May 30, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Music Therapy (B.S.M.T.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Program Descriptions

Program: Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy
School of Music  
College of Visual and Performing Arts

Rhinehart Music Center 144 ~ 260-481-6714

Music therapists engage clients in music experiences to promote health and rehabilitation for individuals of all ages and of all functioning levels in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, residential treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities, and in private practice. The clinical training portion of the degree program utilizes an on-site clinic as well as numerous collaborating facilities and agencies in the community for directly supervised, hands-on learning. At the completion of coursework, students must satisfactorily complete a six-month clinical internship to meet degree requirements. Graduates of the B.S.M.T. program are eligible to sit for the national exam administered by the Certification Bard for Music Therapists.

Student learning outcomes for all music degrees are as follows:

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of music theory sufficient to analyze musical forms, structures, and styles to create within basic musical structures; and to relate theoretical concepts to sound.
  • Students will demonstrate performance ability as ensemble members, as conductors, and as soloists on both a primary instrument and a secondary instrument.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of history and literature of western and non-western music, with an understanding of the social, political, and cultural impacts which shaped music history.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in utilizing appropriate technology to notate and create music, to investigate and report scholarly research, and to support the specific demands of the professional degrees.

Student learning outcomes specific to the Bachelor of Science in Music therapy Degree are as follows:

  • Students will demonstrate sufficient competence in the field as outlined in the Professional Competencies document of the American Music Therapy Association, Inc. for eligibility to sit for the national credentialing examination of the Certification Board for Music Therapists, Inc.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of ethical clinical practice, and sufficient knowledge and skills in clinical music therapy practice to properly assess client strengths and needs, to plan and implement appropriate music therapy methods for treatment, to measure and document outcomes, to evaluate treatment, and to apply professional research literature to clinical practice.
  • Students will effectively apply knowledge and understanding of therapeutic music process to clinical situations, including demonstration of basic competency in selecting, designing and evaluating music therapy methods and method-variations based on the affordances, challenges, and contraindications of those choices, and in relation to a variety of health-related needs of clients in a range of clinical settings.

Program Description

The Purdue University Fort Wayne music therapy program prepares you to improve the health and well-being of others through music-based therapy processes. Extensive clinical training, an important focus of this degree, utilizes the PFW Music Therapy Clinic as well as clinical placements at more than 15 collaborating healthcare, education, and social services settings in and around the greater Fort Wayne area. These experiences provide you with hands-on clinical training under the direct supervision of appropriately credentialled and experienced music therapists. You will receive lots of personalized attention and mentoring through small interactive classes, and participation with faculty and other professionals in research conferences and other events of the professional music therapy organizations. A six-month clinical internship is required at the end of coursework which allows you to further develop your skills in a preferred area of practice in order to prepare you for entry into the professional workforce. Upon graduation from the B.S.M.T. program, you are eligible to sit for the national credentialing exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists, Inc., and join our alums who boast an extraordinarily high first-time pass rate on the exam and an exceptional record of placement into professional music therapy positions. The Purdue University Fort Wayne music therapy program is the leading undergraduate program in a public university in Indiana, and is ranked among the top 20 in the nation.


  • Purdue University Fort Wayne is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the American Music Therapy Association.

Program Delivery:

  • This program is available on campus, though some general education courses may be available as distance learning.

Declaring this Major:

  • Students who choose to major in music therapy must be accepted by both Purdue University Fort Wayne and the School of Music. For information regarding admission to the university, see the Office of Admissions web page:

  • Acceptance into the School of Music is not automatic upon acceptance by the university. All accepted students who indicate music as their major are placed into the Pre-Music category by the Admissions Office. Full acceptance as a music major is contingent upon a successful audition.

  • Auditions. Information about audition requirements are found on the school web site:

To earn the Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy, one must satisfy the requirements of Purdue Fort Wayne (Regulations ) and satisfactorily complete the following courses with a grade of C minus or better in each music course. One must also complete background checks, meet medical vaccination and testing requirements, and may need to meet other community agency requirements for placement in order to complete clinical training and internship courses for this degree program.

Students in this degree are subject to the policies for all music degrees found on the School of Music  page.

General Requirements:

  • Degree Requirements  
  • General Education Requirements  
  • Overlapping Content  
  • Academic Regulations  

Program Requirements:

A student may elect the Pass/Not-Pass grading option for non-degree elective courses only. The Pass/Not-Pass grading option is not available for General Education or any electives required for the major.

Music Therapy 4-Yr. Plan:  

General Education Requirements: Credits 33

General Education Requirements    

Category A-Foundational Intellectual Skills: Credits 9

Category A1-Written Communication: Credits 3

Category A3-Quantitative Reasoning Credits: 3

Category B4 Scientific Ways of Knowing: Credits 6

Category B5-Creative and Artistic Expression: Credits 6

Category B6-Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing: Credits 6

Category B7-Interdisciplinary or Creative Ways of Knowing: Credits 3

Category C8 Capstone: Credits 3

Performance Studies: Credits 25

Applied Primary (includes recital): Credits 14

Music Therapy students take 14 credit hours of applied primary study, which consists of private music instruction with their instrument at the 300 level. Applied primary courses are 2 credit hour courses taken each semester.

Applied Secondary: Credits 4

Keyboard Applied Primaries take:

Ensembles: Credits 7

7 Semesters of Major Ensemble Credits are required 

See School of Music Ensemble  Requirements


Grade Requirements

Grades. Music therapy majors must complete each required music course with a grade of C- or better and with an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher for all required music courses. Two unsuccessful attempts to attain a grade of C- or better in the same required music course will result in dismissal from the School of Music. 

A student may elect the Pass/Not-Pass grading option for non-degree elective courses only. The Pass/Not-Pass grading option is not available to General Education or any electives required for the major.

Exceptions to academic policies require a written request to the music faculty in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Total: Credits 124

Student Responsibility

You are responsible for ensuring that you satisfy all graduation requirements specified for each selected program.  Thus, it is essential that you develop a thorough understanding of the required courses, academic policies, and procedures governing your academic career.  If you cannot complete all program requirements by your stated graduation date but fail to remove those from your plan of study, the Registrar’s Office in consultation with your academic advisor will remove unmet pursuits from your plan of study. Changing curricular records during the graduation term of application may affect state or federal financial aid awards. All requests for exceptions to specific requirements must be made in writing and may be granted only by written approval from the appropriate chair or dean. 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Program Descriptions