2012 - 2013 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Music Therapy, Ph.D.


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 academic advisors, professors, or professional supervisors who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents, and aptitude for graduate study.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants who have not completed the following courses before matriculation must complete them while a doctoral student:

MUED 8601:  Qualitative Research in Music Therapy (3 s.h.)

MUED 8602:  Quantitative Research in Music Therapy (3 s.h.)

MUED 8603:  Theories of Music Psychotherapy (2 s.h.)

MUED 8618:  Music in Medicine (2 s.h.)

MUED 8619:  Music Therapy Education and Training (2 s.h.)

MUED 8621:  Music Therapy Ethics (2 s.h.)

MUED 9995:  Independent Project in Music Therapy (1-3 s.h.)

Master's Degree in Related Discipline:

A master's degree in Music, Music Education, Music Therapy, Creative Arts Therapy, Health Studies, or Psychology is required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in any music-related field is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should indicate your professional goals, which must be clearly articulated, feasible, relevant to the needs of the profession, and appropriate to the program at Temple.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 100 iBT or 600 PBT.


Applicants are required to audition with two major works in a major performance medium, two standard or popular songs sung with your own piano accompaniment, and two sung with your own guitar accompaniment. This may be done by submitting a recorded audition (DVD preferred or CD) or in person after all other application materials are received. Appropriate audition repertoire is found at www.temple.edu/boyer.


After all application materials have been received, an interview is scheduled with the applicant by the Program Coordinator. (Please allow at least three weeks after submission.) The interview may occur at the time of the in-person audition or may be scheduled after the applicant submits a recorded audition.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

A clinical, theoretical, or research paper in Music Therapy must be submitted.

Writing Examination:

An on-site Writing Examination is required as part of the doctoral admissions process. Remedial coursework may be required.

Test Waiver:

A completed M.M.T. degree from Temple may warrant a waiver.

Advanced Standing:

Advanced standing is awarded upon admission, after review of transcripts by the Doctoral Coordinator. Students may transfer into the doctoral program up to 12 additional graduate credits in coursework taken beyond the master's degree. Typically, this coursework is undertaken after admission and must be approved by the major advisor and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 36.

Additional Requirements:

The successful applicant must:

1. Hold professional certification in Music Therapy.

2. Have at least five years of full-time clinical experience as a professional music therapist (or its equivalent).

3.  Have earned a master's degree in Music Therapy or related area or satisfactorily completed 18 graduate credits in Music.


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 Master's: 63

Required Courses (21 s.h.):

MUED 8622:  Research in Psychotherapy (3)

MUED 8624:  Research in Music Medicine (3)

MUED 9611:  Theory Development in Music Therapy (3)

MUED 9641:  Music Therapy Doctoral Seminar (3)

MUED 9999:  Doctoral Dissertation (3)

Electives (42 s.h.) to include:

Music (9)

Music Therapy (12)

Research (12), including 6 s.h. in Statistics

Other electives (9)

Advisor approval is required for all electives.

All degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:


For doctoral degrees, only grades of "B-" and higher may be counted toward degree requirements.

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.

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 by the first day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary examination is designed to test the student's knowledge of the literature; research competence in both quantitative and qualitative paradigms; ability to integrate theory, research, and practice; ability to contextualize one's own work within the field; ability to project solutions to disciplinary and professional issues; and ability to synthesize and evaluate one's own learning. It has two components: scholarly projects and the oral defense.

1. Scholarly projects originate from specific assignments given in required doctoral courses and, depending on the project, may be completed with additional faculty supervision through other elective courses (e.g., research apprenticeship). Ultimately, the project must go significantly beyond any course assignment, and it may not duplicate any previous projects completed by the student outside of the degree program. At least three Music Therapy faculty independently grade each preliminary examination project using a 5-point rating scale. A passing average grade for each question is 3.

2. The oral defense covers any of the topics addressed in the written projects. The oral examiners are the same Music Therapy faculty members who scored the scholarly projects. Upon completion of the oral defense, the examining committee determines whether the student passed or failed. If any portion is failed, the committee specifies in writing whether permission is granted to retake various portions of the examination, and the conditions under which such permission is granted. Students are given only one opportunity to retake the examination or portion thereof. Students should contact the Doctoral Coordinator of the Music Therapy Ph.D. program for more details regarding the nature of the examination questions.

Upon completion of 30 credits, the student requests permission from the Doctoral Coordinator to take the examination. Upon consultation with the Music Therapy faculty, the Doctoral Coordinator schedules the exam. The oral part can be scheduled three weeks after the student submits the written part.


The proposal must include the student's background and experience with the research topic; an articulate and comprehensive review of the literature; a clear statement of the research problem and questions to be answered; and a proposed methodology. Upon approval of a Doctoral Advisory Committee, the student works with the major advisor to prepare the proposal. In the process, the student consults other members of the committee. Each member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee must approve and sign the final proposal. Once all members have signed the title page, the student copies the final proposal and delivers within 30 days one copy to each member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee, the department chair, the Associate Dean, and the Graduate School. The dissertation proposal must be approved before the student may register for MUED 9999:  Doctoral Dissertation.


The purpose of the dissertation is to contribute new knowledge or insight to any aspect of Music Therapy. The dissertation is overseen by the Doctoral Advisory Committee, which consists of at least three members, two from the department and one from outside the department. The committee works together to guide the student toward completion of dissertation research, with the chair coordinating these efforts. In addition to the Doctoral Advisory Committee, one or two graduate faculty may serve as examiners for the defense. These examiners are expected to read and evaluate the student's dissertation and, with the Doctoral Advisory Committee, determine whether it is acceptable, needs revision, or is unacceptable. The dissertation must meet the various expectations of quality from each member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee. A major criterion shall be whether the student has demonstrated scholastic excellence in carrying out the research project as proposed.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee determines when the dissertation is ready for defense. Upon obtaining approval to defend, the major advisor asks the Associate Dean to assign outside readers. The advisor makes all the necessary arrangements for scheduling the defense. The "Announcement of Oral Defense" form bearing signatures of all of the Dissertation Examining Committee members must be submitted to the Associate Dean at least one month prior to the requested defense date. Upon receiving approval to defend, the Associate Dean announces the dissertation defense to the academic community.

To make a change in a committee, the student petitions the Doctoral Coordinator of the program or the Associate Dean. Upon appropriate consultation with all parties pertinent to the petition, the Associate Dean makes the final determination. The change also must be communicated to the Graduate School.

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 Cheryl Dileo


Professor Deborah Sheldon

About the Program

The Ph.D. program at Temple University is a true Ph.D. in Music Therapy. Rather than having music therapy as a minor or elective track within another field, or as merely the main topic for the dissertation, the program has Music Therapy as the major area of study with its own core curriculum of advanced Music Therapy courses, supported by studies in research, music, and related health disciplines. The goal is to prepare skilled and experienced clinicians to become competent scholars who will make significant contributions to research and theory in the field. It prepares individuals to conduct research and develop theory, with opportunities to study both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms. It also allows for the development of expertise and skill in college-teaching and clinical supervision. The program has undergone extensive review and has been granted plan approval by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). It is the first of its kind in the United States.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Main, Center City

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 program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Areas of Specialization:

The Ph.D. program in Music Therapy offers the opportunity for further development of clinical expertise in two advanced areas of practice: Music Medicine and Music Psychotherapy. The program allows for the acquisition of expertise in an area of specialization within the two areas of practice (e.g., a particular client population, methodology, or research paradigm).

Job Placement:

Graduates typically find employment as professors in colleges and universities, and as practitioners, supervisors, or researchers in a variety of health care settings.


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

Non-Matriculated Student Policy:

The core doctoral courses are not open to non-matriculated students.

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 10.11.12