Music Therapy Equivalency Program

Certificate Icon

Music Therapy Equivalency Program

If you are interested in healthcare professions and have a passion for music, consider becoming a music therapist. The Music Therapy Equivalency Program (MTEP) at Washington Adventist University is designed for those who already hold an undergraduate degree (most typically in music, music performance, or music education), but who wish to complete requirements for professional certification as a music therapist. Rather than completing a second bachelor’s degree, the student completes courses that will teach competencies required by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) for professional certification by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). 

For most students with an undergraduate degree in music, the MTEP requires 3 semesters of on-campus study (usually part-time enrollment), followed by a 6-month required internship. Some students may require additional credits which will necessitate at least a semester longer to complete the equivalency program. Students with undergraduate degrees in areas other than music must complete basic coursework in music (i.e., music theory, lessons on a major instrument, music history, etc.) in addition to the core music therapy program. All required credits outside of the core curriculum are offered at WAU.

A music therapist works with people of all ages and needs in settings like general and psychiatric hospitals, community mental health agencies, rehabilitation centers, daycare facilities, nursing homes, schools, and private practice, among others. Individuals who complete the MTEP are eligible to sit for the Board Certification exam to earn the credential MT-BC which is necessary for professional practice.

WAU’s MTEP curriculum is approved by the American Music Therapy Association, and WAU is accredited by the National Association for Schools of Music (NASM).

What you will learn

1. Demonstrate music foundations and clinical skills central to the practice of music therapy.

2. Describe the relationship between music therapy, research, and practice.

3. Utilize a variety of music therapy methods and implement services in clinical settings across distinct population groups.

4. Document music therapy services according to the AMTA Standards of Clinical Practice.

5. Practice music therapy in a professional and ethical manner as delineated by the AMTA Professional Documents.

How long will it take?

The Music Therapy Equivalency Program can be completed in approximately 24 months, depending on how many supplemental courses are needed and the number of credits a student takes each semester. This program offers Sunday and weekday evening courses, so working professionals can attend school while maintaining their jobs. While some courses will have hybrid elements, most courses are on our campus located one mile from Washington, D.C., in Takoma Park, Maryland.

What Can I Do With A Music Therapy Equivalency Program?

Music therapy interventions promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, promote physical rehabilitation, and more. For this reason, a music therapist works with people of all ages and needs, in settings like general and psychiatric hospitals, community mental health agencies, rehabilitation centers, daycare facilities, nursing homes, schools, and private practice, among others.


Washington Adventist University is accredited by: the National Association for Schools of Music (NASM).

6 Starts to the 2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall Semester: Session I: Aug 28-Oct 20 Session II: Oct 23-Dec 15

Spring Semester: Session I: Jan 8-Mar 2 Session II: Mar 5-Apr 27

Summer Semester: Session I: April 30 -Jun 22 Session II: Jun 25-Aug 17


Ready for your next step?



Graduation Cap Icon

Department of Music Admissions Process:

1. Graduation from a National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredited School/ Department of Music* with major in music**.

2. Undergraduate GPA of 2.75

3. Submission of Letter of Interest/Intent and undergraduate transcripts

4. Audition, either in-person or via video recording:
· two contrasting selections on primary instrument/voice,
· one song while singing/playing piano, and
· one song while singing/playing guitar

5. Letter of Recommendation from an instructor or professional who can speak to the applicant’s academic achievement and effort as well as to the applicant’s suitability for Music Therapy as a career. Also, Audition and interviews with the Music Therapy faculty.

6. Interview with Washington Adventist University’s Music Therapy Program Director.

7. Acceptance to Washington Adventist University as a Music Therapy Equivalency student

Music Therapy Equivalency Core Requirements Total: 37 hours

MUTH 110Introduction to Music Therapy3
MUTH 220Standards of Clinical Practice3
MUTH 230Music Therapy Methods3
MUTH 335Psychology of Music3
MUTH 375Music Therapy Practicum I3
MUTH 376Music Therapy Practicum II3
MUTH 441Music Therapy Seminar2
MUTH 476Music Therapy Practicum III3
MUTH 481Music Therapy: Clinical Development2
MUTH 485Music Therapy Internship12

Get Program Details! Music Department

We will connect you with an advisor to learn more and discuss information specific to your program.

*Graduates from Schools/Departments of Music not accredited by NASM will be considered. These applicants may be asked to supply copies of syllabi from core music courses and may be required to take supplemental work in core music areas such as theory, music history, conducting, piano, guitar, etc. The program also requires prerequisite credits in Probability and Statistics, Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Methods of Group Counseling. These prerequisites may be completed concurrently while enrolled in the MTEP program.

**Interested applicants without an undergraduate major in music will need to fulfill additional requirements. These requirements may increase the time necessary to complete the program.

Candidates will receive written notification of the admissions decision once required materials have been processed.