Gateway to Service… Engaging Minds… Transforming Lives

Takoma Park, MD (August 8, 2017) Washington Adventist University (WAU) has been approved to implement a new Bachelor of Music Therapy degree program. WAU is the first institution in the State of Maryland and currently the only Seventh-day Adventist institution in North America to offer this degree.

“We are thrilled beyond measure to be gaining this important new program on our campus, as it prepares students to use music as a vehicle for service and outreach,” said WAU Provost Cheryl Kisunzu, Ph.D. “It is a wonderful addition to this university which has, for more than a century, functioned as a gateway to service for those who seek to help others.”

The new four-year program will be offered within the WAU Department of Music, and will prepare students for careers where they use music to treat children and adults who have various psychiatric disorders, cognitive and developmental disabilities, speech and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, and neurological impairments. Music therapists find careers in general and psychiatric hospitals, day care facilities, nursing homes, substance abuse programs, forensic facilities, hospice programs, schools, as well as in private practice.

“Music Therapy is a growing field that has seen miraculous results in a variety of settings,” said WAU Music Department Chair Daniel Lau, D.M.A. “It is so gratifying to be able to offer this degree at WAU.”

The new program will build student competencies in musical, clinical, and music therapy foundations and principles; and it culminates with an internship at a site approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) or one affiliated with Washington Adventist University.

Program graduates will be eligible to take the music therapy national examination, administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). Those who pass the exam will be granted the “Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC)” credential, which confers on them the ability to practice as a music therapist within the CBMT scope of practice in the United States.

The music therapy degree program is approved by The National Association of Schools of Music, and is recommended for implementation by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).

Washington Adventist University is part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, which serves approximately 1,100 students of all faiths. Along with the new Music Therapy (BMT) degree, the Department of Music also offers bachelor’s degrees in Music (BA), Music Performance (BM), and Music Education (BM).

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Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County’s only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. Approximately 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s nine graduate and 42 undergraduate programs. The 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.

Media Contacts

Donna Bigler, 240-286-1169,