The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at the USC Rossier School of Education is designed for aspiring K-12 teachers looking to gain the skills and knowledge needed to become great teachers and help all students succeed. In addition to earning a master's degree in a core content area, candidates have the opportunity to further specialize in special education with an Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities or gifted education with a Certificate in Gifted Education.

Capella offers a 100% online MS in Special Education Teaching. This program prepares you to instruct children with learning disabilities across diverse populations and apply these skills in real-life situations. Request information about Capella.

Purdue University's online MSEd in Special Education offers separate tracks for initial teacher licensure, and for licensed teachers looking to add advanced endorsements. Request information to learn more.

The online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph's University online MSEd in Special Education from Saint Joseph's University offers concentrations in ASD, Hearing Impairment and the Wilson Reading System®. Request information to learn more.

Top 25 Master’s Degrees in Music Therapy 2016

Masters Special Education Programs - Top Degree Programs 2016
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May 2016

Music Therapy can be explained as the use of music to enhance and often dramatically improve the wellbeing of others including those with disabilities, mental illness, autism, trauma, or the effects of aging. The effectiveness of Music Therapy techniques is backed by research and clinical evidence. Music Therapists have completed an approved program of study and earned (at a minimum) their music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC). Students interested in advancing their skills and abilities may continue their education through master’s level programs approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

The average salary of a Music Therapist in 2014 according to the American Music Therapy Association Member Survey and Workforce Analysis was $50,808. Earning an advanced degree in Music Therapy not only enhances employment opportunities but also offers the possibility for a higher salary.

Methodology

We developed a list of the top 25 master’s degree programs in Music Therapy to assist students in selecting the best school for their personal and professional goals. We focused on selectivity, graduation tuition cost, commitment to the student, and student faculty ratio for the school as a whole to develop our ranking. We consulted College Navigator to develop our initial list of schools offering an advanced degree in Music Therapy. We narrowed our list to include only schools offering programs approved by the American Music Therapy Association. From those schools, we applied our ranking criteria and developed our list. Where there are ties, the school with the lower in-state graduate tuition rate is favored.

Average In State Graduate Tuition Rate per Year
Under $11,000/year- 3 points
$11,001-$20,000/year- 2 points
Over $20,000/year- 1 point

Undergraduate Graduation Rate
71% and greater- 3 points
65% to 70%- 2 points
Less than 65%- 1 point

Undergraduate Acceptance Rate
Less than 70%- 2 points
70% of greater- 1 point

Student-Faculty Ratio
Under 11:1- 3 points
Between 11:1 and 15:1- 2 points
16:1 and greater- 1 point

25. Sam Houston State University-Huntsville, Texas

Master’s Degree in Music Therapy

Website

Sam Houston State University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $5,139 in state to $12,159 out of state

Points: 6

Sam Houston State University offers a music therapy program for students with and without a bachelor’s degree in music therapy. The music therapy master’s program for students who have already earned their bachelor’s in music therapy is a 30 credit hour program which includes either a practicum or clinical supervision requirement. Students complete a thesis. Students without a music therapy background can complete music therapy coursework and must complete instruction in performing ensembles, piano competency, conducting, music history and music literature. Students selecting this option must also audition and interview with the department. Graduates of either music therapy program are able to work with a wide variety of patients in diverse settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, private practice, and school districts.

24. Texas Woman’s University-Denton, Texas

Master of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Music Therapy

Dual Degree Program in Music Therapy and Counseling

Website

Texas Woman's University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $4,380 in state to $11,400 out of state

Points: 6

Texas Woman’s University offers a 36 credit hour music therapy program with courses that cover research, music, and the philosophy and multicultural dynamics of music therapy. Students with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy can complete the program in about two years. Students without a bachelor’s degree in music therapy must complete prerequisite coursework before being admitted into the program. All students are required to complete either a professional paper or a thesis prior to graduation. Students can select from electives in family sciences, music, psychology, women’s studies, special education, or business. Students interested in earning a dual degree in music therapy and counseling have the option of completing a 64 credit program that leads to licensure as a professional counselor in Texas. This program takes between three and four years to complete.

23. Drexel University-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling

Website

Drexel University

Average Graduate Tuition: $31,239

Points: 7

The Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling program at Drexel University is a 90 quarter hour program with a 95% pass rate on the music therapy board certification exam. This music therapy program is the only one in the country within an academic health center. Students work side-by-side with other therapists in clinical settings and have the opportunity to attend and participate in national conferences. Students complete a thesis as part of the program and are actively involved in research throughout. Internships, group supervision, and clinical practicums ensure students gain hands-on experience to build their skills as a practicing music therapist.

22. Shenandoah University-Winchester, Virginia

Master of Music in Music Therapy

Website

Shenandoah University

Average Graduate Tuition: $19,920

Points: 7

Shenandoah University offers a unique master’s in music therapy for students who have already become board certified music therapists and are looking to advance their skills and knowledge base. This 30 credit hour program is offered during the weekends which allows students to continue with their current employment. Students obtain financial support through assistantships which allow them to work closely with faculty and gain valuable research experience. Students complete both individual and group projects to apply their new skills and knowledge.

21. Lesley University-Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Specialization in Music Therapy

Low-Residency Master’s Degree in Expressive Therapies

Website

Lesley University

Average Graduate Tuition: $17,100

Points: 7

Lesley University offers a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in music therapy. This 60 credit hour program requires 1,225 hours of field experience so students have the opportunity to develop and practice skills and techniques. Students typically take two to three years to complete the program. For students who are not able to attend courses in a traditional on campus schedule, a Low-Residency model is available. Students in this program complete a three week residency each year while completing coursework online and practicum experiences in their own communities. Coursework for both programs is the same and includes classes such as Orientation to Expressive Therapies, Clinical Musicianship, and Psychopathology and Clinical Practice.

20. Maryville University of St. Louis-St. Louis, Missouri

Master of Music Therapy

Website

Maryville University

Average Graduate Tuition: $13,768

Points: 7

The music therapy program at Maryville University is open to those with and without an undergraduate degree in music therapy. Students without an appropriate background will need to complete prerequisite coursework in addition to master’s coursework  to complete the program. This program is offered during the evenings to allow students to work while they attend school. Students who attend full-time are able to complete the program in just two years. Coursework covers areas such as ethics, research, psychotherapy, and treatment models. Graduates are prepared to work with individuals who have mental disorders, addictions, autism, and other disabilities.

19. Augsburg College-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Master of Music Therapy

Website

Augsburg College

Average Graduate Tuition: $12,528

Points: 7

Augsburg College’s flexible master’s in music therapy  offers a holistic perspective of music in overall personal well being. Students who are already board certified can complete  the graduate level coursework needed to earn their degree. For those without this foundation, Augsburg College offers a summer intensive to complete prerequisite coursework. Students may also attend through a hybrid program which blends on campus and online learning. Students come to campus two-to-three times each semester for two-to-three days while completing the rest of their coursework online. This 36 credit hour program includes courses in ethics, research, and clinical practice. Students must complete either a thesis or a final project prior to graduation.

18. Immaculata University-Immaculata, Pennsylvania

Master of Arts in Music Therapy

Website

Immaculata University

Average Graduate Tuition: $12,240

Points: 7
Immaculata University offers a master’s in music therapy for students with or without their board certification in music therapy. The 60 credit hour program is for students who are not already board certified. Students in this program work under a board certified music therapist to develop their skill set in various clinical settings. Students also learn to use guitar, piano, and voice in a music therapy setting. For those who have already earned their board certification, the 48 credit hour program offers advanced training and clinical supervision to further develop their existing skill set. Students are required to complete a 1,000 hour internship experience as part of the program.

17. St. Mary-of-the-Woods College-St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana

Master of Arts in Music Therapy

Website

St. Mary of the Woods College

Average Graduate Tuition: $11,640

Points: 7

St. Mary-of-the-Woods College offers an online master’s in music therapy for Board Certified Music Therapists looking for advanced training. This two year program requires a short residency each semester followed by online coursework. Students stay engaged through interactive experiences throughout the program. Students will participate in research opportunities and work closely with experienced professionals to enhance and further develop their skills. For students who are not already board certified, there is the option to choose from a distance or campus-based equivalency program to earn their certification and advance to the master’s program. Master’s coursework includes Guided Imagery and Music, Music Psychotherapy, and Contemporary Issues in Music.

16. Montclair State University-Upper Montclair, New Jersey

Master of Arts in Music Therapy

Website

Montclair State University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $9,960 in state to $15,375 out of state

Points: 7

Montclair State University offers a 40.5 semester hour program in music therapy for students who are certified music therapists. Students complete courses in improvisation, assessment, research, and musical style and analysis. Students have the option of taking elective coursework in areas such as neuroscience, behavior modification, and disabilities. A thesis is required as part of this program. Montclair State University takes pride in offering exceptional clinical placement opportunities and top notch academic staff.

15. Ohio University-Athens, Ohio

Master of Music in Music Therapy

Website

Ohio University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $9,510 in state to $17,502 out of state

Points: 7

Ohio University School of Music offers a master’s degree in music therapy for students who are board certified music therapists or a have bachelor’s degree in music. Students who are not  board certified can participate in the Master/Equivalency Program which allows them to complete coursework needed for board certification and participate in a six month internship. Once those requirements are met, students then complete the graduate requirements. The Master of Music in Music Therapy program is a 32 credit hour program which allows students to select an area of specialization including Special Education, Child Life, Psychology, Research Methodology, or Early Childhood. Students have the opportunity to participate in clinical and practicum experiences and must complete a thesis or special project to fulfill graduation requirements.

14. Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Colorado

Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization

Website

Colorado State University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $9,348 in state to $22,916 out of state

Points: 7

Colorado State University offers both a master’s degree in music therapy and a music therapy equivalency and master’s degree. Students also have the option of earning an online master’s in music therapy. The master’s program offers two program tracks. The 32 credit hour program option does not require a thesis, but includes additional coursework. The 30 credit hour option includes a thesis opportunity. Both of these tracks are approved by the Music Therapy Association and the National Association of Schools in Music. A music therapy degree from Colorado State University teaches students how to enhance the lives of a diverse patient population by improving treatment outcomes, facilitating movement, improving communication skills, and maintaining function in the geriatric population.

13. University of Iowa-Iowa City, Iowa

Master of Arts in Music Therapy

Website

University of Iowa

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $8,396 in state to $25,574 out of state

Points: 7

The University of Iowa offers two paths to the Master of Arts in Music Therapy. For students who have already earned their certification in music therapy, the 33 semester hour program includes advanced clinical components, a capstone project, research coursework, and a variety of seminars focused on music therapy. Students without certification as music therapists will need to complete undergraduate prerequisites including an internship before beginning the master’s program. Students who already hold certification can complete their master’s degree in one-to-two years while those without certification may take three-to-four years. The University of Iowa boasts small class sizes in their music therapy program and has the largest university teaching hospital in the U.S. Students in the music therapy program have access to a variety of clinical settings without having to leave campus.

12. University of Miami-Coral Gables, Florida

Master of Music Degree in Music Therapy

Website

University of Miami

Average Graduate Tuition: $33,300

Points: 8

The University of Miami’s Master of Music degree in Music Therapy is a 30 credit hour program designed for students who already hold an undergraduate degree in music therapy. The curriculum follows the principles of Neurologic Music Therapy, a science based model focusing on perception and production of music to treat nervous system disorders. Students develop research skills, clinical competencies, and enhance their musical talents. Students have the option to pursue either a thesis or clinical program track depending on professional interests. For students without an undergraduate degree in music therapy, the Master of Music Degree in Music Therapy with Undergraduate Equivalency is designed to complete prerequisite coursework and complete their master’s degree in three-to-four years of study.

11. Nazareth College-Rochester, New York

Master of Science in Creative Arts Therapy

Website

Nazareth College

Average Graduate Tuition: $20,496

Points: 8

Nazareth College offers a Master of Science in Creative Arts Therapy. This music therapy master’s program is accredited by the National Association of Schools in Music. Students without a foundation as music therapists can select the comprehensive program option which is a 60 credit hour program allowing students to be eligible to sit for board certification in music therapy and become eligible for licensure as a creative arts therapist in the state of New York. The 48 credit hour advanced standing program option is for music therapy professionals who are looking for advanced training to earn their license as a creative arts therapist. Students can complete the 48 credit hour program in two years of study. Students already working as music therapists can complete their clinical requirements at their employment site. Both program options require completion of a culminating project and thesis to meet graduation requirements.

10. Molloy College-Rockville Centre, New York

Master of Science in Music Therapy

Website

Molloy College

Average Graduate Tuition: $18,450

Points: 8

Molloy College offers three different program options for students who want to complete their master’s in music therapy. Students with or without an undergraduate degree in music therapy have program options to meet their needs. For students looking to earn a bachelor’s in music therapy and move directly into a master’s program, there is an option to meet that need as well. Students who are board certified music therapists can apply for Nordoff-Robbins music therapy training. This unique music therapy approach is offered in the on-campus clinical setting for students with a “high level of musical sensitivity and clinical awareness.” Auditions and interviews are held twice a year for students interested in this training program. Molloy has begun offering hybrid courses as part of the master’s program in music therapy.

9. University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Master of Arts, Music Education-Music Therapy Emphasis-Post Board Certification Masters Track

Master of Arts, Music Education-Music Therapy Masters Equivalency Track

Website

University of Minnesota

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $15,844 in state to $24,508 out of state

Points: 8

The University of Minnesota offers two different program tracks in their master’s degree in music therapy. This 30 credit hour program for certified music therapists offers coursework in research, therapy, music, and a variety of elective opportunities. Students complete a research project in their final semester and an oral examination related to their project and coursework. Students without an undergraduate foundation may complete prerequisite coursework prior to starting the master’s program. Students are encouraged to participate in ensembles and develop their musical abilities beyond their primary instrument. Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to gain clinical experience.

8. Temple University-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Music Therapy/Combined Master’s Equivalency

Master of Music Therapy

Website

Temple University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $15,354 in state to $21,042 out of state

Points: 8

The Master of Music Therapy program offered by Temple University allows students to gain experience in two areas of specialization including the Music Medicine and Music Psychotherapy. Students are able to take electives to prepare for PhD study, state licensure, or specialized study in hospice care or music psychotherapy. Students without an undergraduate degree in music therapy are able to complete the MMT Music Therapy/Combined Master’s Equivalency program needed for certification. Core courses in the master’s program include Multicultural Music Therapy, Music Therapy Ethics, and Research Methods. Students complete a practicum experience and a final project as part of this program. While this program is primarily based on campus, there is the opportunity for students to complete some coursework online. Students can complete this program on either a part-time or full-time basis.

7. Illinois State University-Normal, Illinois

Master of Music in Music Therapy

Website

Illinois State University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $7,760 in state to $15,377 out of state

Points: 8

Illinois State University offers the only approved master’s in music therapy degree program in Illinois. The program is available to those with or without an undergraduate degree in music therapy. Students without a bachelor’s degree in music therapy must complete prerequisite coursework to be eligble for certification. Students in the program complete a six month internship at an approved site. This experience gives students the opportunity to focus on their clinical skills and apply their knowledge. Coursework covers areas of psychology, music, and research methods.

6. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri

Master of Arts in Music: Music Therapy Emphasis

Website

University of Missouri Kansas City

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $6,213 in state to $16,043 out of state

Points: 8

The University of Missouri offers a rigorous master’s degree program in music therapy with a 100% job placement rate upon graduation. Students benefit from a cutting edge curriculum and the opportunity to learn and demonstrate advanced clinical skills in the classroom and practicum settings. The Master of Arts-Music Therapy program option is open to students with an undergraduate degree in music therapy. Students interested in a career in teaching at the college level or conducting research can go on to earn their doctorate degree through the University of Missouri. Students are able to complete internship requirements in the Kansas City area or at another approved site.

5. Appalachian State University-Boone, North Carolina

Master of Music Therapy

Website

Appalachian State University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $4,518 in state to $7,060 out of state

Points: 8

The Hays School of Music at Appalachian State University offers a 36 credit hour Master of Music Therapy. Students are able to select a specialty area to focus on including addictions, gerontology, mental health, and the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. Appalachian State University offers all levels of training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, a unique transformational therapy integrating mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual components of an individual. Students at Appalachian State University may also  earn a joint MMT and MA degree which can lead to licensure as a marriage and family therapist or counselor.

4. New York University-New York, New York

Master’s in Arts in Music Therapy

Website

New York University

Average Graduate Tuition: $38,592

Points: 9

New York University offers a master’s degree in music therapy that students can complete either on a full or part time basis. Students with or without a music therapy background can apply to the program. Depending on prerequisites that might be needed, the program ranges from 48 to 60 credit hours. NYU boasts small class size allowing for individualized attention from expert faculty. Students have access to the Nordoff-Robbins Center to specialize in this unique therapeutic approach. Graduates  are eligible for licensure as Creative Arts Therapists after completing a 1,500 clock hour supervised practice.

3. SUNY at Fredonia-Fredonia, New York

Master of Music in Music Therapy

Website

SUNY at Fredonia

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $10,870 in state to $22,210 out of state

Points: 9

SUNY at Fredonia offers a master’s in music therapy allowing full time music therapy professionals to work on their degree while continuing to work. This 48 credit hour program offers courses in mental health and music education and is accredited by the National Association for Schools of Music. Music therapy coursework includes Theory and Practice in Guided Imagery, Vocal Psychotherapy, and Piano Improvisation. Students participate in an advanced practicum and internship to gain clinical experience. A thesis or final project is a required  part of this program.

2. Florida State University-Tallahassee, Florida

Master of Music in Music Therapy

Website

Florida State University

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $9,684 in state to $24,116 out of state

Points: 9

Florida State University offers a Master of Music in Music Therapy with a goal of developing effective music therapists  dedicated to enriching the lives of the patients they serve. This goal is achieved by offering a variety of learning experiences to students and engaging students and faculty. Students develop and learn skills to work with the young, the elderly, and those with physical and mental disabilities. Florida State University partners with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare to offer music therapy programs to TMH patients and operates as a national training site for music therapy interns. TMH also serves a research setting for medical music therapy.

1. State University of New York at New Paltz-New Paltz, New York

Master of Science in Music Therapy

Website

State University of New York at New Paltz

Average Graduate Tuition: Ranges from $10,870 in state to $22,210 out of state

Points: 10

SUNY New Paltz offers a Master of Science in Music Therapy degree program for students ready to advance their skills and abilities in music therapy. This 48 credit hour program is available for students with an undergraduate degree in music therapy and requires a 1,200 clock hour clinical training component. This program emphasizes clinical, musical, and research training needed to be successful as practitioners in the field of music therapy. Coursework includes Music Therapy in Special Education, Assessment and Treatment, and Music Therapy for Older Adults. Students complete a thesis as part of this program.

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