The Music Therapy program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). The Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy is earned at the completion of four years of coursework plus six months of clinical internship (MTHR 187). Students are eligible for the Board Certification Examination upon the completion of the internship at an approved clinical facility. Students must be enrolled for at least one unit of MTHR 187 during the semesters that cover the start and completion dates of the internship. Final grade for all sections of MTHR 187 is given only upon receipt of the final internship evaluation.

In order to complete the Music Therapy degree, students must obtain a grade of B- or better in Music Therapy courses and demonstrate interpersonal and professional skills appropriate to the clinical profession as evaluated by the Music Therapy Faculty. A student who does not receive such a grade following the second attempt through a particular course is disqualified from the Music Therapy major.

A student who receives a grade of less than B- in either MTHR 011 or MTHR 018 may not enroll in upper-division Music Therapy core courses until a B- grade or better is obtained in each of these lower-division courses.

All Music Therapy majors are required to demonstrate functional proficiencies on piano, guitar, and voice before they enroll in the senior level capstone courses MTHR 141, MTHR 142, and MTHR 150 section 02. Voice competencies are assessed in the MAPP 001E voice class and during fieldwork. All students, regardless of major instrument, must complete the voice competencies, pass all parts of the piano functional examination, and both beginning and advanced level functional guitar examinations. These examinations are given within the functional courses, but may also be passed at the examination time offered at the end of each semester.

Bachelor of Music Major in Music Therapy

Students must complete a minimum of 120 units with a Pacific cumulative and program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the bachelor of music degree with a major in music therapy.

I. General Education Requirements

For more details, see General Education

Minimum 28 units and 9 courses that include:

A. CORE Seminars (2 courses)

CORE 001Problem Solving & Oral Comm3
CORE 002Writing and Critical Thinking4

Note: 1) CORE Seminars cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit. 2) Transfer students with 28 or more transfer credits taken after high school are exempt from both CORE seminars. Students participating in the First Year Honors Program should complete an honors section of CORE 001 regardless of the number of college transfer units completed. 

B. Breadth Requirement (7 courses, at least 3 units each)

At least one course from each of the following areas:
Artistic Process & Creation
Civic & Global Responsibility
Language & Narratives
Quantitative Reasoning
Scientific Inquiry
Social Inquiry
World Perspectives & Ethics

Note: 1) No more than 2 courses from a single discipline can be used to meet the Breadth Requirement.

C. Diversity and Inclusion Requirement

All students must complete Diversity and Inclusion coursework (at least 3 units)

Note: 1) Diversity and Inclusion courses can also be used to meet the breadth category requirements, or major or minor requirements.

D. Fundamental Skills

Students must demonstrate competence in:
Quantitative Analysis (Math)

Note: 1) Failure to satisfy the fundamental skills requirements by the end of four semesters of full-time study at the University is grounds for academic disqualification.

II. Major Requirements

Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in all Music Therapy courses.

Major Area
MAPP 010 Applied Music *8
MTHR 011Music as Therapy: A Survey of Clinical Applications **3
MTHR 018Basic Skills for Music Therapists and Allied Professionals **3
MTHR 020Observation and Assessment in Music Therapy2
MTHR 135Music with Children in Inclusive Settings: Therapeutic and Educational Applications3
MTHR 139Research in Music2
MTHR 140Psychology of Music2
MTHR 141Music Therapy in Mental Health and Social Services3
MTHR 142Music Therapy in Medicine and Health Care3
MTHR 150Fieldwork in Music Therapy ***4
MTHR 187Internship in Music Therapy ****2
Supportive Courses in Music
MCOM 009Introduction to Music Technology1
MCOM 032Diatonic Harmony3
MCOM 033Chromatic Harmony3
MCOM 042Musicianship I1
MCOM 043Musicianship II1
Select 8 units of the following:8
Jazz Ensemble
University Symphony Orchestra
Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Concert Band
Opera Production
The Oriana Choir (Women's Chorus)
University Chorus
Pacific Singers
MAPP 001BFunctional Guitar Class (Must be taken for 2 units)1
MAPP 001DClass Piano (Must be taken for 2 units)1
MAPP 001EVoice Class0.5-1
MPER 054Dean's Seminar1
MHIS 006Music of the World's People3
MHIS 011Survey of Music History I3
MHIS 012Survey of Music History II3
SPED 123The Exceptional Child3
PSYC 017Abnormal and Clinical Psychology4
Select one of the following:4
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Introduction to Biology
Principles of Biology
Behavioral Health Science Elective (BIO, SPED, SLPA, EDUC & PYSC)11
Non-Music Electives3

Music Therapy Courses

MTHR 011. Music as Therapy: A Survey of Clinical Applications. 3 Units.

This course introduces the uses of music as a creative arts therapy, and it includes an overview of the history, theory, and clinical practice of music therapy across a broad range of settings. Classroom experiences, reading, films, and field observations introduce the student to various uses of music in the treatment of children and adults that are a foundation for the sequence of music therapy courses which together support development of required AMTA competencies for the professional music therapist. This course also offers an introduction to music therapy for interested persons in other health and pre-professional programs. This course is open to non-majors.

MTHR 018. Basic Skills for Music Therapists and Allied Professionals. 3 Units.

MTHR 018 focuses on the development of applied/basic music skills necessary for implementing therapeutic music interventions with children and adults. Students increase performance competencies in the areas of singing and accompanying, and explore improvising/ composing/arranging with instruments such as autoharp, Orff and other rhythmic/ethnic instruments. The course includes development of song repertoire commonly used across various therapeutic settings. This course is open to non-Major. Prerequisite: MCOM 002.

MTHR 020. Observation and Assessment in Music Therapy. 2 Units.

This course focuses on developing observation skills and assessment competencies. Students will practice implementation of standardized and therapist-constructed assessments (through simulation) to appropriately measure and monitor progress and evaluate effectiveness of music therapy interventions for children and adults. For graduate students only who need to fulfill coursework for board-eligibility through the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

MTHR 135. Music with Children in Inclusive Settings: Therapeutic and Educational Applications. 3 Units.

This course presents specific music therapy techniques and skills for development of programs for children's successful integration within home/school/community environments. Students will identify and create therapeutic music strategies to effect changes in children's academic, social, motor, and leisure skills development. This course also acquaints students with relevant music therapy/education research and current legislation regarding children within inclusive settings. Open to non-majors. Prerequisites: SPED 123 and either MTHR 018 or MCOM 002; or with instructor permission.

MTHR 139. Research in Music. 2 Units.

The application of scientific methods to investigate music therapy and related disciplines (e.g., music education and music psychology) are reviewed, including: qualitative and quantitative methods and related designs, review and evaluation of research literature, and writing a research proposal. Statistical analyses and evidence-based practice are introduced. Prerequisite: MCOM 002 or Instructor Permission.

MTHR 140. Psychology of Music. 2 Units.

This course introduces the psychological foundations of music, including the study of acoustics, perception of sound, music and neuroscience, and physical and psychosocial responses to music. Prerequisite: MTHR 139 or MTHR 239 or permission of the instructor.

MTHR 141. Music Therapy in Mental Health and Social Services. 3 Units.

This course examines theory, research, and clinical skills related to music therapy for adults, children, and adolescents in various mental health and social service treatment settings. It also includes an introduction to current DSM criteria for mental disorders commonly encountered by music therapists, and an overview of major theories of psychotherapy as they relate to music therapy. The course introduces music therapy techniques for group treatment which includes music improvisation, songwriting, and basic relaxation methods. This course is for music therapy majors only and it must be taken concurrently with Fieldwork in Music Therapy. Prerequisites: MTHR 011, MTHR 018, MTHR 135, and MTHR 140, PSYC 017 and completion of Voice, Guitar, and Piano competencies.

MTHR 142. Music Therapy in Medicine and Health Care. 3 Units.

This course provides an overview of music therapy with children, adults, and older adults in medical settings. Students survey theories, methods, and empirically supported treatments in settings such as acute care, physical rehabilitation, gerontology, palliative care, preventative medicine, and health maintenance. It also includes the study of physical and psychosocial processes natural to aging and end of life, and assists students in developing skills in improvised music for relaxation and palliative care. The course is for music therapy majors only. Prerequisites: MTHR 141, BIOL 011 and completion of Voice, Guitar, and Piano competencies.

MTHR 143. Supervisory Techniques. 1 or 2 Unit.

This course offers techniques in the supervision of music therapy fieldwork. The course is only open to music therapy majors by permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: MTHR 020, MTHR 140 and MTHR 150.

MTHR 150. Fieldwork in Music Therapy. 1-2 Units.

Fieldwork provides students with structured clinical experiences in music therapy under the supervision of a music therapist in varying community settings. This course repeated for credit and taken concurrently each semester students are enrolled in MTHR 135, MTHR 140, MTHR 141 and MTHR 142. Prerequisites: MTHR 011 and MTHR 018. This course is open only to music therapy majors, and a minimum of 4 units of Fieldwork (MTHR 150) is required for completion of the music therapy degree program.

MTHR 187. Internship in Music Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course consists of clinical training experience at an internship site approved by the AMTA. Successful completion of required hours and competencies allows students to sit for the Music Therapy Board Certification Examination. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all coursework and functional music skills, competency evaluation and individualized internship training plan. Students are required to enroll in MTHR 150 within the period of one year prior to the start of internship.

MTHR 191. Independent Study. 1-2 Units.

MTHR 197D. Undergraduate Research. 1-4 Units.

Clinical Musicianship

  1. Accompany self and ensembles proficiently.
  2. Play/sing a basic repertoire of traditional, folk, and popular songs in several keys.

Social Science Foundations

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of normal human development, exceptionality, and psychopathology.
  2. Articulate common/specific principles of therapy and the importance of the therapeutic relationship.

Music Therapy Foundations/Principles

  1. Demonstrate knowledge about the historical, philosophical, psychological, physiological, and sociological bases for the use of music as therapy.
  2. Explain the impact of contemporary issues in healthcare and education on music therapy practice.
  3. Identify various models of traditional and contemporary music therapy practice.

Clinical Foundations

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of various client populations.
  2. Carry out clinical functions including: conducting assessments; planning treatment; implementing treatment; documenting progress (oral/written); and terminating treatment/planning discharge.

Ethics and Professionalism

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of professional role and ethics.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of professional standards of clinical practice; interdisciplinary collaboration in designing and implementing treatment programs; supervision and administration.

Evidence-Based Practice

  1. Interpret information in the professional research literature.
  2. Demonstrate basic knowledge of historical, quantitative, and qualitative research.
  3. Apply research findings to clinical practice in music therapy.

Professional Sustainability

  1. Identify ways in which music therapists can minimize their impact on the environment or social ecology through practice modifications.
  2. Describe innovative means of expanding service delivery while maintaining the integrity of the profession and employability of music therapists.