Music Therapy Graduate Program


The Music Therapy graduate program at SUNY New Paltz offers students with a baccalaureate degree in music the opportunity to study music therapy at the advanced level. In the Masters of Science (MS) in Music Therapy degree, students acquire musical, clinical, and research skills essential to professional practice.

Master of Science in Music Therapy

The Music Therapy Program at SUNY New Paltz is approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), the New York State Department of Education, and the National Association of Schools of Music. AMTA and NASM are national accrediting bodies.

Upon completion of the 48-credit curriculum and the required minimum 1,200 hours of supervised clinical training, students are eligible to sit for the Certification Board Examination in Music Therapy.

Undergraduate Degree and Course Preparation for Graduate Music Therapy Studies

You can view our undergraduate degree with music therapy electives by clicking on the link here.

This information is useful for:

  • Students currently enrolled at SUNY New Paltz who want to view the undergraduate course requirements and music therapy electives
  • Students thinking of applying as an undergraduate music major with an interest in music therapy
  • Students thinking of transferring to SUNY New Paltz as an undergraduate student with an interest in music therapy
  • Graduate studies applicants who want to know what their prerequisite courses might be

Admission to the Graduate Program

Requirements and Procedures

  1. Baccalaureate degree in music with a minimum of 54 credits in the major - to see degree options and electives click here
  2. Passing grade on placement audition for guitar and piano accompaniment competencies
  3. Passing grade on placement audition in vocal performance
  4. Passing grade on placement audition in sight singing
  5. Artistry on a major instrument demonstrated at an in-person (live) audition at SUNY New Paltz. (International applicants may offer a preliminary audition via the internet using a webcam and an application such as Skype or WebEx.)

Required Application Components

  • A completed graduate school application
  • An official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate work providing evidence of a baccalaureate degree in Music from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Students without an undergraduate degree in music, click here to see your undergraduate requirements
  • A typed personal statement that describes the applicant's educational aspirations, experiences in working with persons with special needs, and a description 300 to 400 words in length of the applicant's personal and professional goals. This statement will be assessed as a writing sample with respect to content clarity, grammar, style, and organization of ideas.
  • Three letters of professional recommendation written on professional letterhead. All letters should:
    1. be dated and current
    2. address how long the writer has known the applicant and in what capacity
    3. address the applicant's suitability for graduate work in music therapy, referring to academic abilities, ability to work with clients and others, and professional commitment
    4. be written by individuals who have a professional relationship with the applicant. At least one letter of recommendation should be written by an academic who has direct knowledge of the applicant's abilities.

Deadlines for application to the Music Therapy master's program can be obtained by contacting the Music Department at: 845-257-2700, or by visiting the Music Department's Web site at:

Graduate applicants are required to perform two contrasting selections on their major instrument. Additionally applicants should prepare five songs to sing while accompanying themselves on the guitar and five songs to sing while accompanying themselves on the piano. These songs should be memorized and applicants should be prepared to discuss possible clinical applications for their use. Placement exams in Sight Singing/Ear Training and Theory will be components of the audition as well.

The following is a form to be completed for listing the ten songs. Please print and provide it to the auditors on the day of the audition.

Piano and Guitar Song Listing

Masters Program Requirements

  • Students are required to meet both Professional and Advanced Standards of Practice as established by the American Music Therapy Association by the time of graduation.
  • Maintain a cumulative average of 3.0 or higher, with no more than two grades below B-.

The Music Therapy Program is built around 48 credit hours of course work for students with baccalaureate degrees in Music Therapy or the MT-BC (The Certification Board for Music Therapists).


Successful applicants to the Music Therapy Program will be assigned an academic advisor. Newly admitted students should make an appointment with their assigned advisor to develop a Plan of Study as soon as possible. The comprehensive Plan of Study, developed by the student and their advisor, officially outlines the expected schedule of completion of the degree requirements and course work leading to eligibility for licensure as a Creative Arts Therapist in New York State. Any changes in this Plan of Study will require prior approval from the academic advisor.

Notice to Persons Who Have Prior Felony Convictions

State University of New York (SUNY) policy prohibits SUNY New Paltz admission applications from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal history.

Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet the licensure requirements for certain professions, including the program in Music Therapy. 

Individuals with prior criminal histories are advised to seek advice and guidance from the chair of the academic department regarding the impact of a criminal record on meeting the requirements of the major/professional licensure or certification prior to declaring the major.

Transfer Credit

With the approval of the academic advisor and the Dean of the Graduate School, students may transfer up to 9 graduate credits from other institutions or from courses taken at New Paltz prior to matriculation. Credits cannot be transferred after the Plan of Study is approved, except with permission of the academic advisor.


Students must meet with their advisor each semester to discuss course work and register for courses as outlined in their individual Plan of Study. Pre-registration for the spring semester occurs in November, and pre-registration for the summer and fall semesters occurs in April.

Change of Name and/or Address

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Music Department office and the Records and Registration office with legal name, address, telephone, and/or email address changes.

Music Therapy Major Plan (PDF)

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Contact Information

Interim Program Coordinator
Dr. Michael Viega

Contact Information
Office: College Hall, Room 213C
Phone: 845-257-2707