Master of Arts in Music Therapy

  • This program is not accepting applications for the fall 2018 semester.

The Master of Arts in Music Therapy program provides advanced instruction for music therapists. 

As a music therapist, you already understand music’s power to help people heal and transform their lives. Berklee's Master of Arts in Music Therapy program will broaden your skill set as you learn the latest techniques and technology in contemporary music therapy. Berklee prepares the next music therapy leaders for innovative work in clinical, research, educational, or community-based programs. 

With specialties in both conventional and integrative medicine, as well as in research, you will focus on contemporary music in clinical settings, improvisation, applied music technology, and global perspectives. You will also deepen your knowledge of practicing music therapy within different cultural contexts and with diverse populations. Through a contemporary approach to music therapy, you will strengthen your written, oral, and musical skills, as well as your clinical skills, in order to excel as a music therapist.

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience, or thesis, provides an opportunity to synthesize all that you have learned in the program. This project helps to shape your next steps in the profession and in your career. Through this learning opportunity, you will make a creative contribution to, and/or define and solve a problem that exists in, the profession. The contribution may take the form of a research project or a clinical project. An advisor will guide you throughout the whole process as you design and execute your culminating project. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to present your work to your advisor and to the college community. 

Entrance Requirements

Applicants are required to hold board certification (or the international equivalent) in music therapy and either a bachelor’s degree in music therapy or a bachelor’s degree in music with music therapy equivalency. Applicants should demonstrate musical excellence, leadership, motivation, intellectual curiosity, and promise of great achievement in their area of study.

We are looking for practicing music therapists who are prepared to lead the next generation of collaborative professional teams with expertise in research and/or medicine. Ideal candidates will:

  • demonstrate leadership and advocacy skills;
  • bring competency and successful experience as a board-certified music therapist (or the international equivalent);
  • show a breadth and depth of musical knowledge and ability; and
  • display a passion for music therapy and commitment to evidence-based clinical practice.


What the Program Gives You

When you complete the Master of Arts in Music Therapy program, you will have the ability to:

  • apply the art and science of music therapy in assessing the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention;
  • synthesize knowledge for the neurological bases for music therapy practice;
  • apply advanced research methods;
  • apply skills in clinical music improvisation;
  • manifest global and contemporary music perspectives into an innovative approach to the field;
  • apply current, advanced technology to music therapy research and practice;
  • integrate theoretical knowledge and clinical skills in a thesis or culminating project; and
  • lead as a therapist, music therapy administrator, researcher, and health care professional.
Program Requirements: 
Required Courses

The program contains 30 semester hours of credit, and is designed to be completed over five consecutive semesters of coursework. You will be expected to be in residence on our Boston campus four days each semester. Remaining coursework during the semester is completed remotely. 

First Semester

  • MTH-510: Essential Research Methods (3 credits)
  • 1 elective course (3 credits; see list below)
  • GS-501: Music Therapy Graduate Seminar (0 credits)

Second Semester

Students select their first of two specialization courses and an elective. 

  • 2 specialization courses (3 credits each; see list below)
  • GS-501: Music Therapy Graduate Seminar (0 credits)

Third Semester

  • MTH-520: Clinical Music Improvisation (3 credits)
  • 1 elective course (3 credits; see list below)
  • GS-501: Music Therapy Graduate Seminar (0 credits)

Fourth Semester

Students take their second specialization course, which would be either of the following:

  • MTH-610: Culturally Competent Practice in Music Therapy
  • MTH-690: Music Therapy Culminating Experience 1 (3 credits)

Fifth Semester

  • MTH-620: Music Therapy Pedagogy and Supervision (3 credits)
  • MTH-695: Music Therapy Culminating Experience 2 (3 credits)

Other Requirements

  • This program requires 20 hours of clinical music therapy practice, during which students demonstrate selected music therapy competencies via Skype or through video footage.

Specialization Courses (students select any two; 3 credits each)

  • MTH-550: Research Design and Methodology

  • MTH-552: Music Therapy Practice in Conventional Medicine

  • MTH-553: Music Therapy Practice in Integrative Medicine

  • MTH-618: Global Music Therapy

Electives (students select any two; 3 credits each)

  • GS-515: Advances in Neuroscience

  • GS-551: Statistics for the Behavioral Scientist

  • GS-553: Perspectives in American Music Culture

  • MTH-617: Music Therapy Technology 

  • MTH-692: Advanced Clinical Supervision 

  • GS-565: Advanced Music Cognition

  • SW-565: Lyric Writing