2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Music Therapy, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1                            [December 15 for international applicants]

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

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from previous academic advisors, professors, or professional supervisors.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

624: Independent Project in Music Therapy (6 s.h.)

646: Music Psychotherapy (2 s.h.)

647: Qualitative MT Research (2 s.h.)

649: Quantitative MT Research (2 s.h.)

688: Music in Medicine (2 s.h.)

689: Music Therapy Education and Supervision (2 s.h.)

694: MT Ethics (6 s.h)

Master's Degree in Related Discipline:

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

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

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

Statement of Goals:

Professional goals must be clearly articulated, feasible, relevant to needs of the profession, and appropriate to the program at Temple.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based.


The audition shall include two major works in a major performance medium, two standard or popular songs sung with own piano accompaniment, and two sung with own guitar accompaniment.


All application materials must be received before scheduling the audition and interview. The audition and interview may be done at the same time, or the interview may be scheduled after the applicant has submitted a taped audition.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

A clinical, theoretical, or research paper in music therapy must be submitted.

Doctoral Writing Examination:

The Music Therapy program requires an on-site Writing Examination as part of the doctoral admissions process.

Advanced Standing:

Advanced standing is awarded upon admission, upon review of transcripts by the Doctoral Coordinator. Students may transfer into the doctoral degree 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.

Test Waivers:

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

Additional Requirements:

The successful applicant must:

1. Hold professional certification in music therapy.

2. Have at least three 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.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 63

Required Courses (21 s.h.)

Music Education 746 (3) Research in Music Therapy

                               788 (3) Research in Music Medicine

                               831 (3) Theory Development in Music Therapy

                               832 (3) Doctoral Seminar in Music Therapy

                               999 (9) Dissertation Research

Elective Courses (42 s.h.)

                               Music Education (12) Music Therapy

                               Music (9)

                               Research (12)  6 s.h. must be in Statistics

                               Other electives (9)

Advisor approval required for all electives.

Applicants who have not completed each of the following before matriculation must complete them while a doctoral student. These courses will not count toward the degree:


Music Education 624 (6) Independent Project in Music Therapy

                                646 (2) Theories of Music Psychotherapy                                 647 (2) Qualitative Research               

                                649 (2) Quantitative Research               

                                688 (2) Music Medicine  

                                689 (2) Music Therapy Education and Supervision                                 694 (2) Music Therapy Ethics

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

All incomplete grades must be completed by the 1st day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.

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

Except as noted, all degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.

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, Boyer College of Music specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in Boyer College of Music admission decisions. 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.

Professional Development Policy:

All students in the Boyer College of Music, in addition to the required subjects toward their degrees, are obliged to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. The Boyer College 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 University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials, participating in ensembles, accompanying, performing at admissions and open house events, supervising performance classes, and other academically related 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.

a. Graduate degree students in non-performing curricula may take up to six credits of applied study toward the degree with the permission of the major adviser. 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.

b. Graduate students, regardless of major, with a demonstrable performing proficiency that may not meet the more rigorous requirements of a graduate performance-level audition, may, by audition, qualify to take two credits of applied study per semester for graduate credit in the 290 course number series. These courses carry a fee of $400 plus tuition and may be applied to the non-performing curriculum for degree credit up to six semester hours with the approval of the major adviser. c. Graduate assistantships and other forms of university-sponsored financial aid do not cover private lesson and Recital Extension fees.

PLEASE NOTE: 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 in ample time 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. 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.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The examination is designed to test the student in the following areas: 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.

The preliminary examination for the PhD in music therapy has two components: the scholarly projects and the oral defense. The 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, however, 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. The oral defense will cover any of the topics addressed in the written projects. Students should contact the Doctoral Coordinator of the Music Therapy Ph.D. program for more details regarding the nature of the examination questions.

The student is expected to take the preliminary examination upon completion of 30 credits.

The oral defense occurs with the music therapy faculty. Three faculty independently grade each preliminary examination project using a 5 point rating scale. A passing total grade for each question is 9. The oral examiners will be the same three faculty members. Upon completion of the oral defense,the examining committee will determine whether the student passed or failed. If any portion is failed, the committee will specify in writing whether permission will be granted to retake various portions of the examination, and the conditions under which such permission will be granted. Students will be given only one opportunity to retake the examination or portion thereof.

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 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 dissertation 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 DAC must approve and sign the final proposal. Once all DAC members have signed the title page, the student copies the final proposal and delivers within 30 days one copy to each member of the DAC, the Department Chair, the Associate Dean, and the Graduate School. The dissertation proposal must be approved before the student may register for 999.


The purpose of the dissertation is to contribute new knowledge or insight to any aspect of music therapy.

The advisory committee 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 Advisory Committee, determine whether it is acceptable, needs revision, or is unacceptable.

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.

The dissertation must meet the various expectations of quality from each member of the 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 will determine when the dissertation is ready for defense. Upon obtaining approval to defend, the major advisor requests the Associate Dean to assign outside readers. The advisor makes all the necessary arrangements for scheduling the defense. The "Permission to Schedule the Dissertation Defense" form bearing signatures of all of the Doctoral Examining Committee members must be submitted to The Associate Dean at least one month prior to the requested defense date. Upon receiving of approval to defend, the Associate Dean announces the dissertation defense to the academic community.


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:

Dr. Kenneth Bruscia



Dr. Beth Bolton


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 program has undergone extensive reviews and has been granted plan approval by the National Association of Schools of Music. It is the first of its kind in the United States.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Main Campus, Center City

Most courses are held at TUCC; however, depending upon scheduling and equipment considerations, some may also be held on Main campus. A few courses are offered solely online.

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:



The Boyer College of Music 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 three 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 aim of the Ph.D. is to prepare skilled and experienced clinicians to become competent scholars who will make significant contributions to research and theory in the field. More specific objectives are to:

a. Prepare individuals to conduct research and develop theory, with opportunities to study both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms.

b. Provide opportunities for the further development of clinical expertise in two advanced areas of practice: Music Medicine and Music Psychotherapy.

c. Allow for the acquisition of expertise in an area of specialization within the above two areas of practice (e.g., a particular client population, methodology, or research paradigm).

d. Provide opportunities to develop expertise and skill in college-teaching and clinical supervision.

Job Placement:

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


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

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

Financing Opportunities

Boyer College 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.

February 2006