Master of Arts in Music Therapy

This is offered as a low-residency program at our campus in Boston, Massachusetts. Students are expected to be in residence on our Boston campus four days each semester. Remaining coursework during the semester is completed remotely.
  • For the fall 2016 entering class, students admitted into this program were awarded a 40 percent tuition grant. To simplify pricing, we are doing away with these grants in favor of simply reducing the tuition by an equivalent amount, starting with the 2017–2018 academic year.

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 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 program in music therapy, 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.
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)
  • MTH-515: Advances in Neuroscience (3 credits)

Second Semester

Students take the first course in their specialization—either music therapy research or music therapy in conventional and integrative medicine, and an elective. With authorization from the program director, students may elect to enroll in both of these courses. For those students who do, the additional course will apply as an elective.

  • MTH-550: Research Design and Methodology (3 credits) or MTH-552: Music Therapy Practice in Conventional Medicine (3 credits)
  • 1 elective course

Third Semester

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

  • MTH-551: Advanced Research Methods (3 credits) or MTH-553: Music Therapy Practice in Integrative Medicine (3 credits)
  • 1 elective course

Fourth Semester

  • MTH-690: Culminating Experience in Music Therapy Proposal (3 credits)
  • MTH-692: Leadership, Administration, and Clinical Practicum (0 credits)
  • 1 elective

Fifth Semester

  • MTH-695: Culminating Experience (6 credits). This entire semester is devoted to the completion of a culminating project or thesis (either practical or research-oriented) that makes a contribution to the field of music therapy.

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.


  • Students will enroll in GS-501: Music Therapy Master's Advising (0 credits), every semester. In their last semester, they will also enroll in GS-502: Music Therapy Master's Advising Committee (0 credits), during which they will work with their faculty advisor and committee members to complete their culminating experience. 


  • MTH-520: Clinical Music Improvisation (3 credits)
  • HR-511: Contemporary Harmony (3 credits)
  • MTH-617: Music Therapy Technology (3 credits)
  • MTH-618: Global Music Therapy (3 credits)
  • GS-553: Perspectives in American Music Culture (3 credits)
  • LSOC-565: Advanced Music Cognition (3 credits)
  • SW-565: Lyric Writing (3 credits)