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Music Therapy, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy  

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 overarching goals of the program are guided by the American Music Therapy Association advanced professional competencies. This degree provides you opportunities to explore the vast ways music can benefit health and well-being while you begin your independent research program. You will also prepare for faculty positions in one of the fastest growing music professions. 

Note that this is an Indiana University degree program offered through the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

Degree Requirements

Students in the program declare an area of concentration and can earn their master's degree in music therapy as they complete their PhD requirements. All students complete 90 credit hours, including 18 to 24 hours of dissertation research credits, culminating in an original scholarly contribution to the field of music therapy. Students who have already earned a master’s degree may be able to transfer up to 30 credits into their plan of study.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • 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

Transfer Credits

For applicants who have already completed a master’s degree:

  • A transcript review by the graduate committee will determine if any of your credits are applicable to the PhD requirements. 
  • If you completed a thesis-based master’s degree, up to 30 credits can be transferred. Specifically, up to 21 credits of graded graduate coursework can be applied and up to 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 21 credits of graded graduate coursework (equivalent to 500-level or higher) can be applied. 

For applicants without a master’s degree:

  • Applicants will be advised to take appropriate coursework and, if applicable, master’s thesis-level research credit that applies toward the PhD in Music Therapy requirements.


To be accepted to this program, you must have:
  • Evidence of current board-certification status (MT-BC)
  • A minimum of three years (or its equivalent) of clinical practice as a music therapist
To apply to this program, complete an online application that includes: 
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with your academic, clinical, or research background
  • A statement of purpose
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (international students only) 



MUS-N 530Philosophy and Theory of Music Therapy3 Credits
MUS-N 531Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Music Therapy3 Credits
MUS-N 532Music and Medicine3 Credits
MUS-N 533Advanced Clinical Techniques in Music Therapy3 Credits
MUS-N 535Music Therapy Clinical Supervision 3 Credits

Find course descriptions with our Search Schedule of Classes/Courses tool.

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $515.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1545.00

Additional fees will apply.

Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $681.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $2043.00
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