Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy

Music Therapy

The program helps students develop competence for entry into the music therapy profession. The interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes understanding of human behavior, musical and otherwise. It includes extensive work in music, behavioral science, biological science, and liberal arts, in addition to specific academic, clinical, and research studies in music therapy.

Music Therapy Program

The undergraduate music therapy program provides full preparation for entry into the profession. It culminates in the degree of Bachelor of Music with a major in music therapy. Graduates are prepared for general music therapy practice in a variety of settings, which may include, but are not limited to hospitals, schools, community health programs, wellness centers, and private and group settings across the age span. The KU music therapy program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Individuals who complete the program are eligible to take the national music therapy board certification examination. The music therapy major does not lead to licensure to teach music in public schools.


Students admitted to the music therapy program will be assigned an appropriate academic faculty advisor to work with the student throughout their academic career.  Students are expected to consult with their advisor each semester to plan enrollment for the next semester. The advisor is available to help, to suggest ways to avoid course conflicts, to recommend courses particularly beneficial for various emphases, and to offer career guidance. The responsibility for taking appropriate courses and for meeting other requirements rests upon the student. Information regarding all requirements is in writing and available to students. Lack of knowledge of any requirement does not free the student from meeting that requirement. All students must sign up for a graduation check with the School of Music Student Services Office in 450 Murphy Hall one year prior to their graduation date.

Regardless of applied performance medium, each entering student should be able to sing independently, in tune, and with acceptable tone quality. Functional keyboard skills (accompanying, playing by ear, improvising, and transposing) are helpful. Experience working with others is also beneficial as well.  Well-developed interpersonal skills are an asset.

Students are strongly encouraged to read the Music Therapy Undergraduate Program Handbook, which is available on the School of Music website and from the Student Services Office, 450 Murphy Hall, and provides detailed procedures, suggestions, and specifications.


Students must meet or exceed the School of Music academic admission requirements and successfully complete a major performance medium audition to be admitted. Students should declare the B.M. in music therapy as the major on the KU application for admission. Music therapy majors are in plan MTP-BM in the School of Music.

Students pursuing the B.M. in music therapy degree should apply for admission to the professional sequence upon completion of the second semester of the sophomore year with 50 or more KU hours. Transfer students with more than 45 hours of transfer credit must complete this application the first semester of classes at KU. Students may not enroll in courses in the professional sequence before formal approval by the director of music therapy. Music therapy majors who have been admitted to the professional sequence are in plan MTPPS-BM in the School of Music.

Students must be admitted to the music therapy professional sequence to enroll in upper-division music therapy courses. See the Music Therapy Undergraduate Program Handbook for details.

Candidates are reviewed for admission periodically. No student may be admitted to the professional sequence for a semester during which he or she will be on academic probation. The application form for music therapy professional sequence admission is distributed to students prior to their time to apply. Information about the application process may be found on the KU School of Music website.

Instrumental Ensemble Policy

In order to remain enrolled in studio instruction (lessons), all undergraduate (B.A., B.M., and B.M.E.) and M.M. students who enroll in any level of studio instruction (including nonmajor levels) in band and orchestral instruments must audition for and perform as assigned in a major instrumental ensemble1 each semester in which they are enrolled. For music majors, 1 ensemble taken for credit each semester is required for graduation. Exceptions to this policy are allowed on a case-by-case basis and only by the ensemble conductor in consultation with the faculty member in the studio area or the faculty advisor in music therapy as appropriate.


Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Marching Band, or Jazz Ensemble I. University Band or University Orchestra if placed by audition.