Top 25 Affordable, Accredited Bachelor’s in Music Therapy

| Staff Writers

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Are you interested in becoming a professional music therapist? This is a professional career you can pursue with only a bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy will be a good fit for students that have musical talents in a primary instrument (generally guitar, voice, and piano) and an interest in counseling and psychology. We have put together this list of the Top 25 Bachelor Degrees in Music Therapy to support you in reaching your goals.

Music Therapy is the use of evidence-based music interventions in a clinical setting. Music therapists have the training to use music interventions to support the improved mental and physical health and well being of diverse populations experiencing a variety of challenges. While music is used as the intervention to reach the clients goals, the goals themselves are non-musical so clients do not need to have any musical experience to benefit from music therapy.

In order to work professionally in the United States as a music therapist you need to have earned the credentials of Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC). This credential is earned by completing an approved bachelor’s level degree program in music therapy that includes a supervised clinical internship and training along with the successful completion of the National Board Certification Examination that is administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

Professional Board Certified Music Therapists are qualified for employment in a variety of professional roles and a range of clinical settings such as: Hospitals; Psychiatric Clinics; Public and Private Schools; Rehabilitation Centers; Residential Treatment Centers; Nursing Homes; Prisons; Music Therapy Agencies; Community Mental Health Clinics; and Private Practice. Music Therapists have the opportunity to work with diverse populations from newborns to the elderly and dying.

We are confident you will find the Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy to meet your professional goals here! If you are already a Board Certified Music Therapist and you are looking to advance your professional and clinical skills then you will want to check out our list of the Top Affordable, Accredited Masters in Music Therapy!

Methodology

We have done the research so you don’t have to! We have looked at colleges and universities offering counseling programs across the country. We have evaluated and ranked counseling programs on numerous points of interest such as:

  • both undergraduate and graduate programs
  • all areas of concentration
  • values such as accreditation and affordability
  • online and on-campus programs

Top 10 Affordable, Accredited Bachelor’s in Music Therapy

Rank School Location
1 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
2 William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS
3 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
4 Cleveland State University Cleveland, OH
5 Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford, OK
6 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
7 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
8 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX
9 SUNY at Fredonia Fredonia, NY
10 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
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  1. West Texas A&M University
    Location

    Canyon, TX

    A Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy Degree is available at West Texas A&M University. Students in this Music Therapy undergraduate program can select from a Keyboard Emphasis, Instrumental Emphasis and a Voice Emphasis. Courses will include core curriculum requirements, area of emphasis requirements, and relevant coursework from other departments. Students that complete course work along with a six month internship will be eligible to apply for membership to the American Music Therapy Association. Additionally, students can sit for the national certification examination and pursue board certification as a Board Certified Music Therapists (MT-BC).

    Courses include: Introduction to Music Therapy; Therapy Orientation; Practicum in Music Therapy; Techniques in Music Therapy; Music in Therapy; Psychological Foundations of Music; Influence of Music on Behavior; Internship in Music Therapy; Abnormal Psychology; and Child Development.

    • Cost: $9,117.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 61%
    • Graduation Rate: 41%
  2. William Carey University
    Location

    Hattiesburg, MS

    William Carey University offers a Bachelor of Music with a Major in Music Therapy. Students will complete coursework along with an internship at an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved internship site for six months. The Music Department at William Carey University offers several undergraduate degrees in Music and students benefit from the many faculty that lead the program. The Music Faculty bring diverse experiences and backgrounds to the program, supporting students personal and professional growth in the field of music and music therapy.

    Course content areas include: General Core (52 credits); Music Core (38 credits); Music History and Literature (9 credits); Ensemble (8 credits); Music Therapy Major including internship (49 credits).

    • Cost: $12,300.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 49%
    • Graduation Rate: 57%
  3. Western Illinois University
    Location

    Macomb, IL

    A Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy is available at Western Illinois University. Students in this program will complete coursework across a range of disciplines along with specific music therapy coursework. Specific skill development for the practice of music therapy will take place during clinical observation and fieldwork experiences where students will have the opportunity to work directly with clients. During the six month internship students will develop professional skills and network with community programs and agencies to support employment after graduation.

    Courses include: Music Theory; Ensemble; Multicultural Percussion; Psychology; Exceptionality; Anatomy and Physiology; Sociology; Psychology of Music; Research Methods; Music Therapy in Medicine, Education, and Psychology; Clinical Training Courses; Observation of Music Therapy; Personality and Adjustment; What to Listen to in Music; and Biology.

    • Cost: $12,897.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 60%
    • Graduation Rate: 50%
  4. Cleveland State University
    Location

    Cleveland, OH

    Cleveland State University offers a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Music Therapy. The program is committed to promoting evidence-based care in the field of music therapy. Students will learn through coursework and fieldwork how to best support the diverse needs of individuals experiencing physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional challenges. The program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Graduates will be ready to establish themselves as professional music therapists after completing the national board certification examination and earning the credential of Music Therapist- Board Certified (MT-BC).

    Scholarship Opportunities: Qualified students may be awarded up to full in-state tuition. There is an audition process for scholarships and scholarships are renewable on an annual basis.

    • Cost: $13,829.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 90%
    • Graduation Rate: 43%
  5. Southwestern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Weatherford, OK

    A Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy is available at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Students can select from an Instrumental Emphasis or Vocal/Keyboard Emphasis. Completing the Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy will qualify graduates to sit for the national Certification Examination for Music Therapists leading to the credentials of Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC). Individuals that already have a Bachelor's degree (that is not specifically in Music Therapy) that wish to pursue a career as a music therapist can become eligible to take the exam and pursue credentialing if they complete the Equivalency/Registration in Music Therapy offered at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The program reports that graduates of this Music Therapy Program over the last several years have a 100% pass rate.

    Courses include: Introduction to Music Therapy; Music Therapy in Rehabilitation; Recreational Music; Music Therapy in Mental Health/Illness; Psychology of Music; Music Therapy Competencies and Professional Ethics; Research and Statistics; Music Therapy in Special Education; Field Studies; Developmental Psychology; Exceptional Children; and Abnormal Psychology.

    • Cost: $13,905.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 92%
    • Graduation Rate: 31%
  6. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Slippery Rock, PA

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor of Music with a Major in Music Therapy. Through coursework and clinical experiences students will learn how to create and apply interventions such as improvisation and song writing to support client growth and development in all areas such as social, emotional, and behavioral. Students will prepare to successfully complete the national Board Certification Exam for Music Therapists. Graduates of this program have successfully pursued careers working in areas including: Early Intervention; Group Homes; Medical Hospitals; Private Practice; Psychiatric Hospitals; Shelters; and Special Education.

    Courses include: Orientation to Music Therapy; Fundamental Skills in Music Therapy; Therapeutic Musical Skills; Clinical Integration; Music Therapy Assessment Measurement and Evaluation; Music Therapy for Children; Psychology of Music; Clinical Integration; Music Therapy Advanced Topics; Music Therapy for Adult Clients; and Music Therapy Internship.

    • Cost: $14,193.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 71%
    • Graduation Rate: 66%
  7. Western Michigan University
    Location

    Kalamazoo, MI

    A Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy is available at Western Michigan University. This well established program was founded in the 1950's. Students have had the benefit of engaging in clinical training at the on-campus Music Therapy Clinic, while providing needed services to the community, since the 1970's. Clinical training is also available to students through medical and educational programs connected with Western Michigan University. Approved by the American Music Therapy Association this program offers both undergraduate and graduate level Music Therapy degrees.

    Courses include: Introduction to Music Therapy; Music Therapy Activities for Children; Music Therapy Activities for Adults; Psychology of Music; Research in the Psychology of Music; Influence of Music on Behavior; Music Therapy Methods and Materials; Music Therapy Internship; Human Functional Anatomy; Human Functional Anatomy Lab; General Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Introduction to Special Education; and Communication Disorders and Sciences.

    • Cost: $14,699.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 82%
    • Graduation Rate: 51%
  8. Texas Woman's University
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Texas Woman's University offers a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy. Faculty offer opportunities for students to engage in clinical experiences and research study experiences providing a well rounded undergraduate education. In an effort to support students in building supportive peer relationships and increase music therapy skills students are encouraged to join the Student Association for Music Therapy. Graduates will be prepared to pursue a professional career as a music therapist and/or continued study with a graduate program in music therapy, counseling, or psychology.

    Courses include: Introduction to Music Therapy; Music Skills for Therapy, Recreation, and Special Education; Music in Therapy; Music Therapy Techniques, and Reimbursement for Music Therapy; Psychology of Music; Practicum in Music Therapy; Advanced Practicum in Music Therapy; Music Therapy Clinical Internship; Developmental Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Learners with Exceptionalities; Human Biology; and Music and World Cultures.

    • Cost: $17,446.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 86%
    • Graduation Rate: 36%
  9. SUNY at Fredonia
    Location

    Fredonia, NY

    A Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy is offered at State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. This undergraduate degree in Music Therapy is designed to provide the coursework, clinical training, and professional experience for entry into the field of Music Therapy as a professional. Students will be prepared to successfully complete the credentialing process to become a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC). Graduates will also be well prepared to pursue a graduate degree in Music Therapy or a related area within the field of counseling. Undergraduate students in the Music Therapy program at Fredonia that wish to also earn a Master's degree in Music Therapy will be eligible to advance to the Masters program.

    Courses include: Music Theory; Introduction to Psychology; Introduction to Music Therapy; Clinical Observation and Seminar; Music Therapy Repertoire; Piano Class; Guitar; Impact of Music on Human Health and Behavior; Harp; Principles of Music Therapy; Clinical Placement and Seminar; Yoga; Music Therapy Internship Seminar; Developmental Psychology Course; Humanities; Introduction to Counseling; and Cognitive Neuroscience.

    • Cost: $17,936.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 65%
    • Graduation Rate: 63%
  10. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Sam Houston State University offers a Bachelor of Music with a Major in Music Therapy. This undergraduate degree in Music Therapy is designed to be completed in 4.5 years with coursework and internship experiences in clinical settings. Students will select an internship site that matches their professional goals where they will work full time for 5-6 months. Internships can take place in schools, hospitals, and community clinics. For example, Sam Houston State University offers an internship site on campus with the Music Therapy Clinic. This program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Additionally, the university also offers an Equivalency Program and a Master of Music in Music Therapy for continued graduate study in the field.

    Courses include: Theory of Music; Survey of World Music Cultures; Introduction to Music Therapy; Psychology of Music; Practicum in Music Therapy; Observation and Measurement in Music Therapy; Music Therapy Techniques; Internship in Music Therapy; Human Anatomy; Introduction to Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; and Developmental Psychology.

    • Cost: $18,022.00
    • Percent of Applicants Admitted: 74%
    • Graduation Rate: 51%

Methodology: This list was created using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, and the American Music Therapy Association. We looked for programs offering bachelor’s degrees in Music Therapy. We then evaluated schools based on regional accreditation and only accepted regionally accredited schools. Schools that were accredited by AMTA were grouped then ranked by tuition.

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