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Master of Music Therapy

The 36-hour Master of Music Therapy (MMT) degree program at the University of Dayton (UD) is designed for the experienced, board-certified music therapist who desires training in advanced competencies as outlined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). The program equips the candidate with the knowledge, skills and values required for advanced clinical work and research in music psychotherapy. The University of Dayton is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and this distance learning degree program is approved by NASM and AMTA, thus ensuring excellence in curriculum, faculty and student body.

The University recognizes that its success depends on how fully it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of all members of the academic community. UD strives to uphold principles of diversity and inclusion in all facets of graduate education: admission, curriculum, instruction and advising. The University actively avoids discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, genetic information, military status, veteran status or familial status.

Our Faculty

The music therapy faculty at UD includes two full-time PhD-level professors, two full-time Master’s-level Lecturers and several adjunct instructors. All faculty possess CBMT board-certification. Selected areas of clinical experience and expertise include: addictions, adjudicated adolescents, chronic mental illness, clinical improvisation, the Improvisation Assessment Profiles (Bruscia), intellectual and developmental disabilities and trauma-informed treatment.

About the Curriculum

Candidates for the MMT degree will complete music therapy core requirements (18 semester hours), elective courses in music, music therapy and related disciplines (15 semester hours), and a culminating thesis/creative project (3 semester hours). The program is structured so typical full-time student can complete pre-thesis coursework in four semesters of study.

Core academic work is completed online during the fall and spring semesters, with two brief on-campus intensive training periods per semester for students enrolled in core courses. These courses address theoretical underpinnings of music psychotherapy, advanced clinical specializations and skills, music therapy education and supervision, and advanced research competencies.

One semester of supervised clinical experience (Advanced Practicum) may be arranged conveniently in or near the student’s place of residence, with a weekly, online group supervision meeting.

Unique curricular emphases include:

  • Established and emerging theories and models of music psychotherapy (Analytical Music Therapy, The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, Vocal Psychotherapy, Creative Music Therapy, Queer Music Therapy, Resource-Oriented Music Therapy)
  • Design and facilitation of therapeutic music experiences based on the four methods of music therapy and their variations (e.g., song discussion, music-assisted relaxation, song composition, clinical improvisation)
  • Dynamics of music psychotherapy (e.g., transferences, countertransferences, resistances)
  • Professional issues (e.g., ethics, business models, self-care, reflexivity)
  • Cultural dynamics (e.g., therapist and client identities, impact of culture on therapeutic rapport and treatment processes)
  • Current trends (e.g., new technologies, disability studies, medical ethnomusicology)
  • Interpretivist (qualitative) research approaches and methods


Pre-approved graduate-level electives in music, music therapy, and related disciplines (i.e., counseling, psychology, education) round out the student’s training. Campus-based and online electives may be completed during fall, spring, and summer semesters, as offered. With University and program approval, up to six graduate semester hours may be transferred from other institutions.


The completion and successful defense of a final project is the culminating experience in the MMT program. Enrollment in the thesis course will occur in the second year of the program, typically during the final semester of study.

The aim of this project is to enhance the student’s understanding of and ability to apply principles of systematic inquiry to an approved topic of both personal interest and perceived value to the field. It may consist of “classic” research, creative written work, a capstone project of a clinical nature, or integrated learning experiences that tie together various aspects of coursework and clinical practice.

Admission Resources

Admission into the Master of Music Therapy degree program requires that the student 1) be accepted for graduate study at the University, 2) provide evidence of board certification - prior to course enrollment, and 3) demonstrate functional instrumental and vocal music proficiency at the professional level. Students are admitted for the fall or spring semester and may be admitted for either full-time or part-time study. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis between August 1 and June 1.

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Department of Music

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2946