Music Therapy

MA in Music Therapy

Music Therapy

The Master of Art degree program in Music Therapy provides students with the opportunity for board-certified music therapists to advanced their knowledge and skills. Advanced training and specialization opportunities are vital to the growth and development of the bachelor's level music therapist. The MA in Music Therapy at Cleveland State University provides advanced music therapy training as well as interdisciplinary specialization in a chosen track: health care administration, special education, health sciences, or mental health. Graduate students in the MA in Music Therapy program will have the unique training opportunity to develop advanced clinical and research skills within music therapy itself, as well as a select area of related expertise.

Total number of credits required for MA in Music Therapy: 36 (15 credits in music therapy core; 9-12 in specialization courses; and 9-12 in electives).

The Cleveland State music therapy program affiliates with a large variety of community agencies and sites for clinical training in the greater Cleveland area. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs in music therapy have been approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

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Dr. Deborah Layman || (216) 802-3343 ||


Music therapy faculty members are active in a wide variety of research areas. Their research is published in national music therapy publications, as well as other related journals. Graduate music therapy students are required to successfully complete a research project or thesis, under the guidance of a Graduate Music Therapy faculty member, as a capstone to the MA in Music Therapy program.


Each candidate for the MA in Music Therapy must successfully complete the admission process in addition to the Department of Music requirements listed in order to be invited to interview for the program.

These requirements are:

  1. Proof of an earned Bachelor's degree in music therapy OR bachelor's degree in music with music therapy equivalency;
  2. Proof of a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate/equivalency music therapy program;
  3. Earned MT-BC credential (Music Therapist - Board Certified);
  4. Submission of a sample of scholarly writing on a chosen music therapy topic (e.g., literature review or other scholarly paper completed for a previous collegiate course; journal article submission; book chapter; clinical monograph; etc.).

Candidates who successfully complete the requirements will be invited to interview with graduate music therapy faculty. This interview will include verbal discussion plus demonstration of clinical musicianship competence (to ensure candidates meet AMTA Professional Competencies). Candidates who select the mental health track must also provide evidence of successful completion of Research Methods (PSY 312 or equivalent) and Behavioral Science Statistics: Inference (PSY 317 or equivalent) in their undergraduate music therapy education in order to be admitted to that track.