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Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling


The Music Therapy and Counseling Master's Program, a 90-quarter credit curriculum, was founded in 1975 as a section of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies (Art, Dance/Movement, and Music Therapies) at Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital. This program is the only music therapy education model in the country housed within an academic health center.  Students benefit from our forward-thinking approaches to therapy in this exciting field and upon graduation become innovators in the music therapy profession.

The merger of health sciences and the arts enhances both the learning atmosphere and the depth of resources for contemporary music therapy education. Faculty members include music therapy scholars and clinicians, as well as mental health and medical professionals who assist and mentor students in integrating music therapy with current healthcare practice across a variety of populations.

The Music Therapy and Counseling program has a 95% pass rate on the music therapy board certification exam (MT-BC) from the Certification Board for Music Therapists. 

The program's curriculum is designed to meet the Pennsylvania Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) educational requirements. Be advised, however, that licensure requirements vary widely from state to state, and may change at any time. Therefore, if you are or will be interested in counseling licensure in the future, you are strongly advised to access and check the requirements for any state(s) in which you plan to work and practice. It is the students' responsibility to know and understand the requirements for any type of future licensure.

What you'll learn

The Music Therapy Program is designed to guide the development of advanced music therapy clinical skills in an academic health center setting.

Key program components include:

  • Working alongside music therapists in supervised adult and child clinical placements in psychiatric and medical units of local hospitals (including our on-campus Hahnemann University Hospital), schools, and other specialized treatment settings in the Greater Philadelphia Region;
  • Daily interaction with music, art and dance/movement therapists, physicians, neuroscientists, psychologists, and other health professionals as teachers and supervisors;
  • Clinical applications of vocal and instrumental improvisation, composition, ensemble, and imagery approaches within music psychotherapy and counseling, medical music therapy and developmentally-focused treatment models;
  • Integration of music therapy findings with mental health and medical sciences;
  • Basic understanding of art and dance/movement therapies and their relationship to music therapy;
  • Interaction with students and educators representing all the health sciences;
  • Student presentation of research at local, regional, and national conferences;
  • Research opportunities within medical, school, and community settings including but not limited to:

Mental health (in-patient and out-patient adult and child psychiatry and consultation/liaison psychiatry), oncology, dialysis, neonatal intensive care and pediatrics.  School settings include typical and special education, approved private schools.  Community settings include work with at-risk youth, re-integration programs, transitional housing residencies and senior centers.


What makes the Drexel Music Therapy and Counseling program unique?

  • The only music therapy program at an academic health center.  
  • Strong emphasis on multicultural perspectives and social justice.
    • Faculty members from mental health and medical professions teach and mentor students.
    • Study alongside art therapy and dance/movement therapy students in courses such as Human Psychological Development, Clinical Diagnosis, Group Dynamics, Multicultural Perspectives in Therapy and Theories of Psychotherapy.


The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

Background checks:

As a student of the College of Nursing and Health Professions you will be required to satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, child and elder abuse checks, drug test, immunizations, physical exams, health history, and/or other types of screening before being permitted to begin clinical training.

You will not need to submit documentation of these requirements as part of your application to the master’s program. Failure to fully satisfy these requirements as directed upon enrollment may prevent assignment to a clinical site for training.  A background check that reflects a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may affect your ability to be placed in certain facilities, and later, to become board certified and licensed.


We accept and review applications on a rolling basis through May 1st for entry the following Fall. We encourage you to apply as early as possible, as the incoming class often reaches capacity before May 1st.

Baccalaureate degree and demonstrate musical competencies in performance, music theory, and music history. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or above on all previous coursework.

Standardized Tests:


  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions

Volunteer or paid experience in a helping relationship.

Three letters of recommendation required. Letters should address academic and musical background. At least one letter should be from a music instructor.

  • You may use our electronic letter of recommendation service 
  • If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
A 300-750 word essay that focuses on the role of music in your development and family, and how your life path led you to music therapy.


Audition: At the audition, applicants will:

  1. Prepare two works from different musical periods or in different music styles that demonstrate moderate to advanced level of proficiency on principal instrument/voice.
  2. Sing a traditional, folk, or popular song while accompanying self on piano.
  3. Sing a traditional, folk, or popular song while accompanying self on guitar.
  4. Be prepared to play basic chord progressions (I-IV-V-I) in several keys on piano and guitar in several keys. 
  5. Play the melody of a given well-known song and provide the harmonic progression.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of music theory related to transposition, constructing chords.

International and long-distance candidates may submit a recorded audition on DVD or online  in lieu of items 1-4 above. International and long distance candidates should request instructions about all these requirements with their admission materials and are advised to begin the admission process early.

Interview: An in-depth in-person interview with the faculty of the graduate music therapy program, consisting of a review of personal, academic, interpersonal and creative aptitudes. Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate knowledge of one or more of the following topics: basic periods of Western music; jazz history; World music. For international and long-distance applicants, a phone interview or video chat may be substituted for the in-person interview.

Required.  Include relevant education, work and service/volunteer experience.

Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
A social service work or volunteer history and cross cultural experience is highly valued.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • Transcript Evaluation: All international students applying to a graduate program must have their transcripts evaluated by the approved agency: World Education Services (WES), 212.966.6311, Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087, New York, NY 10274-5087, Web site:
  • TOEFL: Applicants who have not received a degree in the United States are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An official score report must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. For more information visit the Web site:, then click on TOEFL.
  • I-20/DS-2019 and Supporting Financial Documents (international students only): Please print, complete, and submit the I-20/DS-2019 Application Form (PDF). 

International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
P.O. Box 8629
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8629
215.222.8454, ext. 603

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
3600 Market St., Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651

World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087

Tuition and Fee Rates
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

Application Link (if outside organization):



The program contains at least two research components. First-year students complete a research proposal related to the influence of music upon behavior. Second-year students are required to conduct original research in the form of a master’s thesis with the guidance of their director and a thesis committee. Once completed, a copy of the thesis becomes a permanent holding of the Drexel University library. First and second-year research projects are presented in a variety of research forums including the Drexel University’s Research, Scholarship, Innovation and Creativity Day, the Music Therapy Research Colloquium, and may be submitted to regional and national music therapy conferences.


The Music Therapy and Counseling program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association. 

Clinical Practice

Under the supervision of a music therapist, students complete more than 1,200 hours of graduate clinical practicum and internship experiences. Placements include pediatric and adult psychiatric and general hospitals, partial hospital programs, therapeutic day care, preschool intervention programs, rehabilitation settings, geriatric settings, forensic settings, schools, community music therapy settings, and home visits.

Students begin their clinical experience as soon as they enter the program. The clinical education is enhanced by 3 to 3.5 hours of individual and group supervision per week.

First-year students have two practicum experiences within the first year. One practicum is with child or adolescent populations and the other is with adult or geriatric populations. These clinical practica are assigned through collaboration with the director and the clinical coordinator and require that a music therapist be on-site.

The second-year internship lasts the entire second-year and offers an opportunity for students to mature and develop advanced skills with one or, in some cases, two populations. The internship is chosen by the student with assistance from the clinical coordinator and the director. The student has an on-site music therapy supervisor. There are occasional exceptions in which an off-site supervisor may be chosen by the clinical coordinator and the director.