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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Music

Music Therapy, BM

Music therapy is a rapidly growing field where accomplished musicians use their abilities to help clients through music, promoting self-care, adapting to life changes, enhancing cognitive function, boosting self-esteem, improving communication and managing impulses.

Our Music Therapy major focuses on the disciplines of music, human development and music therapy skills, in addition to the University's General Education Foundations. You'll develop expertise in three main areas:

  • Musical foundations
  • Clinical foundations
  • Music therapy foundations

Graduates are eligible to sit for the national board certification exam to obtain the credential MT-BC (Music Therapist Board Certified), which is required for professional practice in the U.S.

Acceptance to the Music Therapy Program requires admission to WVU and a successful audition. Your audition also may qualify you for a School of Music scholarship.

Your Degree Plan

Intro

Exterior and main entrance to WVU Creative Arts Center

Music therapists use a variety of instruments and musical experiences to help babies, children, adolescents, adults and older adults work toward non-music goals related to education, health, rehabilitation and wellness needs.

The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) have strict standards for music degrees, including music therapy. Our program is structred to meet the accreditation standards set by both NASM and AMTA.

Instrument Proficiency
To be admitted to Music Therapy, you will audition on the principal instrument of your choice. You'll also learn piano, guitar and voice skills as part of the program.

Courses
Music Therapy majors take classes in fundamental musicianship, music therapy and behavioral sciences. You'll also study related areas, such as psychology, special education, health sciences and development.

Certain aspects of the curriculum will address skills necessary for career management, including advocacy, ethics and preparation for the Board Certification Exam.

Clinical Experience
The program includes six clinical practica with a variety of populations and a 900 clinical hour (approximately 6-month, full-time) internship experience. Practica begin during your sophomore year and are taken concurrently with lecture-based courses in music therapy, providing both in-class and community-based interactive components.

You must complete the internship experience to receive your degree and to be eligible for the national board certification exam (MT-BC) through the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • First Music Therapy degree program in West Virginia.
  • Opportunities to participate in programs offered by the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities.
  • Internship options with multiple populations.
  • Weekly private lessons for personalized guidance and mentorship from experienced faculty.
  • World music exploration broadens your perspective and compositional palette.
  • Many opportunities for community engagement and outreach presentations.
  • Internships with various local and regional organizations.
  • Partnerships with regional arts organizations and international universities expand your network and perspective.
  • International exchange programs to expand your global perspective.
  • Since 1867, the School of Music has been an integral part of WVU’s cultural and academic fabric.
  • Institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1947.
  • Learning outcomes structured to meet standards set by National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).
  • Professional development resources available to attend conferences, concerts and other professional opportunities.
Scholarships

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

  • Opportunities to participate in programs offered by the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, including "DreamCatchers," a new music therapy and musical theatre program for children of all abilities.
  • Music Therapy Practicum 1-6 offers supervised clinical training opportunities with clients and families of diverse backgrounds and needs in a variety of clinical settings. Students learn how to apply clinical music therapy concepts and further develop professional competencies.
  • Courses include applied (private) lessons and a wide variety of performance opportunities, both in large ensembles (band, orchestra, choral, jazz and opera) and smaller chamber ensembles (string, brass, woodwind, percussion, vocal, jazz and world music).
  • Creative Arts Center facilities include rehearsal spaces, practice rooms, classrooms and electronic music laboratory.
  • The Evansdale Library, just a short walk from the Creative Arts Center, houses printed and sound music resources.

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

A 900-hour clinical internship (approximately 6-months, full-time) is required for graduation and to be eligible for national board certification.

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Music Therapists

Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients' psychological or behavioral status.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $60,800

Possible job titles include: Board Certified Music Therapist, Clinician, Director, Private Music Therapy Agency, Music Therapist.

Explore Career

Career options

Music therapists provide services for persons with various diagnoses and are usually members of an interdisciplinary healthcare team.

Music therapists are employed in a variety of settings, including:

  • General and psychiatric hospitals
  • Schools
  • Community mental health agencies
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Day care facilities
  • Senior living communities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Private practice

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Program Facility - Creative Arts Center

Canady Creative Arts Center

The Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts center boasts 4 exhibition spaces, 5 performance spaces, 33 individual practice rooms and 50 classrooms and studios with plenty of space to create. The loading dock at the rear of the building is a wonderful open-air space with stunning acoustics.

Explore the Canady Creative Arts Center
  • Virtual Tour
    It's the next-best thing to being here – you can virtually tour residence halls and the WVU Morgantown Campus.
  • Student Life
    You will have it all here — epic traditions, quality academics and a supportive community that feels like home.
  • Visit
    Experience WVU in person and start imagining life as a Mountaineer!

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Music Therapy major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Music Therapy at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees

Scholarships

Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

Find Scholarships

Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

Visit the Net Price Calculator

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Music Therapy major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Ready to take the next step?

Learn how to join the WVU family.

Request Info

Want to know more about Music Therapy at WVU? Fill out our request form to receive more information.

Request Info

Visit

​​Experiencing campus is the best way to see if WVU is the right fit. Choose from in-person and virtual options.

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Apply

Your first step to becoming a Mountaineer is applying for admission using our convenient online application.

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