The Master of Arts in Music Therapy program at University of the Pacific prepares students for a career using music-based interventions in a focused and concentrated manner to address health-related, psychological, educational, and other rehabilitative needs. The program offers students greater depth and breadth in knowledge and skills for advanced clinical competency. Through advanced learning and skill development, students will have a vital competitive advantage in the current healthcare market to provide quality patient care.

Two paths to obtaining an MA in Music Therapy

  • Two-Year Master of Arts in Music Therapy: This 32-unit program is designed for students who hold an undergraduate degree in music therapy (or its equivalent) and are looking for advanced-level clinical skills or research practice to secure a competitive position in today's rapidly growing health care system. 
  • Three-Year Plus Internship Master of Arts in Music Therapy:  This 55-unit* program is designed for those with a bachelor's degree in music or related fields (e.g. psychology, special education, etc.) who seek both entry-and advanced-level training in music therapy. Instruction in this program is delivered in the following ways: online (asynchronously); online/remote (synchronously); hybrid (in-seat and online/remote synchronously); and in-seat. The program begins with strong fundamental musicianship and adds specific knowledge and skills to meet the requirements of the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

* Additional units may be required depending on prior degree, coursework and experience

Plan of Study

Students focus on their specific personal career goals by selecting a thesis or non-thesis track supporting: a) development of advanced clinical, administrative, and program development skills, or b) preparation for eventual entry into teaching and research careers.

Both tracks in the Master of Arts in music therapy program allow for flexibility in the design of individualized study plans.  Master of Arts students should consult with their adviser during the first term in residency to determine their overall plan of study and to detail their schedule of classes for each semester.

Program Policies

  1. Students must (a) maintain a minimum term and cumulative grade point average of 3.0, (b) earn a B- or better in all music therapy courses, and (c) demonstrate interpersonal and professional skills appropriate to the clinical profession as evaluated by the Music Therapy Program faculty, in order to remain in the program. 
  2. Students must pass the Board Certification Examination or provide evidence of current re-certification (MT-BC) status prior to completion of the Master of Arts degree in music therapy.
  3. Students must demonstrate advanced clinical competencies as defined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Particular emphasis is placed upon the acquisition of advanced competencies relevant to the student’s area of specialization.

Master of Arts in Music Therapy

Students must complete a minimum of 32 units with a Pacific cumulative and major/program grade point average of 3.0 or higher in order to earn the Master of Arts degree in music therapy.

Music Therapy Foundational Courses:

MTHR 231Individual Music Therapy: Advanced Theory and Techniques3
MTHR 232Group Music Therapy: Advanced Theory and Techniques3
MTHR 251Music Therapy Supervision I: Introduction to Theory and Applications1
MTHR 252Music Therapy Supervision II: Applied Experience1
MTHR 260Advanced Clinical Practice in Music Therapy *2
MUSC 203Contemporary Issues in Music Education and Music Therapy3


Choose one of the following Options:

Option A, Thesis Plan

EDUC 201Techniques of Research3
or MTHR 239
MTHR 265
Research in Music
and Human Research in Music Therapy: Supervised Experience
MUSC 202Introduction in Music Research3
MTHR 299Thesis4
Select three of the following Specialized Electives:9
Nature and Conditions of Learning
Advanced Human Development I
Advanced Human Development II
Psychotherapeutic Interventions
Crisis Intervention
Consultation Methods
History and Systems in Psychology
Psychopathology and Wellness Promotion
Neuropsychology
Psychology of Music
and Graduate Independent Study

Option B, Non- Thesis Plan

EDUC 201Techniques of Research3
or MTHR 239
MTHR 265
Research in Music
and Human Research in Music Therapy: Supervised Experience
MTHR 245Clinical Clerkship in Music Therapy1
MUSC 202Introduction in Music Research3
Select four of the following Specialized Electives:12
Nature and Conditions of Learning
Advanced Human Development I
Advanced Human Development II
Psychotherapeutic Interventions
Crisis Intervention
Consultation Methods
History and Systems in Psychology
Psychopathology and Wellness Promotion
Neuropsychology
Psychology of Music
and Graduate Independent Study

Master of Arts in Music Therapy - 3 Year Internship Option

Students must complete a minimum of 32 units with a Pacific cumulative and major/program grade point average of 3.0 or higher in order to earn the Master of Arts degree in music therapy.

Pre-Board-Certification Courses:

MTHR 011Music as Therapy: A Survey of Clinical Applications3
MTHR 018Basic Skills for Music Therapists and Allied Professionals3
MTHR 020Observation and Assessment in Music Therapy2
MTHR 135Music with Children in Inclusive Settings: Therapeutic and Educational Applications3
MTHR 141Music Therapy in Mental Health and Social Services3
MTHR 142Music Therapy in Medicine and Health Care3
MTHR 150Fieldwork in Music Therapy *1-2
MTHR 187Internship in Music Therapy **1

Music Therapy Foundational Courses:

MTHR 231Individual Music Therapy: Advanced Theory and Techniques3
MTHR 232Group Music Therapy: Advanced Theory and Techniques3
MTHR 251Music Therapy Supervision I: Introduction to Theory and Applications1
MTHR 252Music Therapy Supervision II: Applied Experience1
MTHR 260Advanced Clinical Practice in Music Therapy *2
MUSC 203Contemporary Issues in Music Education and Music Therapy3

Choose one of the following Options:

Option A, Thesis Plan

EDUC 201Techniques of Research3
or MTHR 239
MTHR 265
Research in Music
and Human Research in Music Therapy: Supervised Experience
MTHR 299Thesis4
MUSC 202Introduction in Music Research3
Select three of the following Specialized Electives:9
Nature and Conditions of Learning
Advanced Human Development I
Advanced Human Development II
Psychotherapeutic Interventions
Crisis Intervention
Consultation Methods
History and Systems in Psychology
Psychopathology and Wellness Promotion
Neuropsychology
Psychology of Music
and Graduate Independent Study

Option B, Non-Thesis Plan

EDUC 201Techniques of Research3
or MTHR 239
MTHR 265
Research in Music
and Human Research in Music Therapy: Supervised Experience
MTHR 245Clinical Clerkship in Music Therapy1
MUSC 202Introduction in Music Research3
Select four of the following Specialized Electives:12
Nature and Conditions of Learning
Advanced Human Development I
Advanced Human Development II
Psychotherapeutic Interventions
Crisis Intervention
Consultation Methods
History and Systems in Psychology
Psychopathology and Wellness Promotion
Psychology of Music
and Graduate Independent Study

Clinical Musicianship

  • Design a broad range of improvisational experiences and utilize a variety of clinical improvisation techniques for therapeutic purposes.
  • Apply advanced musical skills in the clinical use of at least two of the following: keyboard, voice, guitar and/or percussion.
  • Design and employ a broad range of re-creative music experiences for therapeutic purposes

Music Therapy Theory

  • Apply comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of the foundations and principles of music therapy practice.
  • Articulate and defend a personal philosophy, approach and/or theory to music therapy.

Clinical Supervision

  • Design and implement methods of observing and evaluating supervisees that have positive effects on music therapy students and professionals at various levels of advancement and at different stages in the supervisory process.
  • Evaluate the effects of one’s own personality, supervisory style, and limitations on the supervisee and the supervisory process and seek consultation as indicated.

Advanced Clinical Skills

  • Apply comprehensive knowledge of current methods of music therapy assessment, treatment, and evaluation.
  • Utilize advanced music therapy methods within one or more theoretical frameworks to assess and evaluate clients’ strengths, needs and progress.

Research

  • Perform and evaluate the results of a comprehensive literature review to identify gaps in knowledge.
  • Conduct research according to ethical principles for protection of human participants, including informed consent, assessment of risk and benefit, and participant selection.