graduates typically find employment in a variety of areas, including community mental health agencies, day care facilities, educational institutions, general and psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and in private practice. Graduates may combine clinical work with research in the above areas of practice. The program also provides preparation for doctoral study in Music Therapy and related disciplines.


Students may opt to take additional coursework that may meet licensure requirements in one or more states.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Professionals who wish to enroll in specific courses for continuing education may take courses with departmental approval. The Graduate School permits up to 9 credits of graduate coursework taken at Temple University as a non-matriculated student to be applied to a graduate degree.

Financing Opportunities

Boyer College of Music and Dance offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the Fall and Spring semesters. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance, and/or direct service related to academic programs. Applicants must submit an assistantship/internship application by March 1 to obtain priority consideration for an award. Applications are available online at the Graduate Financial Aid page of Boyer's website. Typically these awards are made only in the Fall semester for up to two semesters: Fall and Spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for master's students and up to three years for doctoral students) based on departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.

Updated 3.8.11