PhD in Music Therapy

PhD in Music Therapy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Music Therapy is an Indiana University degree offered within the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. The flexible 90-credit-hour online or on-campus curriculum provides opportunities to explore the vast ways music can benefit health and well-being as you begin your independent research program. You will also have the chance to prepare for faculty positions in one of the fastest growing music professions.

Application Requirements

  • Submission of the online application to the campus.
  • 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 your academic, clinical, or research 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.
  • The GRE is NOT required for admission or continued studies

For applicants who have already completed a master’s degree, a transcript review by the MAT Music Therapy Graduate Committee will determine if any credits qualify are applicable to the 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 an 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 qualifies toward the Ph.D. in Music Therapy requirements.

Degree Requirements

90 credit hours for the degree, including:

  • 18 credit hours focused on Music Therapy Advanced Competencies
  • 9 credit hours in Other Studies in Music
  • 12 credit hours in a declared minor
  • 6 credit hours in Life Sciences
  • 12 credit hours in electives
  • 33 credit hours in research credits/dissertation

Students are also expected to enroll in Graduate Seminar, a 0 credit hour course, for a minimum of 4 semesters.

Academic Standards

  • The GPA requirements on the final plan of study must be 3.25 or higher, with no grade less than C;
  • Ph.D. students must earn grades of “Satisfactory” in dissertation research
  • Ph.D. students must make continuous and significant progress each semester toward completion of degree requirements; and
  • Ph.D. students must complete all degree requirements and graduate within the required deadlines. (The Indiana University Graduate School requires all music students in doctoral degree programs to complete their requirements within 10 years)

If you have any questions, please contact the Music Therapy graduate program coordinator at