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MA, Music Therapy

This American Music Therapy Association-approved master of arts program includes coursework in music therapy skills, music therapy theory, and self-experience music therapy groups, in preparing you to work as a music therapist with a wide variety of individuals in healthcare and other social settings. You will apprentice with leading professionals in the profession, and upon graduating, qualify to apply for board certification by the Certification Board for Music Therapists, Inc. Graduates also meet the academic requirements for New York State licensure as a creative arts therapist.

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Music Therapy



Application Deadline

Fall Start:
January 6

Plan Code





Full-time or Part-time


Admissions Requirements

Basic competence in music theory and history is a prerequisite for all graduate degree programs in music. Entering graduate students are required to complete a music theory entrance exam and meet history coursework requirements. Based on exam results and review of the student's transcript, up to 8 points of remedial music theory and/or history coursework may be required. Remedial courses cannot be used to meet degree requirements. Detailed information about department music theory and history entrance requirements is available here

How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the special instructions for international applicants.

Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.

1. Prepare Your Application


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline.

If you completed or are completing a degree at an institution outside of the US or Canada, you are required to provide a WES or ECE evaluation. Please review our requirements for translation and a course-by-course evaluation of your transcripts.

See detailed instructions on submitting transcripts.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. We prefer letters from academic instructors; letters from employers, employment supervisors, or supervisors of volunteer work are also acceptable if your position involved a human service component. 


Not required.

Proficiency in English

Pre-Screening Materials

All applicants to the Music Therapy program are required to submit pre-screening materials to the portfolio section of the online application. 

Please upload videos of yourself to the portfolio section of your online application playing a few brief pieces on your primary instrument that show the range of your musicality. These can be short compositions or excerpts from longer works. In addition, on your primary instrument please improvise on a theme or emotion and afterwards discuss your improvisation on the recording.

We would also like you to play both piano and guitar and accompany yourself singing on both instruments. If possible, choose songs to play in a few different styles.

While you can have some latitude in the length of what you play, the total time of the recording should be no more than 30 minutes.

We would like you to talk about yourself on the recording:

  • Tell us about your music background and professional experience.
  • Please answer the following questions as well:
    • Why are you interested in music therapy? 
    • Why would you like to study music therapy at NYU specifically?
  • Please include any other information about yourself that you would like to share with us.

Auditions & Interview

A select number of applicants will be invited to interview and audition with Music Therapy faculty and students. Applicants invited to interview and audition will be notified in early February.

The interview and audition will be an hour-long process with two NYU Music Therapy faculty. Due to public health measures, the audition and interview will be held online using the Zoom platform. 

You will receive a Zoom invitation and the specific time of your interview one week prior to the audition. Please be sure to inform us what time zone you will be in on the day of the audition. All times given to you will be in Eastern Standard Time, the timezone of New York City. 

Candidates should prepare to play their major instrument, piano, and guitar. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate their technical ability, expressive range, and familiarity with different musical styles with each of these instruments.

Ability to sight-read, improvise, and play by ear are all evaluated during the audition. Please provide an email to which the material to be sight read can be sent at the beginning of your interview.

Candidates will also be asked to sing and accompany themselves on a harmonic instrument.

The interview portion will involve a discussion of your:

  • Educational and professional background
  • Professional or volunteer experience with client populations
  • Knowledge about the profession of music therapy
  • Readiness for advanced music therapy training

The interview and audition date for Fall 2024 admission is Sunday, February 25, 2024

Contact the program at or at 212-998-5452 for additional information.

2. Apply


Start your application now

After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed, and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.

Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.

Mailing Additional Items

If any application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials to NYU Steinhardt, Office of Graduate Admissions, 82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003-6680.  Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.

Application Policies

Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late November for Spring semester enrollment and in late March or early April for Summer or Fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.