Programs by Campus


Music Therapy

School of Engineering and Technology

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(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements)

Admission Requirements

Board-certification in music therapy or international equivalent. Candidates should have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) overall from undergraduate studies. Three letters of recommendation in support of the application. Test of English as a Foreign Language is required of international applicants. A personal interview may be requested.

Program Requirements

Master of Science Degree (on campus or online)

The M.S. degree in Music Therapy is offered in two different learning tracks that prepare students for successful careers in either research or advanced clinical practice. This is an independent degree and not required as a prerequisite for the doctoral studies. Both tracks require a total of 30 credit hours for the degree. The degree is offered on campus and online.

Course Requirements for Research Track M.S.

This track is designed for music therapists who wish to pursue careers in research and can serve as either a terminal degree or as preparation for Ph.D. studies. Students must complete a comprehensive series of graduate-level courses in music therapy and research methods (including MUS-N 530; MUS-N 532; MUS-N 521; MUS-N 533; MUS-N 531; OLS 53010) as well as 9 credits of (MUS-N 600) Music Therapy Thesis with completion of a thesis or research paper. Applications for the Research Track are considered only after the potential student reaches a mentoring agreement with a faculty member with whom the research work will be done.

Course Requirements for Clinical Music Therapy Track M.S.

This non-thesis track provides board-certified music therapists an opportunity to advance their clinical and/or leadership skills in music therapy. The curriculum includes rigorous music therapy specific courses focused on AMTA advanced competencies coupled with 12 credit hours of electives chosen based on the student’s aspirational career goals. Program requirements include MUS-N 530; MUS-N 532; MUS-N 521; MUS-N 533; MUS-N 535 and electives. Students must also take MUS-N518 Music and Arts Technology Final Project.

Admission Requirements
To be eligible to apply for the Master of Science in Music Therapy at IUPUI you need to meet the following requirements:
Submission of the online application to the campus.

  • Current music therapy board certification or international equivalent.
  • Minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for the undergraduate degree
  • Online audio/video content demonstrating musical competence on piano, voice, and guitar.
  • Three letters of recommendation in support of the application (they may be on business letterhead or submitted through the online application link).
  • Interview with graduate faculty member.
  • International students must pass the TOEFL exam.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Music Therapy (on campus or online)

Program Information

The Doctor of Philosophy in Music Therapy is a research-oriented degree. The degree is designed to prepare board-certified music therapists for independent academic/research careers enabling them to explore the vast ways music influences health and well-being. The principal objectives of this doctoral program are to train music therapists who will conduct research examining current music therapy practice and pedagogy; explore opportunities to optimize music therapy practice and pedagogy; and apply new understandings to clinical practice and education. The overarching goals of the PhD in Music Therapy are guided by the American Music Therapy Association advanced professional competencies. The program is available on campus and online. Faculty and students use internet-based courses, video conferencing, and other technologies to collaborate synchronously. Admission criteria and curricula are the same for on-campus and distance education options.

Program Requirements

A total of 90 credits hours is required for the degree, of which up to 30 credit hours may be transferred from a student’s post-baccalaureate degree of study, as approved by the graduate advisory committee.

The 90 credit hours for the Ph.D. are distributed amount the following 6 content areas:

  • Advanced music therapy competencies – 18 credit hours
  • Other Studies in Music – 9 credit hours
  • Declared minor area – 12 credit hours
  • Life Sciences - 6 credit hours
  • Electives – 12 credit hours
  • Research Credits/Dissertation - 33 credit hours


Required Music Therapy Core

MUS-N 530 Philosophy and Theory in Music Therapy (3 cr.) P: Consent of instructor. This course covers the philosophical and theoretical foundations of the use of music in and as therapy. We explore and discuss philosophical positions concerning what it means to be human, what it means to be healthy or diseased, how humans "know", how we construct theories, and what our theories say about what we value in the therapeutic process. The course includes theoretical approaches students may not have studied during undergraduate course work.

MUS-N 532 Music in Medicine (3 cr.) P: Consent of instructor. The focus of this course is the evidence-based application of music in medical settings to facilitate symptom relief and improve the health and well-being of clients. Students will critique the scientific, theoretical, and empirical basis for music interventions.

MUS-N 533 Advanced Clinical Techniques in Music Therapy (3 cr.) P: Consent of instructor. This course is designed to develop advanced level protocol delivery and data collection skills. Students will develop and carry out a music therapy protocol and provide a written theoretical rationale and critique of the protocol’s effectiveness. This class services as a graduate clinical practicum. Students will engage in weekly supervision.

MUS-N535 Clinical Supervision in Music Therapy (3 cr.) P: Consent of instructor. This course is designed to introduce students to models of supervision and supervisee development, ethics in supervision, and applying a critical lens to the covered approaches and topics.

Note: With the approval of the student’s Advisory Committee other courses may be substituted for those listed above.

Academic Progress: Time to Degree

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Music Therapy have a total of ten (10) years from the date of enrollment to complete the Ph.D.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible to apply to the Ph.D. in Music Therapy at IUPUI, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Submission of the online application to the campus
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Evidence of current board-certification status (MT-BC)
  • A minimum of 3 years (or its equivalent) of clinical practice as a music therapist
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the applicant’s academic or clinical background.
  • A statement of purpose
  • Foreign students must take the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum scores as required by the Indiana University Graduate School will be enforced.

For applicants who have already completed a master’s degree, a transcript review by the MAT Graduate Committee will determine if any credits qualify as applicable to their Ph.D. requirements. If the applicant completed a thesis-based master’s degree, up to thirty (30) credits can be transferred. Specifically, up to twenty-one (21) credits of graded graduate coursework (equivalent to 500-level or higher) can be applied and up to nine (9) credits of appropriate master’s thesis-level research credit can be applied. If the applicant completed a “coursework only” master’s degree, up to twenty-one (21) credits of graded graduate coursework (equivalent to 500-level or higher) can be applied.

Applicants entering the program post-BS who are interested in earning a MS in Music Therapy prior to continuing their Ph.D. work will be advised to take appropriate coursework and if applicable, master’s thesis-level research credit, that qualify toward the Ph.D. in Music Therapy requirements.


A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) must be maintained in all course work.

Advancement to Candidacy:

Qualifying Exam Proposal/Paper

Within 2 months of coursework completion, the student will submit the qualifying exam proposal. The qualifying examination must be passed at least eight months prior the date the degree is awarded.

The qualifying examination paper is a scholarly, focused, and critical literature review including an interrogation of at least two theories salient to the chosen topic. The student will discuss the research base including an analysis of research methods, design, and statistics. Students will analyze qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies. Students should be able to link the studies to form a cohesive and coherent argument. At the end of the literature review, the student will identify at least two logical research questions that emerge from the literature review. The QE will be of sufficient length to be inclusive but also focused – generally no more than 30-40 pages of text.

Research Critique Examination

The research critique examination takes place within a week of the QE completion. This examination will consist of analyzing a published research paper (chosen by the committee) within an 8-hour period. The student will not be given the paper ahead of time. The examination will be proctored. Students will analyze each section of the paper using standard practices for each element but concentrating on the research design, analysis, integration of theory, and strengths and limitations. Students are to identify flaws in any section. Further, students will offer at least two options for way to re-design the study to improve it.

Once the student passes the QE and Research Critique Examination, they complete the Nomination to Candidacy eDoc (NTC).

Dissertation/Final Examination

Prior to beginning the dissertation research, the student files a dissertation prospectus, which contains a brief description of the dissertation proposal, overall format (traditional or manuscript). If applicable, the IRB approval is submitted with the prospectus. The student provides a full, formatted copy of the completed defense to the research committee at least 4 weeks prior to the scheduled defense. Once the dissertation is prepared and all other requirements have been completed, the student must present and defend their work in a Final Examination. The Final Examination Committee is typically the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee. At the end of the oral defense, the research committee votes on the outcome of the examination

Academic Bulletins

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