Music Therapists (MA)

Department Website

Program Description

The MA program in Music Therapy prepares students to use their skills and artistry to benefit people facing a variety of mental, physical, and emotional challenges. Students learn how to work with people of all ages, including children with special needs, adults with psychiatric illness, children and adults with physical illness including the terminally ill, and elderly clients. The curriculum provides a unique combination of advanced clinical training and academic coursework to enable students to develop their own individualized approach to music therapy.

Career Opportunities

Music therapists work with a wide range of age groups and challenging conditions and are employed in a variety of settings, including mental health facilities, special education settings, medical hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, hospices, public and private schools, community clinics, and in private practice.

Accreditation and Licensure

The program qualifies students for Licensure in Creative Arts Therapy (LCAT) in New York State after graduation and 1,500 hours of post-graduate supervised practice. The LCAT is a license unique to New York State. The program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and upon graduation qualifies a student to apply for national certification in music therapy (MT-BC).

Special Opportunities

Off-Campus Clinical Placements

The Program in Music Therapy offers many clinical opportunities for students at all levels of training. Students have worked with talented professionals in prestigious clinical facilities throughout the New York City area, including Bellevue Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, the NYU Medical Center and Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Baltic Street Outpatient Clinic, and the New York City Department of Education.

Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy

The center, located on campus, offers clinical opportunities for student fieldwork and internship experiences with a variety of child, adolescent, and adult clients. The center also offers an advanced training course in clinical techniques and procedures leading to certification in the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy approach.

Guided Imagery and Music

Students may pursue a special sequence of courses in guided imagery and music, offered by the Program in Music Therapy in cooperation with the Creative Therapies Institute. Guided imagery and music is a therapeutic process that combines the inherent structure, movement, and spirit of music with an individual’s own creative process of imagery.

Be advised that fieldwork placement facilities that provide training required for your program degree, and agencies that issue licenses for practice in your field of study, each may require you to undergo general and criminal background checks, the results of which the facility or agency must find acceptable before it will allow you to train at its facility or issue you a license. You should inform yourself of offenses or other facts that may prevent obtaining a license to practice in your field of study. NYU Steinhardt will not be responsible if you are unable to complete program requirements or cannot obtain a license to practice in your field because of the results of such background checks. Some fieldwork placement facilities in your field of study may not be available to you in some states due to local legal prohibitions.


Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.