Degree Requirements

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 Education 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 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.E. in music therapy as the major on the KU application for admission. Music therapy majors are in plan MT-BME in the School of Music.

Students pursuing the B.M.E. 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 MTPS-BME 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 on the MEMT website 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. Application forms for admission to the music therapy professional sequence are available on the MEMT website.

Ensemble Policy

In order to remain enrolled in studio instruction (lessons), all undergraduate (B.A. & B.M.) 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 ensemble* 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 adviswr in music therapy as appropriate.

*KU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Marching Band, or Jazz Ensemble I.


Requirements for the B.M.E. with a Major in Music Therapy

The degree requires a minimum of 129 semester hours of credit appropriately distributed among general studies, the major, and supporting music areas and behavioral sciences. With careful planning, the program can be completed in about 4½ years. Four academic years of study and clinical work on campus are followed by a full-time, 6-month internship in an approved clinical institution.

The degree requires at least a 2.75 cumulative grade-point average in all course work and a minimum of 2.75 in all MEMT courses. All music therapy majors must demonstrate proficiency in the major applied performance medium and in other performance areas.

All students must demonstrate functional vocal skills and ability to perform accompaniments on a portable chordal instrument, such as accordion, autoharp, guitar, or electric piano. These skills are assessed periodically throughout the program.

General Education Requirements (34 hours)

Language Arts and Communication (9 hours)

ENGL 101 Composition 3
ENGL 102 Critical Reading and Writing
COMS 130 Speaker-Audience Communication 3

Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)

PSYC 104 General Psychology 3
PSYC 350 Abnormal Psychology 3
SPED 326 Teaching Exceptional Children and Youth in General Education 3
Behavioral science electives (6 semester credit hours chosen with consent of advisor from fields such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, special education, human development, speech and audiology, motor/psychomotor development and behavior, educational psychology) 6

Biological Sciences and Mathematics (10 hours)

MATH 101 Algebra (or higher) 3
BIOL 100 Principles of Biology
BIOL 102 Principles of Biology Laboratory 1
BIOL 240 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy 3

Performance Requirements (34-37 hours)

Major Instrument (16 hours)

121 Applied music lessons (2 semesters) 4
221 Applied music lessons (2 semesters) 4
321 Applied music lessons (2 semesters) 4
421 Applied music lessons (1 semester) 2
422 Senior project lessons (1 semester) 2

Ensemble: Band, Orchestra, Chorus, etc. (8 hours)

8 semesters of participation for 8 hours of credit 8

Functional Keyboard Skills (2-5 hours). An audition is required. If skills are insufficient, remedial course work is necessary. Students with a major performance medium of piano or organ take only PIAN 310.

PIAN 148 Elementary Keyboard Skills II 1
PIAN 284 Intermediate Keyboard Skills I 2
PIAN 288 Intermediate Keyboard Skills II (2) or
PIAN 310 Advanced Keyboard Skills (2)

Class Instruments (4 hours)

MEMT 115 Performance Media: Percussion 1
MEMT 116 Performance Media: Computers, Synthesizers, and Electronics 1
MEMT 119 Performance Media: Guitar 1
MEMT 408 Vocal Pedagogy 1

Conducting/Rehearsing Skills (4 hours)

MEMT 231 Performance Clinic: Choral 1
MEMT 246 Fundamentals of Conducting 1
MEMT 329 Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Nontraditional Ensemble 1
MEMT 331 Rehearsal/Conducting Clinic: Choral 1

Musicianship and Music Therapy Requirements (61-71 hours)

MEMT Professional Core (26 hours)

MEMT 150 Introduction to Music Therapy 3
MEMT 196 Group Leadership Skills in Music Therapy 2
MEMT 250 Human Musical Learning and Development 2
MEMT 251 Clinical Techniques for Children 3
MEMT 296 Clinical Techniques for Adults 3
MEMT 367 Managing Behavior in the Musical Environment 2
MEMT 455 Psychology of Music 3
MEMT 463 The Influence of Music on Behavior I 3
MEMT 464 Music in Therapy 3
MEMT 586 Seminar in Music Therapy Professional Development I 3
MEMT 587 Seminar in Music Therapy Professional Development II 3

MEMT Clinical Experience (8 hours minimum)

MEMT 396 Clinical Practicum (1 hour/ 2 semesters and 2 hours/ 2 semesters)
MEMT 596 Clinical Internship 2-12

Music Theory and Composition (16 hours)

MTHC 105 Theory I 4
MTHC 115 Theory II 4
MTHC 205 Theory III 4
MTHC 316 Tonal Form and Post-Tonal Techniques 4

Recital Attendance

REC 100 Laboratory in Music Performance (4 semesters) 0

Musicology and Music Literature (7 hours)

MUSC 320 Music History I 2
MUSC 440 Music History III 3
MUSC 480 Music History IV 2

Music Electives (4 hours)

Contact Info

Music Education and Music Therapy

Murphy Hall
1530 Naismith Drive, Room 448
Lawrence, KS 66045-3103
, Division Director
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