Music Therapy (BA)

This major is not accepting new admits as of Summer 2024.

The SPU Music Therapy Program’s rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum is designed to prepare you for the six-month clinical internship, and, ultimately, pass the national examination to earn your Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) designation.

Music therapists are first and foremost strong musicians. Taking private lessons on your primary instrument is essential. Music therapy majors must pass proficiency exams in voice, guitar, and keyboard before graduation. Having experience with one or more of these instruments, especially piano, will be extremely helpful to your studies and clinical work.

  • A minimum 114 credits is required for this major, including 29 upper-division credits.
  • Pass proficiency exams on piano, guitar, and voice.
  • If you are enrolled in “Music Theory I–II” or any Creative Engagement course, you may be required to enroll in MUS 2200 until you can pass the Keyboard Proficiency Exam.
  • Fulfill the requirements for the Music degree, including a junior recital on your major instrument.
  • Your classes will be in core music therapy, psychology, special education, and biology/physical education, as well as the required SPU courses.
  • You will also have the opportunity for practicum experiences within diverse health care and educational institutions in the Seattle area.
  • You will have the close supervision by board-certified music therapists in an educational climate.
  • You will fulfill 180 hours of practicum experience during your undergraduate training.

Professional Certification Disclosure

SPU’s BA in Music Therapy meets the educational requirements for certification as a professional music therapist. Each state has different professional licensure and certification requirements. Eligibility for certification/licensure may involve more than degree completion and may include professional examinations, background checks, and fingerprinting. The requirements for certification/licensure can change without notice.

The state professional licensing boards make the ultimate decision as to whether or not an individual will be eligible for licensure based on the rules and regulations in place at the time the individual submits their application for licensure. Find information here about certification/licensure in the state where you intend to work as a professional music therapist.

Music Therapy major admission data

Admission to the Music Therapy major is limited to 10–12 students per year. Admission is selective and based upon prior academic performance, audition, an essay, and an interviews. Recent admission data is depicted below.

Academic Year 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20
Average GPA of Admitted Students 3.5 3.6 3.7
Lowest GPA of Admitted Students
Number of Applicants 9 6 5
Number Admitted9 6 4

Applying to the Music Therapy major

  • You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission to the Music Therapy major.
  • Apply for the major in Banner following these instructions, and obtain the signatures of your music department advisor and private lesson instructor.
  • To apply for the major you must:
    • Perform on your primary instrument.
    • Play piano and guitar, and sing with a strong voice. All three proficiencies are required for a degree in Music Therapy. If you are not proficient in one or more of these, we would discuss your ability to meet standard level within a reasonable time period.
    • Write a short essay on why you want to pursue a degree in Music Therapy and articulating your professional and personal interests.
    • Be interviewed by the director of the Music Therapy program as well as Music Department faculty.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when you are admitted to the major or minor.

Note: Music Therapy is a competitive program. Post-baccalaureate and transfer students, in particular, should carefully review admission requirements for the program on the Music Therapy website.

Time Schedule:

Course planning: Suggested course sequences